While most people on a custom Kenya safari are there for a chance to spot the “Big Five” – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard – birders are flocking to Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park for something a little smaller. The park boasts nearly 500 species of winged wildlife!

One of the reasons so many birds dwell in this area is the body of water itself. The alkaline-saline lake, also known as a soda lake, has a pH level of 10.5 and a high alkalinity as well, containing ions such as sodium and bicarbonate-carbonate.

The lake is an important stop for migratory birds that fly to and from Europe. However, visitors will also see a vast array of indigenous birds, including lesser and greater flamingos, the lake's most popular resident.

Plant and animal life that are common in other lakes also reside in Lake Nakuru, such as phytoplankters dominated by blue-green algae, which support the area's lesser flamingo population as well as its introduced fish.

Visitors should also look in the vegetation that surrounds the lake for birds. According to Kenya Wildlife Service, it is mainly wooded with bushy grasslands that host a number of species.

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