Thompson’s fall Nyahururu- Kenya Tour



Located in the outskirts of Nyahururu town in Central Kenya, Thompson’s fall is a 72 meters scenic waterfall on the Ewaso Narok River draining from the Aberdare Mountain ranges. Joseph Thompson a Scottish geologist and naturalist was the first European to reach Thompson falls and he named it after his father in 1883. Located about 180 kilometers from Nairobi City, Thomson’s fall is ideal as a stop-over en-route the Great Rift Valley or Samburu National parks.

 

For nature lovers, this falls present a spectacular, relaxing and unforgettable view and sound of water dropping numerous feet and hitting the rocks with a thud. You can descend on foot for approximately 25 minutes to the bottom of the falls and experience the steamy splashing of the water from above. The sound of splashing water, chirping of the birds and chattering of baboons as you descend and ascend are breathtaking and relaxing. Being a permanent source of water, river Ewaso Narok adequately feeds the ever green vegetation that includes some indigenous trees. Up stream, witness the hippos as they submerge and resurface at the famous hippo view point. The best time to view these creatures is in the evening when the temperatures cool off and it’s time for them to feed.

 

Numerous swings and slides offer children their delight and fun as you relax on the wooden benches after the ascent. You can also enjoy camel rides around the park as well as take photos with local residents dressed in their traditional regalia and holding ancient tradition weapons such as spears and shields. A number of curios are also present near the falls where you can buy yourself some African art, animal statues as well as clothing on your safari in Kenya.

 

You will also come across some gorgeous coffee and tea plantations on your way to Nyahururu from Nyeri. Near Thompson falls is Lake Ol-Borosat located at the foot of the Abadare Mountain ranges, a habitat of a variety of bird life. Entry to the Aberdare national park is also nearby where you will have a chance to view a variety of wildlife. As you head to Nakuru, about 15 kilometers will lead you to the Great Rift Valley Escarpments. A view of the slope and the floor of the rift are breathtaking. Your camera handy, take a photo of a life time of the gorgeous scenery as you descend to the floor and later as you ascend to the rift of the escarpments.

 

An interesting phenomenon of this falls is that it’s very close to the equator with sign boards on both Nyeri-Nyahururu road as well as Nairobi-Nyahururu road reading “You are now crossing the Equator”. The sun passes directly above the head in March through September at midday. If you are looking to spend a night in Nyahururu, the luxurious Thompson’s Lodge will be your home away from home. Here they have fire places in the lounge to keep you nice and warm as the temperatures cool down and it gets cold during the night.

Lake Naivasha - Kenya Safari

Lake Naivasha lies about 90 kilometers north-west of Nairobi and scores highly as a tourist destination. Naivasha is derived from a Maasai name “naiposha” which means “rough waters” or “sudden storms” which can arise. Lake Naivasha is a fresh water lake and is fed by Malewa and Gilgil rivers. However, the lake is unique having no known outlet, a precondition for a fresh water lake. Its water is relatively fresh and underground outflow is presumed. It’s one of only two freshwater lakes in the rift valley the other being Lake Baringo. Njorowa Gorge now high above the lake formed the lake’s outlet. Presently, it forms the entrance to Hell’s Gate National Park. Lake Naivasha forms part of the Great Rift Valley and is at the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift Valley at 1,890 meters (6200ft). With an average depth of 6 meters (20ft), the Crescent Island has a maximum depth of 30 meters (100ft).

 

Experience the breathtaking scenic splendor as you descend the walls of the Great Rift Valley from the city of Nairobi. The lake shore supports dense vegetation including the beautiful papyrus reeds. Lake Naivasha being a freshwater lake has a healthy fish population and in turn attracts a variety of fish-eaters such as Fish eagles, pied kingfishers as well as the Great cormorants.

The Lake is home to more than 350 bird species including lovebirds, black herons, weavers, black-lored babbler, grey- backed fiscal and brimstone canary babbler among others. Embark on a boat ride and witness birds of prey such as hawks, kingfishers and eagles diving for fish. Hippos are also easily seen on this Kenya safari tour as well as baboons with their acrobatic swings from one tree to another. Being a fresh water lake, fishing is a major economic activity you are likely to witness in this lake region.

 

Venture into a boat ride safari to Crescent Island where you can walk among herds of zebra, gazelle, dik dik, giraffe and wildebeests. No predators abound here and therefore this safari offers unrivaled exciting experience.

 

The Hell’s gate national park provides incredible game viewing, birding, nature treks, bike rides as well as rock climbing. Enjoy an exciting mountain climbing safari on the nearby mount Longonot. Numerous curio shops abound and you can buy a variety of animal carvings, African arts and craft as well as traditional musical instruments.

 

Lodges around Lake Naivasha include Lake Naivasha Simba lodge, Sopa lodge, and Sawela lodge among others. Most of the lodge’s rooms offer a spectacular view of the lake. The lodges also offer conference facilities including Internet for business meetings. Rooms are great, food is excellent, the serene breathtaking and ideal for holiday makers, honeymooners as well as guests on business trips.

a lion in a safari park

The Great Rift Valley and Kenya Wildlife safaris

 

The Great Rift Valley is a 6000 mile crack in earth’s crust stretching from Syria through the Red Sea down to Mozambique. The Great Rift Valley was formed around 35 million years ago by violent subterranean forces that tore apart the earth crust. These forces caused the Valley floor to sink gradually into a low flat plain (deep depression) while land on either side erupted creating the great volcanic mountains. The effect has been likened to the keystone of an arch dropping as the side pillars collapse. The floor of the valley is normally below the sea level.

The amazing attribute about the Great Rift Valley is that once it reaches the Kenyan border, it diverges into two: the Eastern Rift and the Western Rift. The Western Rift hosts the African Great Lakes where the rift is filled with water. Within this branch are Lake Tanganyika and other smaller lakes among them lakes Albert and Edward. The Eastern Rift is the main section of the valley and cuts across Ethiopia, then south across Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi to Mozambique. The two rifts later converge near Lake Rukwa in southern Tanzania. Lake Victoria lies between the Eastern and Western rifts.

 

The Great Rift Valley’s width varies from thirty to one hundred kilometers and ranges in elevation from 1,300 feet below sea level to 6,000 feet. The valley floor is at its lowest near Lake Turkana where virtually no distinction can be drawn between the Great Rift and the surrounding desert. The deepest point in Kenya is the Nakuru – Naivasha region where the ground is scattered with dormant volcanoes such as Menengai, Longonot, Susua, and other smaller ones such as the Sleeping Warrior near Elementaita.

 

Thirty active and semi-active volcanoes and numerous boiling hot springs are evidence that the process “subterranean movement” also called rifting, is still in progress. A series of boiling springs and alkaline lakes present in the Rift Valley include Lake Bogoria, Lake Baringo, Lake Elementaita, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Lake Magadi.

 

High concentration of sodium carbonate in water present in these lakes makes them very unique. The situation is caused by high alkalinity from surrounding volcanic rocks and poor drainage as a result of the steep sides of the valley. As water evaporates, its alkalinity increases. With high evaporation of lake water, sodium carbonate which is ideal breeding ground for algae is formed. Algae are therefore in plenty and form a constant supply of food for the bird-life. A number of fish species like tilapia thrive in this environment too and attract the fish eating birds- the pelicans and cormorants. These soda lakes host millions of birds which feast on abundant supply of the algae as well as fish. Lake Nakuru is world famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth with pink flamingos often numbering more than a million.

 

Lake Bogoria displays superb scenery of bluish hills populated with dry bush, grassland and riverine forests, framing the calm shallow water pinned with flamingos. Beyond the eastern shore, the soil rises abruptly to 600 meters in the Laikipia Escarpment. At the opposite edge, the earth forms strangely colored swampy crusts, which break up in deep gaps spitting stinky sulphur waters and steam jets that erupts furiously 2.5-3 meters into the air. Witness the hot springs and geysers hot enough to boil an egg in a matter of seconds! The close-up geysers, the pink brushstrokes of the flamingos on the lake and farther the dramatic backdrop of the Laikipia Escarpment, convey a hardly beatable aesthetic composition. The other famous escarpments of Kenya are the Mau Escarpments that rise over 8500 feet.

 

The Great Rift Valley contains some of Africa’s most magnificent scenery, flanked by volcanoes and mountains, including the highest peak in Africa- Mount Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet.

 

The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and the habitats around the lake systems attract a wealth of large mammals (rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard) and are one of the best areas in Kenya for bird watching. Kenya and Tanzania offer enormous safari experiences with game reserves and national parks that traverse these great safari nations. The big mammals, cats and plains game roam freely in the wilderness of their natural habitat. Witness the great wildlife spectacle- the annual wildebeest migration where millions of wildebeests, gazelles and zebras from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania cross the crocodile infested Mara and Talek rivers to reach the masai mara grazing fields. The spectacle runs from July to October of every year.

 

Tanzania boasts of a massive wildlife concentration and is home to the Great Migration. Serengeti, derived from Maasai language means “endless plains”. The park lies in a high plateau between Ngorongoro highlands and Kenya and Tanzania border. This is the largest National Park in Tanzania and is about 14,763 square kilometers. Serengeti is home to more than 500 species of bird life and contains a large concentration of plains game in Africa. Ngorongoro Crater is famous for its “big five” and is also home to the rare black rhino. The high concentration of animals means that you are likely to see several African wildlife species in a short period of time.

The combination of a gentle climate, abundance of beauty, untouched tenderness of the landscape and the numbers of wildlife makes East Africa the most popular inland destination.

The “big five” what’s the big fuss?

Although easier said than done, “if you encounter a lion don’t run………..”

If you have been on an African Safari, you definitely wanted to see the so called “big five” and if you are planning your future safari, you probably have on your checklist the “big five”. But why all the excitement about the “big five” and what exactly is the big five and where did it come from?

The “big five” refers to the African: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. The term was coined by big game hunters in the colonial days and refers to the great difficulty and danger involved in bagging these big animals especially when they are shot at or cornered. The term has lately been turned into a marketing tool by tour operators and it’s not uncommon to see driver guides speed past a giraffe en route to a herd of buffalo.

A brief overview of each of the “big five” is given here under:

 

Lion

African lions are the largest and most sociable of the African cats. They live in prides of up to 40 lions comprised of the young ones, a couple of males and several females. Lions are excellent hunters but you will more likely see one sleeping than hunting (Lions rest around 20 hours in a day). When they hunt, lions ambush their prey rather than track and chase like hyenas. They take down easy prey on their own but cooperate when hunting difficult prey like a buffalo. Females hunt more than males and usually share with the males in the pride.

A lion can weigh up to 225kgs and can live up to 14 years but many males die sooner because they get injured fighting one another. Male lions mark their territory by spraying a combination of urine and scent from glands at the base of their tails and they have to defend this territory. If a fight ensues and a male lion is defeated, then it loses the territory to the winner and the female pride is taken over together with the young ones. Male cubs are kicked out when they are between 2-4 years old. Females tend to stay with their pride for life and cooperate raising their cubs.

The King of savanna is the most exciting animal to see on a safari and the most admired by man due to its strength and beauty.

Although easier said than done, if you encounter a lion don’t run. A running target looks like prey and will be viewed as such. Try to make yourself look big and back away gradually.

 

Leopard

African leopards are slightly smaller than their lion cousins but an adult male can weigh up to 200 pounds. They rely on camouflage and being active at night to stay hidden. This beautiful cat uses trees as observation platform and for protection. Leopards are solitary, independent and seldom seen together except during mating or a mother with cubs. This cat is shy and nocturnal and lives in a wider range of habitats than most other wild cats. They rarely stay in the same area for more than a few days. Males have larger areas than females and they mark them by urinating and leaving claw marks. Leopards climb trees and are excellent swimmers. They are extremely agile jumpers (can jump 10 feet straight up) and can run at speeds of over 35 MPH. They are totally self reliant and they are well known for their expertise in hunting- sometimes kills prey up to twice their size.

A leopard with no spots and a black coat is called a panther. White spots on the tip of their tails and back of their ears help them locate and communicate with each other in tall grasses. Cubs begin to hunt with their mother at the ages of 4-5 months. East African leopards have circular spots while those found in South Africa have square spots. During the day, leopards lounge around in trees and come to ground after dusk to hunt, taking their prey up on a tree to eat at their leisure and undisturbed.

As you undertake your Africa Safari, remember to look up to see this beautiful solitary cat.

 

Buffalo

African buffalo are large and male adults weigh up to 700kgs and stand 4-6 feet tall. African buffalo are one of Africa’s most dangerous animals and are said to have killed more big game hunters than any other animal in Africa. They have a reputation of being hot tempered and dangerous and this is probably why they have never been domesticated.

African buffalo may appear in herds that can number up to a thousand individuals especially in the more open grassland. Interestingly, there are a few scuffles amongst herd members perhaps on the realization that the males’ strong curved horns could cause serious injury to one another in a brawl. Males will from time to time fight for dominance, but such battles are known to be brief.

African buffalo prefers eating tall, coarse grass as well as bushes and needs to drink every day- a reason why buffalo are never found in the desert.

African buffalo can run at speeds of about 35MPH. They protect their calves by pushing them into the middle of the herd when danger lurks and are known to mob a predator especially if there’s a calf calling for help. Buffalo mate and give birth during rainy season only.

While a solitary buffalo can be quite unpredictable, they are usually docile beasts in a herd safe for their tendency to stampede en masse when alarmed.

 

Elephant

African elephant is the largest mammal in the world and remarkably adaptable. They can be over 14 feet tall and 30 feet wide and can weigh up to 12000 pounds. Elephants are known to live in woodlands, forests, deserts and savanna. Poaching during the 1970’s and 1980’s led to a dramatic decrease in elephant numbers. The threat is still live and posses a real danger to this great mammal especially in African countries where there is political instability.

Elephants live in family groups of up to 100 members headed by a matriarch. They are social and affectionate animals and communicate using a variety of low frequency grumbles and rumbles which can be picked up 6 miles away. They use their feet to listen and pick up sub-sonic rumblings made by other elephants through vibrations in the ground. They waive their trunks up in the air and from side to side to smell better. To cool themselves, elephants flap their ears and just as humans have hand preference (either right or left hand); elephants prefer one tusk over the other. Elephant’s tusk grow throughout their lives and their skin is one inch thick. They use their trunk as snorkel when swimming. Elephant mothers pay extra attention to their babies and orphans are nursed by other mothers in the group. An elephant calf often sucks its trunk for comfort. Young elephants are weaned at the age of 4-5 years when their tusks start getting in the way and they may move out of the family group at the age of 10-12 years.

Elephant drink between 30-50 gallons of water every day and are great vegetarians. They eat grass, twigs, leaves, seed pods and fruits. An adult elephant can consume up to 375 pounds of vegetation every day and spends 16-18 hours per day eating. As you can imagine, these causes significant destruction if the habitat range is limited. It’s easy to tell where a family of elephants has been by the number of trees destroyed.

A bull elephant can be dangerous, as can herds or mothers with young elephants. Keep your distance and if in a car make sure your drive way is clear as you may not have a chance to reverse. Elephants are known to run faster than a car can reverse. Watch for the warning signs; flapping of ears, kicking up dust or trumpeting – clear indicators that it’s about to charge.

 

Rhino

Rhino once widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa has been hunted to the brink of extinction and is probably the hardest of the big five to spot. Rhinos are large mammals (second to elephant) and can weigh up to 6000 pounds. There are two species of rhino in Africa:

Black rhino- has suffered significant reduction in population in the last two decades. It’s estimated that there are only about 4000 left in the wild. Black rhinos are usually solitary and live in savanna, shrub and tropical bush areas. They eat leaves, bushes, small tree branches and shoots. They have a prehensile lip to strip leaves off bushes.

White rhino is more numerous and numbers slightly more than 17000 with a heavy concentration in Southern Africa (80%). White rhinos tend to be more social and live in groups. They live in the savanna and are grazers. They have long, flat lip adapted for grazing.

Rhinos are shortsighted, a little hot tempered but wonderful to look at. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many left to look at these days thanks to poaching. Used for medicinal purposes to reduce fever, rhino horn is much prized in Asia and it’s valued at $30000 per pound. Each horn weighs 6-8 pounds and therefore posses a great temptation for poachers. Rhinos can live up to 30-50 years if poaching is eradicated.

Rhinos tend to be wary of humans but occasionally charge at vehicles that get too close.

Lake Bogoria National Park

“Watch out; don’t get too close”, “Stop – danger zone – go back……” the signposts warn. The earth collapses under your feet and beneath there is boiling water……

Located at the northern region of the Kenya Rift, Bogoria is a shallow (2m Deep) alkaline lake and lies 25 Km south of Baringo. The reserve covers 107 Sq Kilometers. Named after its discoverer, the Kampala Bishop James Hannington was the first European to sight this place while heading for the diocese via Thompsons route in 1885. While this was the glory day for the priest, it also marked his last journey. As fate would have it, upon reaching Lake Victoria, the priest was murdered by order of the cruel king of Buganda, Mwanga II.

 

Lake Bogoria Park was opened to visitors in 1970 and was established as a National Reserve in November 1983. The park was primarily established to protect the greater kudu, found on the western slopes of the Laikipia Escarpment.

 

The great English geologist J.W Gregory described the lake as “the most beautiful view in Africa”. True to his words, this lake displays superb scenery of bluish hills populated with dry bush, grasslands and riverine forests, framing the calm water shallow pinned with flamingoes. Beyond the eastern shore, the soil rises abruptly to 600m in the Laikipia Escarpment. At the opposite edge, the earth forms strangely colored swampy crusts, which break up in deep gaps spitting stinky sulphur waters and steam jets that erupts furiously 2.5-3 meters into the air. Witness the hot springs and geysers hot enough to boil an egg in a matter of seconds! The close-up geysers, the pink brushstrokes of the flamingoes on the lake and farther the dramatic backdrop of the Laikipia Escarpment, convey a hardly beatable aesthetical composition.

 

Lake Bogoria is not even the least of a wildlife desert either. Great wildlife fans will appreciate the unparalleled value of being the most accessible place in all the country where you have the chance to spot the majestic greater kudu. In addition the park also hosts a large population of beautiful pink flamingoes, small herds of Thompson’s gazelle, groups of zebra, warthog, klipspringers and if lucky, you may spot leopards and cheetahs.

 

However scenic, the water is dangerously hot and visitors are asked to tread carefully.

A season of plenty, does the number count?

 

A spectacular scene has been unfolding in the Maasai Mara in the last month. The animal kingdom has been treating Kenya’s tourists to what is arguably a wonder of the world in its own right.

More than 1.4 million wildebeest and a herd of over 200,000 zebras and gazelles have already migrated into the Maasai Mara from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania.

The migration is expected to continue in the next three months. As the migration continues, it has been a field day for the predators, especially the lions and leopards, which are changing their diets from antelopes, buffalos and zebras.

 

On offer too, are the wildebeest as the animals are easy prey due to their large population and herd mentality.

 

Crocodiles too, are having the time of their lives, closely following the wildebeest migration, then lay in wait for an opportunity to strike as the wildebeest make their way into different territories.

This is one of the most exclusive scenes tourists at Maasai Mara are now enjoying.

Migration has brought balance to the Mara eco-system. More than 250,000 of the wildebeest die from drowning, stampede, or are attacked by predators. It’s worth noting that, even this great migration carnage is not enough to reduce the wildebeest numbers. The deaths during migration are replenished by the more than 400,000 births a year. Deaths during migration are considered a natural population check — “natural selection at its best”.

Lion prides escort and welcome the migrating wildebeest on either side of the Mara River Crossings. The lions fill up their stomachs with gnu carcasses so much the prey in turn subdues the prides in the plains with little fear.

 

As long as a lion has had his 35 or so kilogrammes of meat a day, it poses no threat. All that wildebeest need is to sacrifice a cousin here, a distant aunt there and they are fine. Leopards on the other hand, don’t have to move far to hunt. All they’ll do is pounce on unsuspecting wildebeest as they pass by the leopards’ tree parches. The rest scatter as usual in different directions. It’s just another sacrifice after all; they still have the numbers.

Hundreds of wildebeest cross the Mara River.

The first batch of wildebeest from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains have crossed the crocodile-infested Mara River.

 

Heavy rains have been pounding the reserve for the last six months and have improved pastures. For this reason, the wildebeests are expected to delay going back to Serengeti to calve.

The herds are expected to head north, following the rains (or their effects) in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

 

On their trek, the wildebeests’ path is cut several times by rivers in Serengeti, and in Kenya, their track is cut again by the Mara River.

 

For the better part of the year, the rivers are relatively mild, but they can become violent, causing floods and destruction in case of heavy rains at their sources.

Rivers remain the major obstacle to the movement of the wildebeests. The animals arrive at the river in their tens of thousands, and gather waiting to cross.

 

For days, their numbers swell and anticipation grows, but many times, for no apparent reason, they turn and wander away from the river’s banks.

 

Eventually they choose a crossing point. The point varies each year and cannot be predicted accurately. Remain with me and lets see their choice this year.

 

Wildebeest Migration!! Why the delay?



Arson halts wildebeest migration

A diplomatic row is simmering after Tanzanians living around the Serengeti Game Reserve allegedly set the area on fire to block the wildebeest migration.The infernos that have lasted for two weeks have delayed hundreds of wildebeest from Serengeti plains gathered on the Mara River ready to cross into Kenya. Hundred of acres of the reserve in Northern Tanzania along the migratory routes are still on fire and have pushed back wildlife.The spectacular Mara River wildebeest crossing is expected to kick off the annual tourism peak season in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

 

Hold talks

Narok County Council, the custodians of the reserve, have appealed to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism to hold talks with respective ministries in Tanzania to solve the standoff.The reserve’s chief warden, Mr Michael Ole Koikai, said tourists who started arriving last week have pitched camp along the banks of the river to watch the migration which has been delayed by the fires.Mr Koikai said the animals attempted to cross twice but could not access the river.

“Many of these tourists are forced to pay more than they had planned because of this delay, since they don’t want to leave before experiencing the spectacular 7th wonder of the world,” said Mr Koikai.

Stakeholders, who are already afraid of losing revenue, have joined the call asking the government to intervene.

The intrigues and twinge of a mass movement.

“Wonders of the world will never cease” I sighed out of hunger, thirst and exhaustion. “Fate is so cruel and unjust” I quipped. “Who among us sinned that we have to pay their sins with hunger, thirst, long treks and even death? No one seemed to have answers to the many questions doing rounds in my mind.

 

Each year, far south in the great vastness of the Serengeti, the wildebeest raise their dignified but quaint heads, sniff the air and, as if by one accord, start the long trek sometimes across very dry areas with very little to drink if any. This long and tedious journey to the Kenyan border and onto the Masai Mara and back forms the wildebeest mass movement. Famously known as” wildebeest migration” this spectacle attracts visitors locally and internationally. Drawn by the sweet grass raised by the long rains of April and May, a large number of wildebeest and zebra enter Masai Mara around the end of June after exhausting the grazing in Tanzania’s Northern Serengeti. More than half a million wildebeest enter the Mara and are joined by another 100,000 from the Loita Hills East of the Mara. The herds draw ravening packs of predators, especially hyenas and lions. Driving in the midst of these great herds is an unimaginable experience. While the eyes feast on the spectacle, the air carries the smell, dust and the sounds of hundreds of thousands of animals.

There is absolutely nowhere else on earth to compare with this wildlife marvel-“the wildebeest migration”. Thousands of the lame, laggard and sick never complete the cycle. More die, by drowning or by the teeth of the cunning crocodile, while trying to cross the muddy waters of Mara and Talek rivers. Once the Mara’s grass has been devoured and when fresh rain in Tanzania has brought forth a new flush there, the herds turn south, heading hundreds of kilometers back to Serengeti and the Ngorongoro plains. Here, the young are dropped in time to grow sufficiently strong to undertake the long march north, six months later.

 

And I thought, sometimes it “just happens”. Sometimes it seems it never will. Mother Nature continually runs fresh water through her lakes and streams and adds just enough life to the waters to keep them healthy and void of toxic substances. She doesn’t overpopulate her waters. Though it may seem cruel she allows only the strongest individuals of each species to survive so that the species itself remains healthy…. Natures balancing act of an ecosystem!!

 

The wildebeest, also called the gnu is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. It is a hooved mammal. Wildebeest is Dutch for “wild beast” or “wild cattle” in Afrikaans, while Connochaetes derives from the Greek words konnos and khaite.

Lake Nakuru National Park – Kenya Safaris

 

Lake Nakuru National Park lies 160km North-West of Nairobi. Nakuru is a masai name and means “dust or dusty place” Nakuru is in Africa’s Great Rift valley, a 9,600Km crack in earth’s crust stretching from Lebanon to Mozambique. . It was formed due to geological tension in the earth’s crust that caused a deep depression, while probably forcing the sides upwards. The floor of the valley is normally below sea level. In Kenya, the Rift Valley gave rise to many lakes that have become a habitat for diverse wildlife. The walls of the Rift Valley are called escarpments. The famous escarpments of Kenya are the Mau Escarpments. Mau escarpments are famous for their height which rises over 8500 feet.

 

The amazing attribute about the Rift Valley is that once it reaches the Kenyan border, it diverges into two rifts, which later converge near Lake Rukwa in southern Tanzania. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and the habitats around the lake systems attract a wealth of large mammals (rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard) and are one of the best areas in Kenya for bird watching.

 

Lake Nakuru is a small (varies from 5 to 30 sq km) shallow alkaline lake on the edge of Nakuru town. The lake is world famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth with pink flamingoes often numbering more than a million. They feed on the abundant algae, which thrives in warm water. The lake is rich in birdlife with over 400 resident species on the lake and in the surrounding park. Do not miss the unforgettable fish eating birds-pelicans and cormorants.

Lake Nakuru National Park covers 188 sq kms and is dominated by the shallow waters of the lake at its centre. Large mammals include tree climbing lions, buffalo, waterbuck, hippo and Rothschild’s giraffe. The park has more than 25 rhinos- one of the largest concentrations in the country. Nakuru is one of the best places in Kenya to see black and white rhino, and for making daytime leopard sightings.




Folks on safari game drives watch a leopard in the Serengeti national park