Painting The Town Pink-Flamingos Of Lakes Nakuru And Bogoria

A pink cloud in the sky, streamlined and synchronized flight patterns and stretches of pink sparkles; there is certainly no better way of describing the enormous number of flamingoes in Kenya’s rift valley region. These tall stilted birds with a dominant shade of pink and bald heads are without doubt some of the most iconic birds within the Rift. Their sheer presence within Rift Valley lakes elevates the economic status of these lakes, much more than other lakes that do not enjoy visitation from these birds.

flamingos--3It is estimated that two thirds of these phenomenon birds can be found in South and East Africa. This is attributed to the favorable habitats in these geographical regions.

Physiology

One group of flamingoes can be very distinct from another. Descendants of a lesser species of flamingoes can be differentiated from their greater counterparts by their blossoming and rosy plumage. Members of this group also have crimson legs and darker beaks. However, their comparatively smaller stature is only visible when the two species are sufficiently close to each other.

Beauty in the air

If you visit Rift Valley at the right time you might be able to catch the spectacular migration of the flamingoes to Lake Natron in Tanzania. Close to 3 million birds congregate and take off in one mighty surge: forming a V-shaped trail in the air and a streak of pink that is absolutely breathtaking.

flamingos-The birds migrate in unison in search of favorable breeding grounds and food. Flamingoes are known to observe strict migratory patterns, settling only in areas with saline water that makes it possible for them to nurture their chalky eggs and fend for their young ones.

Migration from East African lakes to Lake Natron is triggered by the depletion of food reserves and the onset of the breeding season. Their high dependency on environmental conditions for breeding has unfortunately led to fewer breeding grounds for the giant birds, with Lake Natron being among them. Pollution has been a constant threat to their breeding cycle.

Lake Nakuru and Bogoria

These two Kenyan lakes have gradually become the preferred destination for flamingos as they fly out from Tanzania. The abundance of algae in the two lakes is a major source of food for the birds. A trip to these two lakes is therefore necessary if you intend to get a closer look and marvel at the splendor presented by these birds. Lake Nakuru National Park is especially the place to be. A trip to the park will also bring you into contact with other equally fascinating wildlife including the protected Rothchild’s giraffe, leopards, water bucks, lions and cheetahs.

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A first hand experience of sighting  flamingos on Lake Nakuru is every photographer’s dream. The majesty of millions of birds dipping their huge beaks into the lake in search of algae and then flying out in synchronized harmony will be unfolding right before your eyes. Get your camera ready and snap away.

While at Lake Nakuru Nationa Park you can be accommodated at the Elementaita Country Lodge or Mbweha Camp, all of which are situated in close proximity of the park.