Nakuru, where our Kenyan partner projects are located, is the fourth largest city in Kenya.
It’s surrounded by the dramatic scenery of the Great Rift Valley, a mountainous region which runs throughout the country.
All of our groups have the option to add an adventure activity to their trip. In Kenya, one of the more popular excursions is our famous Rift Valley Adventure Day, which allows you to fully experience the beauty and diversity of this unique destination.
In addition to visiting the Equator and hiking down Thomson Falls – one of the deepest waterfalls in East Africa – one of the primary attractions of our Rift Valley Adventure Day is the breath-taking safari drive through Lake Nakuru National Park. Needless to say, when you picture an African safari, a few images spring to mind.
Whether it’s a vision of lush greenery, gargantuan mountains stretched across a clear blue sky, or an endless expanse of brick-red mud and dust, the fantastic possibilities of what you could see are enough to get anyone excited.
However, before your imagination runs completely wild, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a run-down on some of the furry, scaly, and feathered residents you could meet at Lake Nakuru. Managing your expectations towards what you might see on your animal-filled adventure before you depart is a brilliant way of helping you to feel more prepared – and avoid any disappointment!
Africa is a hugely diverse continent. You may not see everything you wish to, but you could see sights beyond anything you ever imagined…
Lake Nakuru and its famous flamingos
The city of Nakuru is named after Lake Nakuru, which has been previously heralded as a ‘bird-watchers paradise’. Millions of flamingos used to flock to its shores to feast on the algae in its alkaline waters, whilst hundreds of other colourful, exotic birds are no strangers to the lake’s dramatic scenery.
Due to several factors which have affected many of the Rift Valley lakes over the past few years (namely rising water levels), many of the flamingos have gone elsewhere for their algae fix. Although flamingos can still be found at Lake Nakuru, their pink plumage is now more frequently spotted at the neighbouring Lake Bogoria. Other birds which can be spotted at the lake’s shores include pelicans, eagles, and Maccoa ducks.
Where the ‘el’ are all the elephants!?
Due to the park’s proximity to Nakuru town, a fence has been constructed around the perimeter in order to reduce conflict between Nakuru’s human population and its neighbouring wildlife. Human-wildlife conflict is increasing in Kenya due to the rising number of human settlements and the pressures created by climate change. This creates friction as animals leave their natural habitats to search for food and water elsewhere.
As such, you won’t see elephants in Lake Nakuru National Park – it just isn’t big enough to support them. However, the park is home to an array of rarer animals which are hard to find elsewhere. This includes the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, black and white rhino, and hippopotamus.
Bring your binoculars for Baboon Cliff
Named after – you guessed it – the baboon family who occupy this dramatic stretch of clifftop, this popular tourist hot-spot is the perfect place for a photo, giving you the opportunity to see the park in all its glory from its highest plain.
This part of the safari also allows you to take in the landscape surrounding Lake Nakuru. Acacia trees, yellow fever trees, and the entirety of the lake itself can be fully appreciated from this particular spot. Make sure to take a minute and enjoy the moment – it may be a sight you’ll only see once in your lifetime.
We hope this has provided you with some clarity about what sights you could see on your safari. If you’re aged 16-19, our Rift Valley Adventure Day is included in our 2020 Youth Development Programme. Click here for more information!
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