HomeContact UsDonate NowSearchPrint Page  
LAKENET LogoProtecting and restoring the health of lakes throughout the worldProtecting and restoring the health of lakes throughout the world
  LakesMapsNewsIssues & SolutionsProgramsLinksCalendarAbout UsJoin LakeNet
Lake Profile


Flamingos on Lake Nakuru, Kenya

General Information

Description Lake Nakuru, located in the East African Rift valley, is protected by a surrounding National Park (1961) that covers 90 square miles. Lake Nakuru National Park is the only park within Kenya to be enitrely fenced in. Protective measures within the park have helped threatened species, including the famous Black Rhino, to repopulate.

Lake Nakuru is also known for its spectacular bird populations including both the Lesser and greater Flamingo.

Country Kenya
Latitude 0° -24' 0" (-0.4000)
Longitude 36° 5' 0" (36.0833)
Lake Region Rift Valley Lakes


 Nakuru global index map (LakeNet Explorer)
 Nakuru locator map
 Lakes of East Africa
 Africa Lake Biodiversity Conservation Priorities 2003

Physical Characteristics

Description Lake Nakuru is fed by four seasonal rivers and the permanent Ngosur River. The seasonal rivers are the Njoro, Nderit, Makalia and Lamudhiak, all of which originate in the Eastern Mau Forest. The Mau Forest is also part of the catchment basin for several other Rift Valley lakes.
Volume 0.09 km3
Surface Area 44.00 km2
Depth Mean depth: 2.5 m
Maximum depth: 4.5 m
Origin Tectonic
Type Brackish
Catchment Catchment size: 1,800.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 41:1


Economic Value Within the neighboring town of Nakuru nearly 50% of urban farmers use irrigation to support agriculture despite the fact that the use of domestic water for irrigation is illegal. Further, 97.5% of Nakuru's population relies on agriculture for food. (Urban Agriculture, ASC)
Major Cities Nakuru (estimated population growth of 10% per annum)
Population 360,000 (1997)

Watershed Management

Description The Kenya Forest Working Group - a sub-committee of the East Africa Wildlife Society comprised of national, international and local, governemental and non-governmental organizations - is working with conservation and management of water catchment area and downstream agriculture.

WWF is also working to control pollution, and siltation threats by increasing public participation and support through education.

Issues Presence of heavy metals (lead, zinc, mercury copper and arsenic) have been linked to the massive deaths of flamingos on Lake Nakuru. Pollution in Kenyan lakes is widely attributed to the collapse of urban sewage systems and unregulated industrial effluent discharge.
Other Issues Erosion
Point source pollution
Polluted runoff
Specific Contaminants Industrial
Monitoring WWF has helped create a Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry (PRTR) to track pollutants released by local industries.
Monitoring Programs In-Lake
Water Quality

Water Quality
Land Use

Biodiversity Conservation

Description Both the Greater and Lesser Flamingo inhabit Lake Nakuru. Flamingos on the lake appear to be bioaccumulating heavy metals.

Nakuru is also home to a wide variety of terrestrial birds (about 450 species) and 56 mammal species including the white rhino. In areas surrounding the lake there are 550 unique species of plants. Notably, the blue-green cyanophyte Spirulina platensis grows in dense blooms, which colors the lake as well as providing major food source for the flamingo. (Kenya Wildlife Service)

Designations LakeNet Biodiversity Priority
National Designation
Ramsar Site
WWF Global 200
Species of Concern

LakeNet Programs

World Lake Basin Management Initiative
LBMI Regional Experience Sharing and Review Workshop for Africa


LakeNet News, Winter 2003-2004 (PDF)  Newsletter. Final. English. 12/20/2003.
Nakuru  Experience Brief. Final. 2/27/2006.


Biodiversity Conservation of the World's Lakes: A Preliminary Framework for Identifying Priorities
ILEC Database
Kenya: Lake Nakuru Conservation and Development Project
Kenyan forests and international law
Lake Nakuru - photo gallery
Lake Nakuru Catchment Conservation Project
Lake Nakuru Conservation and Development Project Implementation Summary
Lake Nakuru Conservation and Development Project: Department For International Development
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru Revisted (WWF)
Ramsar Sites Database: Lake Nakuru profile
Satellite tracing lesser flamingos in East Africa
'Water for Wildlife' project


2/26/2007 - Government acts to save threatened lakes in Kenya
1/8/2007 - Kenya: Tourists Flock to Lake Nakuru National Park
4/7/2005 - Disappearing Lakes, Shrinking Seas
11/4/2004 - Residents in a Rush to Kill Lake Nakuru (Kenya)
4/23/2004 - Towards a Lake Basin Management Initiative
8/23/2003 - Plastic a threat to flamingoes
7/20/2003 - Alarm over park pollution
4/5/2001 - Alarm over sick birds at Bogoria
7/6/2000 - Researcher develops simple filter
2/29/2000 - Flamingoes dying in Kenya

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
Duker, L. and L. Borre. 2001. Biodiversity conservation of the world's lakes: a preliminary framework for identifying priorities. LakeNet Report Series Number 2. Annapolis, Maryland USA.
International Lake Environment Committee, the United Nations Environment Program and Environment Agency, Government of Japan. 1997. World Lakes Database.

Search again


Visit Art.com



Lakes | Maps | News | Issues & Solutions | Programs | Links | Calendar | About Us | Join Us
Home | Contact Us | Donate Now | Search | Legal Information
Copyright © 2003-2004 LakeNet. Site developed by RelianceNet. Email the webmaster. Site statistics by Google Analytics.