Attractions within Nakuru City : A city in Kenya’s Rift Valley is called Nakuru. It is the third-largest city in Kenya and the seat of Nakuru County. With 570,674 urban residents as of 2019, Nakuru has surpassed Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, to become the largest urban centre in the Rift Valley. The city is located 160 kilometres (99 miles) from Nairobi along the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway.

Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes, is located two km south of the town of Nakuru and is a component of the Lake Nakuru National Park. In 1988, the park was designated as a rhino sanctuary. It was also designated a Ramsar site in 1990 and an Important Bird Area in 2009.The park is renowned around the world for having a large flamingo population. Great white pelicans that nest nearby in Lake Elmenteita use it as a vital feeding ground. The park is home to 56 different kinds of mammals, including Rothschild’s giraffes, and over 450 different bird species.

Lake Nakuru

One of the lakes in the Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru is situated 1,754 metres (5,755 feet) above sea level. It is protected by Lake Nakuru National Park and is located in Kenya’s rift valley to the south of Nakuru. The lake’s profusion of algae used to draw a large number of flamingos, who were known to line the shores. Along with warthogs, baboons, and other large mammals, other birds and large mammals also thrive there. Additionally, southern white rhinos and eastern black rhinos have been introduced.

Early in the 1990s, the lake’s water level severely decreased, but it has since mostly recovered. Flamingos arrived to Lake Bogoria in search of food source in 2013 after the lake saw an alarming rise in water levels. The Maasai word for Nakuru is “Dust or Dusty Place”. In 1961, Lake Nakuru National Park was established adjacent Nakuru town. It initially just covered the well-known lake and the mountains nearby, but it has since grown to cover a significant portion of the savannahs.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands provides protection for Lake Nakuru.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park, which covers 188 km2 (73 mi2) and is located close to Nakuru Town, was established in 1961. The flamingos breeding along the shorelines, counting in the thousands and sometimes millions, are what make it famous. A frequently fluctuating mass of pink obscures the shallow lake’s surface, making it difficult to distinguish it from other objects. The finest viewing point is from Baboon Cliff, and the quantity of flamingos on the lake changes with water and food conditions. An region 188 km (117 mi) around the lake that has been cordoned off as a sanctuary for giraffes and both black and white rhinos is also noteworthy.

Recently, the park was expanded, in part to create a safe haven for black rhinos. This project required the construction of a fence, but not to stop wildlife migration but to deter poachers. The park extends for 12.1 km (7.5 mi) along the south-eastern border with the Soysambu conservancy, which represents the last surviving wildlife corridor to Lake Naivasha and a potential expansion of rhino habitat in the future.

As of 2009, the park is home to more than 25 eastern black rhinos, one of the greatest concentrations in the nation, as well as about 70 southern white rhinos. There are also some Rothschild’s giraffe, which were also moved from western Kenya for safety that began in 1977.Both of the Kenyan subspecies of waterbuck are present here and are quite widespread. Lions, cheetahs, and leopards are among the predators; the latter has become considerably more common recently. Additionally, there are sizable pythons in the park that live in the dense woodlands and are frequently spotted hanging from trees or crossing the roadways. The lake and the area around it are home to a wide variety of other bird species, including flamingos and others of their sort such the African fish eagle, Goliath heron, hamerkop, pied kingfisher, and Verreaux’s eagle.

Menengai Crater

Attractions within Nakuru City
Menengai Crater

In Kenya’s Great Rift Valley is the enormous shield volcano Menengai Crater, which has one of the largest calderas in the world. The second largest volcano caldera in Africa, it is also the largest volcano caldera in Kenya.The countryside surrounding its flanks is enriched by rich loam soils created by volcanic activity. The Rift Valley’s bottom is where the crater is located. The conspicuous 12 x 8 km caldera and volcano both created around 8000 years ago. The volcano formed roughly 200,000 years ago. There are multiple post caldera lava flows covering the caldera floor. One of the best-preserved calderas in the world in the Krakatau style is the Menengai volcano. In the massive mass of lava boulders and difficult ridges that makes up Menengai’s caldera, there is relatively little silt.

Menengai Forest

An urban forest known as Menengai Forest can be found near the Kenyan town of Nakuru. In the middle of the forest stands the Menengai Crater. In the 1930s, it was gazetted as a forest. Milimani Estate in the south, Ngachura and Bahati in the east, Solai in the north, and Olo-Rongai in the west are the nearest residential areas to it. The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and the Nakuru General Kenyan Prison are just two of the government of Kenya facilities that have been divided off from the forest. The Geothermal Development Company is also conducting a geothermal exploration project beneath the Menengai Crater.

Insects, birds, and mammals are all present. Tree hyrax, rock hyrax, olive baboon, black-faced vervet monkey, mountain reedbuck, Kirk’s dik-dik, and slender mongoose are examples of mammals. Verreaux’s eagle (which is only found in Menengai Forest in Nakuru), Abyssinian ground hornbill, lesser spotted eagle, African marsh harrier, Horus swift, turn-tailed ravens, red-winged sterling, and other bird species are among the species of birds. Spiders, mollusks, and butterflies are examples of other animals.

Hyrax Hill

A ancient site called Hyrax Hill can be found in Kenya’s Rift Valley province close to Nakuru. It is a rocky outcrop that is about half a km long and rises to a summit elevation of 1,900 metres above sea level. Louis Leakey made the initial discovery of the site in 1926 while conducting excavations at the neighbouring Nakuru Burial Site. Mary Leakey carried out the first significant excavations between 1937 and 1938. At Hyrax Hill, there are two separate zones of occupation: one from the Pastoral Neolithic and the late Iron Age, and the other from the Sirikwa’s earlier Iron Age.

The hyrax is a small mammal that inhabits rocky places, and Hyrax Hill is named after it. Hyraxes were originally widespread in the rocky holes of Hyrax Hill, but their numbers have decreased recently as a result of the area’s quick urbanisation.

Hyrax Hill was the site of ancient communities that Louis Leakey found in 1926 while excavating the adjacent Nakuru Burial. Because he thought it was a recent habitation and had other sites to work on, he chose not to excavate it at the time. In 1937, Louis Leakey and his wife Mary Leakey visited the region once more. At Hyrax Hill, Mary Leakey started the main excavations. Between 1937 and 1938, she dug up both Site I and Site II, naming each of them.

Dating the sites at the time was challenging because there was no carbon dating technology. Leakey mischaracterized the Iron Age “Sirikwa Holes” as an earlier settlement with “pit-dwellings.” After the National Museums of Kenya acquired Hyrax Hill in 1965, excavations at the site did not resume until Ron Clark and museum personnel completely excavated one of the Sirikwa holes for the museum’s display.

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