Kenya, forming part of East Africa is a beautiful country, rich in wildlife and nature, with a topography of mountains, lakes, forests, wildlife and coast
Just 90 kms away from the bustling capital city Nairobi is the second largest freshwater lake in Kenya called Lake Naivasha. It is at 1880 metres above sea level and the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. Naivasha is part of Nakuru district. The word Naivasha means “rippling waters” in Masai. There are a number of campsites and hotels around the lake if one wants a relaxed weekend, spent with the birdlife too.
Adjacent to Lake Naivasha, is a saline volcanic crater lake named Lake Oloidien. Smaller and less touristed, this lake is a great destination for travellers wanting to get away from crowds. It was once part of Lake Naivasha but is now its own lake. Because of its salinity, it began to produce a bacteria called spirulina, which is the main food for lesser flamingos. This lake has become a haven for lesser flamingoes and for hippo safari!!! Lake Oloidien is Kenya’s little known secret for flamingoes.
It is an ideal place for a day’s excursion to do some bird watching in both the lakes. The charges for the boat rides are very reasonable for watching an action packed birdlife!!
There are not only Flamingoes to see, the Fish eagle is waiting for you as well as several hippo families and many other wetland species.
There are seagulls, kingfisher, cormorants, pelicans, Egyptian geese, and the African fish eagle preying for its meal in lake Naivasha.
Thousands of bright pink flamingoes are spread over the lake Oloidien, like a carpet, and the pink picture they paint is a natural spectacle. The families of hippos with their peculiar grunt and the majestic yawn is a moment to be captured.
Around 170 kms from Nairobi in the Rift valley, is another beautiful lake called lake Nakuru. This lake forms part of the Nakuru National Park (NNP). It is also a soda lake and home to millions of pink flamingoes who feed on the abundant algae, and line the shores of the lake.
The flamingoes are the poster birds for Lake Nakuru. Both the lesser and the greater flamingoes can be seen here. The greater flamingo characterized by a red bill with black tip and a deep pink plumage is less commonly seen than the lesser flamingo which is slightly smaller and has a pink bill and a white plumage. NNP is a home for around 400 bird species and the large fish eating birds like the white pelicans and cormorants. There are numerous migrating birds from other lakes in addition to weavers, plovers and vultures to name a few! Interesting to note is that, in the year 2011, Lake Nakuru National Park has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
NNP is an excellent place for spotting the endangered species – the rhinos black and white and the Rothschild giraffe. Huge herds of waterbuck, zebra, wild buffalo, the leopard and prides of lion can be seen. The lions in NNP can climb trees.
An outing to NNP is highly recommended for bird enthusiasts. One can enter the park after paying the park fees to Kenya Wildlife service (KWS) and watch the drama and action of both the birdlife and the wildlife.
Bird lovers, ornitholigists, bird enthusiasts or just nature lovers- be sure to visit Kenya’s beautiful lakes and be a part of the birdlife!