Lake Nakuru national park is located on the floor of the Rift Valley at an elevation of 1754 m.The park is home of a variety of habitat, mainly wooded and bushy grassland.Lake Nakuru is renowned as a bird sanctuary with over 400 bird species, including huge flocks of flamingoes, pelicans and storks and many other water birds.The shallow and alkaline lake contains an abundance of algae,mainly a blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina Platensi,that sustain the diet of flamingoes and other wildlife.
The park is one of the best spots to see Black and White Rhinos,where they have been reintroduced recently.There is also an important number of Rotschild’s Giraffe as well as African Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Waterbucks and African Buffaloes.
I decided to continue my safari with the same company one more day.From Masai Mara we returned to Nairobi and then head to Nakuru city.We arrived late evening in our guesthouse.Next morning our driver took us to the lake.The park is very close to the city and it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to reach it.
We explored first the wooded area that is surrounding the lake.A pair of young male lions passed in front of our car.
African Buffaloes were commonly seen around this area as well.These animals are quite dangerous due to its unpredictable nature and produce a significant toll of human deaths every year.The only predators capable to confront and feed on them are lions and crocodiles.
The endangered Rothschild Giraffe inhabit this area as well, where can be seen eating the leaves of the upper branches of trees, specially acacias.Their long tongue and eyelashes protect them from the elongated thorns of this type of tree.Giraffes can defend themselves by their powerful kick, producing sometimes the death of lions by perforating the lion skull.However,they can be very vulnerable to the attack of lions when drinking water due to their open posture of legs while drinking.Notice the different pattern of the skin and the lack of it in the lower part of its legs of Rothschild Giraffe, when compared with Massai Giraffes.
Lake Nakuru is famous as well for its climbing tree lions.While not easy to observe, I was lucky to spot this lioness resting on a tree on the same area.
Once in the grassland area, close to the lake, i could find other stimulating wildlife.Common zebras were found here in groups of few numbers.However, zebras usually remain in larger groups for protection and their black and white pattern allows them to be deceptive in front of predators, as they find it harder to distinguish an individual among the group.
This grassland area was the habitat of the White Rhino as well.The Northern White Rhinos became extinct in the wild due to hunting and loss of habitat.There are just a few reintroduced individuals in the national parks of Kenya.White rhinos can be distinguish from Black Rhinos by its wider mouth.
Defassa Waterbucks were seen in groups of high numbers in this grassland area, always close to the lake.These sedentary animals graze on the grasslands of Central and East Africa and are one of the largest and heaviest antelopes.
I could saw some interesting birds in this area. Hamerkops, see second picture below, were seen alone walking on the banks of the river and looking for frogs, fish or other little wildlife.African Spoonbills, see first picture below, were feeding on the riverine waters by swinging its bill from side to side as it steadily walks through it.
Egyptian Goose was a common bird seen different times in this area.
Once on the lakeshore i took a little stroll to observe Grey white Pelicans and Yellow-billed Storks,see first picture below, Pink-backed Pelicans, see second picture below, and Lesser Flamingoes,see third picture below, close to the shore.
Flamingoes obtain their pinkish coloration from the organisms that live in their feeding grounds.The older they became, the pinker they are.Flamingoes suck water through its bill and filters out small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms and mollusks.
Greater Flamingoes were seen farther away.
Greater Cormorants were perched on a dead branch half-submerged in the lake.
Before the safari finished i told the driver to drop me to a little and beautiful guesthouse that is inside the park, with great views of the park, for only 10 dollars per night.
Next stop Kakamega, with more pics and exciting wildlife !! See you soon my friends !!