Why Lake Nakuru National Park Famous For Flamingos : Lake Nakuru national park was established as a national park in 1961, Lake Nakuru is a remarkable national park in Kenya situated in the central region of Kenya, about 140km (90 miles) north west of Nairobi, the Nakuru district of the rift valley province. Nakuru is an alkaline lake, which is what further draws birds and wildlife to its shores. The national park and lake are most renowned for the tens of thousands of flamingos which can reach over a million at their peak. The flamingo population has earned the lake and national park the slogan, “the greatest bird spectacle on earth’ ’On the other hand flamingos in lake Nakuru national park are generally described into two species namely; the lesser and greater flamingo and all these species can be found in Lake Nakuru National Park. The greater flamingos are taller and darker in color- their shade of pink well as the lesser flamingos are shorter and lighter in color.
THE FLAMINGO BIOLOGY.
Flamingos (Aves, Phoenicopteridae) are an ancient lineage of long-legged, microphagous, colonial wading birds. Flamingo-like ancestors, which would give rise to modern ducks, even left traces in the shallow saline mudflats of Eocene soda lake sediments that define the saline two flamingo species gather in considerable numbers in Lake Nakuru and a few other East African rift lakes, namely, the greater and the lesser flamingoes. These bright pink waders feed and breed in mesohaline rift lake waters where cyanobacteria blooms can be so dense that a Secchi disc disappears within a few centimeters of the lake’s water surface. Lake Natron is the dominant evaporate, is a major breeding ground for flamingos in East Africa and is the only regular breeding site for the lesser flamingo in Africa. Lesser flamingos build nesting platforms on the pavement in the more central parts of the lake. These spectacular birds not only feed in saline waters, but they can also choose to build nest mounds on evaporate pavements.
FACTORS ADAPTING FLAMINGOS IN LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK.
- Predators are animals that naturally preys or feeds the other. On the other hand flamingos also have various predators especially the lesser flamingos are always scared of the lions, leopards which feeds on them compared to greater flamingos this was solved by fencing lake Nakuru national park with two fully fences and additional woven wire mesh extending 1m into the ground to prevent wildlife from digging their out to disrupt other animal species this helps flamingos not to be attacked hence high multiplying in their numbers.
- Presence of blue-green algae in Lake Nakuru national park.
Flamingos feed mainly on blue-green algae, and some shrimp and a few water insects; which favors flamingos to live ; where by the blue-green algae contains BGA are nutritious natural products rich in essential amino acids vitamins, calcium, iron which supports flamingos to grow healthy and hence high production.
- Availability of water with suitable temperature in Lake Nakuru national park.
Flamingos always rely on water for survival like drinking; which protects their body organs and tissues, the water is having suitable temperatures between 17.8-35.2 c(64.0-95.4 F).The water also regulates the temperature of flamingos hence their living.
- Bushy woodland vegetation with in Lake Nakuru national park.
The lake is also surrounded by the prefect bushy woodland vegetation where the flamingos can easily make their nests this makes their lives easier to stay around Lake Nakuru national park.
- The tropical and subtropical environments in Lake Nakuru national park.
They enjoy spending their time in shallow lakes, swamps, sandy islands, and mangrove. These birds live in specific places only because of their diet, so they populate regions with wet habitats from fresh to saltwater; thus making flamingos to stay in Lake Nakuru national park.
What is the best time to see flamingos in Lake Nakuru national park?
The best bet time to watch the flamingos in Lake Nakuru national park is during the dry-hot season in July, August, September, December, January, and February, where the flamingos are always in large numbers compared to rainy seasons where the flamingos are always disrupted with season and they are not favored at all. And in the dry season the algae levels are always high making the flamingos to get enough food for survival.
Viewpoints to see flamingos in Lake Nakuru national park.
One is the Lake Nakuru Lodge, which has exceptional panoramic views. The other is the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, which is nestled along the Lion Hill overlooking Lake Nakuru. Its location allows for panoramic views of the lake and the park. All these above enable you to see the flamingos in Lake Nakuru national park.
Where to stay in Lake Nakuru national park.
There are number of accommodation with good facilities and services where to stay during your Kenya safari in Lake Nakuru national park namely; Sarova woodlands hotel, twin spot guest house and many others.
How to get to Lake Nakuru national park.
Lake Nakuru can be accessed by both air and transport means.
By the road, Lake Nakuru can be accessed through the different gates and the main gates called Nderit and Lanet gate. It’s a tarmac road connection to Nairobi a distance of 150km to reach Lake Nakuru national park and approximately 3 hours through the A104 main road.
By the air, the access of Lake Nakuru national park, you fly from Jomo Kenyatta international airport to Naishi airstrip, this strip is ready inside the park so you do not need to go through any gate to access the park, you just continue with your itinerary in the park. It takes you 40 minutes to reach in the park in the flight.
Lake Nakuru national park is famous known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along shores, not only flamingos it has 500 species of birds ;on the other hand has various kinds of animals like rhinos, lions, impals which increases tourism in Kenya.