After leaving the Samburu Reserve we drove to Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria. Lake Nakuru lies to the south of Nakuru and is protected by Lake Nakuru National Park. The lakes' abundance of algae attracts the vast quantity of flamingos that line the shore. Also, there are many other birds that flourish in the area as do warthogs, baboons and other large mammals. Black and White Rhinos have also been introduced. Because of the high water levels this year, the flamingoes have mostly left the area as they were unable to feed. So we ended up reducing our time spent at this reserve and moving on to Lake Bogoria where the flamingos were located.
A photograph of the lake taken in the morning.
A Waterbuck watching us. Some of the roads were not passable due to the flooding so at times we had to backtrack in order to find roads leading around the lake.
I will always remember Lake Nakuru for the family of baboons we drove by. Peter and I spent a long time observing them as I found their family interaction fascinating. In this photo you can see one of the adults checking the youngster for fleas/ticks.
A youngster munching on food.
One of the babies in the group.
I hated to leave but we had spent close to an hour watching the family and we had still had a lot to see before leaving the area.
The African buffalo is highly dangerous to humans because of its unpredictable nature. The African buffalo has never been domesticated unlike its Asian counterpart.
The Masai Giraffe is the largest subspecies of giraffe and the tallest land mammal. This Giraffe is found in Kenya and Tanzania. The Masai Giraffe has jagged spots on its body and has a short tassel of hair on its tail.
A closer view of the lake as we were driving along the road. There were some flamingos here but not the thousands that one would normally see at this lake.
The waterbuck is generally a quiet, sedentary animal although males do compete for and hold territories. The long-haired, often shaggy brown-gray coat emits a smelly, ready secretion that is thought to be for waterproofing.
The yellow-billed egret is a medium -sized heron. This egret stalks its prey methodically in shallow coastal or fresh water. The egret eats fish, frogs, crustaceans and insects.
Interestingly enough there is no colour difference between a white or black rhino given they are both grey. Both are rare in the reserves where we were so we saw very few of them on the safaris. I read that the Dutch people named the grass-eating white rhino the "Weid mind rhino" meaning Wide-mouth rhino. The English thought they were say "white" so it was all just a misinterpretation of the name. The black rhino has a hooked shaped mouth for feeding on trees. The black rhino is short tempered and extremely aggressive. They are very solitary and seldom join up with other individuals.
A close up view of the trees in Lake Nakuru. Nakuru means "dust or dusty place" in the Maasai language. Lake Nakuru National Park, close to Nakuru town was established in 1961. It started off small, only encompassing the famous lake and the surrounding mountainous vicinity but has since been extended to include a large part of the savannahs. A savanna is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close.
The rock hyrax is a medium-sized terrestrial mammal superficially resembling a guinea pig with short ears and tail. According to Wikipedia the closest living relatives to hyraxes are the modern day elephants and sirenians. The hyrax lives in rock crevices in which to escape from predators.
|Over most of its range, the rock hyrax is not endangered and in some areas is considered a major pest.|
Another Gazelle that we came across.
An Egyptian Goose.
Late afternoon we arrived at Lake Bogoria, a saline, alkaline lake that lies in a volcanic region a little north of the equator. Lake Bogoria National Reserve has been a protected National Reserve since November 29th, 1973. This year, there were flocks of flamingos that had left Lake Nakuru to come to this Reserve.
Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other leg tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behaviour is not fully understood. Standing on one leg may allow the birds to conserve more body heat even though the behaviour also takes place in warm waters. As well as standing in the water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet in the mud to stir up food from the bottom.
We spent a couple of hours here walking on the shoreline and watching the birds. In this national park, you could get out and walk as there were no dangerous animals. This Malibu Stork is a massive bird and a frequent scavenger. The bird will eat almost any animal matter it can swallow.
Flamingos' beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat and are uniquely used upside-down. The pink or reddish colour of flamingos comes from carotenoid proteins in their diet of animal and plant plankton. Flamingos are also very social birds and live in colonies whose population can number in the thousands. There were certainly thousands of birds here.
This Spur-winged Plover got its name because of a spur (a small claw) hidden in each of its wings.