Lake Nakuru

aerial view Lake nakuru showing submerged roads after lake water level rise
Flamingos in Lake Nakuru in the background
Aerial view of Lake Nakuru
Flamingos in Lake Nakuru in the background

Lake Nakuru

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    18,800 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    00°23'S 36°05'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Lake Nakuru is a very shallow, highly alkaline lake with surrounding forests and grasslands fed by four seasonal rivers and the perennial Ngosur River. A range of ecosystems including sedge swamps, seasonally flooded and dry grasslands, floodplain forests and various types of scrubland support some globally threatened mammal species such as the critically endangered African black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and the vulnerable common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), and regionally threatened bird species such as the African darter (Anhinga rufa) and the great egret (Ardea alba). The Site supports a large population of lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor). The introduction of the fish species Magadi tilapia (Oreochromis grahami ) in the Lake in the 1960s attracted some other secondary consumers, including several fish-eating bird species. There has also been an accidental introduction of the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis nilotica) that increased numbers of freshwater piscivorous bird species. Tourism is the main activity within the Site and attracts over 300,000 national and foreign vacationers annually. Threats within the park include invasive plant species and fencing that prevents animal migration, while threats within the Lake’s catchment include the expansion of Nakuru town, forestry and agricultural activities that degrade water quality and increase erosion and sedimentation.

Administrative region: 
Nakuru County

  • Global international designation: 
    • Other global designation
    • World Heritage site
  • National legal designation: 
    • Bird Sanctuary
    • Forestry Conservation Areas
    • National Park - Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents