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Flamingos and more in Nakuru Park


More Adventure travel tales in Kenya:
Chalbi Desert
Amboseli Park
Masai Tribe
Other African Tales:
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Lalibela, Ethiopia
African Tribes in Ethiopia
Serengeti, Tanzania
Ngorongoro Area
Blue Nile Gorge, Ethiopia
Bahir Dar, Lake Tana


Flamingos at Lake Nakuru
Nakuru park, or Lake Nakuru National Park in full, is located in the Kenyan part of the Great Rift Valley, around Lake Nakuru. It is the domain of the largest colony of flamingo’s in the world. But apart from that, there is an abundance of other wildlife as well. Great for a few gamedrives.

We arrive in Nakuru early in the afternoon. Finally a city with some facilities, so everybody runs off to an Internet café, to send a message home. Then to the supermarket for peanuts and crisps, and to a bank for some money. When everybody is all set, the truck brings us to our campsite, located around 25 km from town.

Cape Buffalo in Nakuru ParkOur first full day on the campsite we take it slow. The campsite owners also run a farm, and we have a look around. It almost seems like a normal Dutch farms, with milk cows including modern facilities to milk them. And they also breed horses for the races. The green meadows complete the typical Dutch scene in the middle of Africa.

Nakuru Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is not suited for our overland truck. Instead, the campsite owner arranges some landrovers to take us there. Once through the gates, we immediately notice some antelopes, and identify different kinds. But the main attraction of the park is Lake Nakuru. After driving a bit through the forest, we arrive at a plain from which we see the pink colored lake in the distance. As we come closer, we can see that the pink comes from the millions of flamingo’s in the lake.

Dassies and lizards at Baboon cliffComing closer and closer to lake Nakuru, we notice straw lying on the shores of the lake. But arriving there, we see that these are the remains of dead flamingo’s. Luckily, there are still many left. We can identify the two different species, the lesser and the greater flamingo. It is amazing to see these large numbers of birds wading in the water, and flying off in different sized flocks.

After half an hour flamingo watching, we drive away from the lake and up to a hill, on which so-called Baboon-cliff is located. Here we have lunch with a great view over the lake. Instead of baboons, we are visited by a few dassies and lizards. Apparently these are used to tourists as they are begging for a piece of bread.

Black rhinos at Nakuru ParkAfter lunch we drive back down for a game drive. We quickly notice some cape buffaloes, and again a lot of antelopes, especially waterbucks. And this time we approach a part of Lake Nakuru where we can see other waterbirds, like pelicans, marabous, ibises, fish eagles, and yellow-billed storks. Then back to the plains, where we spot more buffaloes, baboons, giraffes, and Colobus monkeys. But the cream of the cake are the black rhino’s we spot. Lake Nakuru has about 25 of them, the largest population of this endangered species in Africa.

At the end of our gamedrive in Nakuru Park we have a drink at a lodge in the park. It is obviously an expensive lodge, but we enjoy our western style milkshake and fries. The landrover takes us back to the campsite, where we learn that the driver of our truck suffers from malaria. He has had it before, takes a huge dose of medication, and is very ill for only a day or two. On top of this, another crew member suffers from a cold, and one of us is stung by a scorpion. But hey, this is Africa, man!!

From Nakuru we move on to the border of Tanzania. This fertile mountainous area around the Great Rift Valley is the most populated part of Kenya. A lot of villages and towns, but not the traditional types. A lot of zinc roofs and other cheap houses. The people aren’t as friendly as the tribes in the less populated areas either. It’s a good thing that in these parts, at least the National Parks, like the one around lake Nakuru, are protected.

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