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Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

L H
Hong Kong
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Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

Hi,

We are planning a month-long trip to East Africa in January, and decided to spend more of the regular safari time in Northern Tanzania because the apparently that's where the migratory animals will be that time of year.

However, flamingos are high on our list too, and we have 2-3 days in Kenya before going over to Uganda to see the gorillas. For the best viewing of flamingos in Kenya, which national park / lake should we go to? And which one is the best to access from Nairobi in a 2-3 day time frame? Is Nakuru the best place to go in early January?

Thanks a lot!

Nairobi, Kenya
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1. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

Lake Nakuru is always been the best. though some times when is rainy season they migrate to northern side Lake Bogoria. so you can put the tow places in schedule if your main target is flamingos then definitely you will spot them

Michigan
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2. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

I'm guessing this might change from year to year depending on the weather, but in mid to late January of 2010, there were lots of flamingos at Lake Borgoria and not as many at Lake Nakuru. I'll have to admit though, that I enjoyed Lake Nakuru a lot more than Borgoria - better variety of wildlife and definitely not as hot. My guide thought I might really enjoy seeing the nice geysers at Lake Borgoria. Had to chuckle because compared to even the smaller ones in Yellowstone, there is no comparison. But still, interesting.

Alsace, France
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3. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

Last January there were a lot of flamingoes at Lake Naivasha close to Fisherman's camp ... and apparently they had come from Lake Nakuru where they had been due to be ....

If 2010 was Bogoria, 2012 was Naivasha, who knows their lake of choice for 2013!!

Edinburgh, United...
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4. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

Lesser Flamingo are nomadic tending to move in response to local conditions. They really require mineral-rich very alkaline soda lakes which have large blooms of Cyanobacteria. Recent heavy rains in the Nakuru catchment area have resulted in a large influx of freshwater which has raised the level in the lake and diluted down the dissolved salts -good for most forms of aquatic life but bad for Cyanobacteria and so bad for flamingos. Almost all the Nakuru birds have moved either south to Lakes Magadi (Kenya-Tanzania border) and Natron (Tanzania) or north to Lake Bogoria.

Lake Bogoria is about a 3 hour drive north of Nakuru but is well worth a visit. I was there in July 2010 and again in 2011 -the flamingo flock was massive and very impressive -even if the geysers aren't.

Bogoria is also a good place to see East African Greater Kudu -otherwise scarce and shy in Kenya.

At times Bogoria can be ranked within the top ten natural wonders of the World!

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Edited: 13 November 2012, 22:24
L H
Hong Kong
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5. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

Wow thanks a lot for all your responses! However this has just left me more confused than before...

So would our best course of action be to decide where to go once we are in Nairobi? Or check on the forum / with local guides in late December, to see which lake hosts the largest amount of flamingos at that time?

UK
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for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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6. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

I'd be very surprised if flamingos made a sudden return to Nakuru in the next month or two for reasons posted above by Steve. The huge flocks in their hundreds of thousnds have been camped at Lake Bogoria for the last couple of years. You'll still see thousands at Nakuru (and at Lake Oloiden next to Lake Naivasha, plus lakes Elmenteita, Magadi and others) but not hundeds of thousands.

Richard

Edited: 20 November 2012, 21:22
Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

Hi Richard,

I plan to do to Kenya in Sep next year. Will the flamingos still around Lake Nakuru ?

thanks,

Sam

Edited: 21 November 2012, 06:57
Edinburgh, United...
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8. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

It really depends on the weather and no two years are alike!

This year in late August/September there were heavy rains in the Lake Nakuru catchment area leading to flooding of the lake and dilution of its soda content. This led to a marked reduction in the amount of Cyanobacteria (flamingo food) in the lake and so there were next to no flamingos. There were still flamingos at Lake Bogoria about 3 hours drive north but the numbers were down even there.

If you want to be sure of seeing flamingos whist visiting Nakuru you should plan for a day trip to Lake Bogoria as a fail-safe.

L H
Hong Kong
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9. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

Thanks a lot! We are definitely going to Bogoria now, and just have to choose between Nakuru and Naivasha...

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Where is best to see flamingos in early January?

The good thing about lake naivasha is cause of the boat ride to the crescent island,bike ride in hells gates,rock climbing too and if your travel dates are on the weekend its usually packed to the fullest by the local residents and you will not get enough space to enjoy.

Lake nakuru is rich with wild animal with a possible time to see leopards and the white rhinos as well as the other animal and thousands of bird species too.

Have a safe trip.