The splendor of Lake Nakuru

This is the second of a four-part series on national parks in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Splendor of Lake Nakuru

A few hours drive northwest of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, the Lake Nakuru national reserve is a gem. The lake is home to a huge population of pink flamingos, pelicans and marabous. The population of flamingos is so enormous, they colour the edges of the lake a bright pink which can be seen from afar. At the shores of the lake, you’ll be able to spot baboons, impalas, gazelles, water buffalos, white rhinos, and if you’re very lucky, you might even spot a few of the resident leopards lazing on the branches of an acacia tree. It is an astounding experience to walk to the edge of the lake and be amidst the enormous flocks of flamingos and pelicans. Head up to Baboon Cliff just before the sun sets for a stunning vista as the sun throws a warm glow over the lake and the surrounding hills.

Scroll down to view some of my best pictures of this magnificent park. Read the other editions of this African safari series: ‘The Splendid Tarangire‘ and ‘Serengeti Magic‘.




marabous & flamingos




more flamingos




baboon with baby




Lake Nakuru at sunset

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12 Responses to “The splendor of Lake Nakuru”

  1. Eric 11/07/2010 9:31 am

    These are some amazing pictures. I especially enjoyed the sights I saw while in Kenya. Another great place near Nakuru is Hells Gate National Park.

    See more at my Kenya travel blog:

  2. velvet 25/04/2010 12:49 pm

    Haha, I do know what you mean Juno. The power of nature indeed! 🙂 Never ceases to amaze me too.

  3. Juno 25/04/2010 12:37 pm

    Keith, so wonderful photos! This world, constantly amazes me. Power of nature indeed.
    Thanks for sharing. Love it looks so ‘real’! I know it’s real but you know what I’m saying, right?

  4. Rob 06/09/2009 11:51 pm

    Hi Keith, again memories, this time 1989-90… I remember seeing the ‘Nilegoose’for the first time at lake Nakuru. now they invade Holland.. have fun (Jambo, jambo Bwana, habari gana? Mzuri Sana..) Rob

  5. velvet 04/09/2009 6:54 pm

    Hi Michael,
    Yes, it’s been a long time! Thanks so much for your comment and additional tips. I was there about two years ago. I was totally spellbound by this place.


    ps/ about the flamingos, yes, I knew the answer! 🙂

  6. Africafreak 04/09/2009 12:39 pm

    Hey Keith, long time! 😉

    Loved the article, and you have quite a few cool pictures there! When was this? Whenever I think of Lake Nakuru I feel a little nostalgic…makes me think of the good old days back in Kenya! Also makes me realize that I am getting “younger” as the years go by! 🙂

    Totally recommend the destination, as well as places like Lake Naivasha, Baringo, and Lake Manyara (in Tanzania). Plenty of wildlife, and lots of breathtaking locations and picnic areas to satisfy your appetite! 🙂

    Oh, by the way: Do you know why flamingos are pink? Any guesses??? Please don’t shout it out Keith, I can see you coming… 🙂

    It’s because of the food they eat: shrimps mainly, as well as blue-green algae. The organisms contain Beta carotene, a substance that causes the pink colouring. Glad they are pink to be honest with you…imagine if they were “blue-green”? 🙂

    Anyway, enough bla bla for today! 😉



  7. velvet 31/08/2009 1:34 pm

    Hi Dave & deb,

    Thanks for your comment. Lake Nakuru was simply magical and I can definitely recommend a visit. Hopefully, you’ll have lots of luck on your side spotting animals when you’re there! 🙂


  8. Dave and Deb 31/08/2009 12:05 am

    Keith, these photos are absolutely awesome. They are all so unique. I love that photo of the Rhino laying down and the baboon with baby. Gorgeous. That is what is so amazing about wildlife. It is a different experience for everyone. One day you may see nothing, the next you see everything.

  9. velvet 28/08/2009 5:47 pm

    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for your comment. I had a very different experience. Saw three of the big five there (except for the lions & elephants)… in one day! The flamingos were awesome and the leopards in the tree (we were so lucky!) were out-of-this-world! Guess it’s down to luck whether you see a lot of animals on a safari. I must say we were very lucky that day! 🙂


  10. Brian 28/08/2009 5:34 pm

    Nice photos. Have to say that Lake Nakuru was probably my least favorite stop when I did a safari in Kenya, several years ago. There seemed to be fewer animals than at the other parks that we toured. Having said that I did see one of the rare white rhinos there so not all bad :o)


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