Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest urban centre with a population of 307,990. However, the modern town, as with many others in Kenya, derives its name from the Maasai speaking people of Kenya.
One of the Great Rift Valley’s most famous soda lakes, Lake Nakuru offers visitors the chance to witness one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife sights: brilliant pink flamingos as far as the eye can see.
When conditions are right, between one and two million lesser and greater flamingos feed around the shores of the shallow lake, which together with tens of thousands of other water birds within a species list of around 400 birds, make Lake Nakuru a genuine ornithologist’s paradise.
Game viewing is also good. Declared a national park in 1961, Lake Nakuru covers an area of some 180 km² and its diverse habitats are home to warthog, baboon, waterbuck and large numbers of impala. Slightly shyer residents include buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, eland, the occasional leopard and both black and white rhino. A herd of hippo have their territory in the northern part of the lake.
Usually built into a longer Kenya safari itinerary, Lake Nakuru National Park is often combined with the other Great Rift Valley lakes – Lake Naivasha for example – and other conservation areas such as the nearby Aberdare National Park. Visitors should note however that there are times when the lake conditions change and the flamingos move on to other soda lakes.