Lake Nakuru Facts
- The surprisingly simple term of Lake Nakuru serves as the english language name of this magnificent creation of natural forces. The comparatively short moniker also currently represents the only commonly used name for this geological wonder.
- That precise term stems directly from the language of the local Indigenous Peoples. In their language, the word roughly translates as either dusty place or simply dust. The reason for this surprising name, though, remains shrouded in antiquity.
- The magical location wasn’t discovered by outsiders until the early 1890’s. History records that Walter Gregory accomplished that noteworthy addition to science. At that time, the Scottish geologist first encountered the lake and surrounding region.
- The stunning Lake Nakuru further represents one of a very unique group of lakes. Collectively, these remain known as the Rift Valley Soda Lakes. Along with the others of the group, it possesses a strongly alkaline nature that sets them apart from others.
- This lake also forms part of Lake Nakuru National Park, an astonishingly beautiful haven for wildlife, including many threatened species. The beauty and importance of this incredible site led to its being protected under the Ramsar Convention.
Lake Nakuru Physical Description
The fabulous Lake Nakuru garners much attention from those fortunate enough to visit the site. It further does so for a variety of reasons. Sheer physical size, however, does not rank among those considerations. That’s because it remains a relatively small body of water.
It nevertheless packs a great deal of impressive characteristics into that tiny area. It’s important to note, though, that its surface area varies dramatically. This occurs because the lake has no outflow. Its volume stems directly from rainfall in the surrounding region.
Due to these factors, the surface area of the formation varies quite widely, mostly according to the seasons. This typically ranges from 1.9 – 17.4 sq mi (5 – 45 sq km). Its overall diameter and precise borders also naturally change significantly over the course of the year.
Yet it boasts another physical dimension that’s hard to believe. In this case, that’s the simple depth of the lake. It’s extraordinarily shallow, averaging only 1 ft (0.3 m) in depth! In fact, the greatest measured depth of the lake at any spot only equals roughly 6 ft (1.8 m).
The nature of the water within Lake Nakuru constitutes its most remarkable trait, however. That’s due to the extremely high level of salt and alkaline levels found within its confines. The evaporation cycle present in the surrounding system maintains this distinctive trait.
Lake Nakuru Habitat and Wildlife
The mind-blowing Lake Nakuru formed in a region of the globe already well known for its abundance of natural wonders. That section of the planet likely comes as no surprise to most people, though. That’s because this remarkable body of water lies within Africa.
More precisely, it formed in what now constitutes the country of Kenya. It additionally lies south of the city of Nakuru, thus the name. This places it within the confines of the Rift Valley. That itself, along with the lake, resides in the approximate southwest of the country.
It’s not precisely known when this amazing location formed. It lies, though, at an altitude of roughly 5,755 ft (1,754 m). In the 1990’s, the water level of the site plunged dramatically. This, however, later recovered. In fact, it later rose to levels unprecedented in recent history.
That’s due to the fact that, in 2013, it received an incredible increase of water levels. Between then and 2020, it surface area temporarily expanded from 15.4 sq mi (40 sq km) to 26.3 sq mi (68 sq km). This resulted in the flooding of hundreds of local homes and park areas.
Despite its unusual waters, Lake Nakuru boasts an abundance of life. It remains extremely famous for its avian spectacle. More than 400 species of birds call this marvel of geology and the surrounding park home. Chief among these are two types of pink flamingo.
At times, up to 2 million of these birds stay on the lake at one time. The lake and surrounding park are also home to myriad animal species such as a population of both highly endangered black rhino and white rhinos. Cheetahs, lions, and leopards also appear.