Common Animals in Lake Nakuru National Park
Common Animals in Lake Nakuru National Park: Lake Nakuru National park is a magnificent birdlife and wildlife haven hosting a wide range of bird species together with several animal species. Popularly known for Lake Nakuru and the flamingos plus the rhinos, the park is one you should never miss to visit for a safari trip.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to over 50 mammal species that make their home in park’s unique savannah vegetation, the rare euphorbia forest together with the acacia woodlands which make a prefect habitant for the different mammal species.
The animal species in Lake Nakuru National Park include four of the big five animals, water animals, several land mammals and the a few reptiles mainly the pythons. The mammals include but limited to Rhinos (black and white), Rothschild Giraffes, Buffalos, Baboons, Impalas, waterbucks, hippos, colobus monkeys, hyenas, zebras, gazelless leopards, lions, pythons and many more.
The park is a Rhino Sanctuary so its home to both the black and white rhinos, currently the park has roughly 150 rhinos divided among the black and white rhinos. The park is fenced with an electric fence that protects these rhinos from poachers who would want to kill them for their horns and meat. This electric fence also protects the rhinos from wandering off out of the park.
Because of the electric fence the park doesn’t have elephants; elephants move a lot as part of their survival and the fence limits that.
Lake Nakuru National Park is also home to the rare Rothschild’s giraffe that was introduced to the park in 1980s; these rare giraffes have now become accustomed to the vegetation of Lake Nakuru National Park and are slowly becoming an indigenous species of the park.
Though Lake Nakuru National Park has a variety of animals, the park has some common animals that your will not miss on your visit to the park and below we highlight some of those animals. The list is not exhaustive but it gives you a glimpse of what expect on a game viewing spree in Lake Nakuru National Park.
- Black and White Rhinos
Rhinos are huge mammals and part of the big five animals of the wild; they are divided into two types black and white.
Black rhinos species are common in east and southern Africa and though they are called black, their colour actually varies between brown and grey. The black rhinos have a pointed/hooked upper lip
White Rhinos like the black rhinos are not white in colour rather their colour varies between brown and grey. The word white came for the misinterpretation of the Dutch word wijd which was used to describe the Rhino’s square upper lip as wide.
Rhinos are listed under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered with the black rhinos classified as near threatened.
Black rhinos feed on trees and bushes well as the white rhinos feed on grass.
Rhinos can be found in Lake Nakuru National Park all year round because the park is a rhino sanctuary.
- Rothschild’s giraffe
The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most endangered giraffe species in the world. The species is distinguished by its coat colouring that has pale orange-brown patches. This giraffe also has five assicones on the head compared to other giraffes. The giraffes stay in savannah grasslands and feed on lash grass and tree stems.
This giraffe is found in Lake Nakuru National Park all year round in the rhino sanctuary.
The Buffalo is known to be one of the most dangerous animals in Africa and among the big five because it kills more than 100 people almost yearly by goring and trampling them. The Buffalo is known for its prominent horns that have fused bases with a continuous bone shield on the head referred to as “boss”. Lake Nakuru National Park is a perfect habitant for the buffalos because they need water daily which they get from the lake and they settle well in open woodlands.
Hippos are large semiaquatic mammals and the third largest kind of land mammal; they are herbivores and they stay mainly in rivers, swamps and lakes. Lake Nakuru waters are a perfect habitat for these huge mammals and you can see them throughout the year.
Waterbucks are the largest among the 6 species of kobus and they are social sedentary mammals that live in savannah grasslands near water because they cannot endure dehydration. They feed on grass. The waterbuck is of a robust build. Their shaggy coat is reddish brown to grey, and becomes progressively darker with age. The waterbucks are around Lake Nakuru, all through the year so you won’t miss them on your visit to the park.
All the mentioned animals and many more can be viewed on a game drive in the park throughout the year and because the park is fenced, you will be sure to find them all there; however though the wet months may be tricky for you to see them, because they are shielding from the rain in the overgrown vegetation so spotting them is difficult compared to them walking freely in the park during the dry season.