Millions of Pink Flamingos at Lake Nakuru

Millions of Pink Flamingos at Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is situated in Kenya a protected and preserved jewel in Lake Nakuru National Park. The surface of the  lake has an area of 40 km2 (a little over 15 square miles). It’s relatively shallow as lakes go, being some 3m (about 10 feet) in depth. Nakuru means “Dust or Dusty Place” in the Maasai language.

 

 

It’s a so called soda or alkaline lake with high concentrations of carbonate salts. Did you know that some soda lakes can contain such high concentrations of salts that practically no vertebrates except flamingos can withstad these high concentrations and live there.

 

 

Even Charles Darwin wrote: ‘How surprising it is that flamingoes in considerable numbers inhabit such lakes. Thus we have a little living world within itself, adapted to these inland lakes of brine.’ (from “A Naturalist’s Voyage Round the World” book)

 

 

High concentrations of carbonate salts also cause abundance of algae in such lakes, which serves as the main food supply for the flamingos.

 

 

That’s why lake Nakuru attracts such vast numbers of beautiful flamingos that famously line its shores every day.  By the way distinctive pink or reddish colour of flamingos comes from carotenoids contained in crustacean shells and plant plankton.

 

 

As you already understood Nakuru Lake is best known for thousands, sometimes even millions of these famous pink birds nesting along its shores. The concentration of the birds visiting Nakaru at any given time has been estimated at upto 1.5 million flamingos. This large gathering of Flamingos gives the impression that the lake is pink in color.

 

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Category: Travel