Lake Nakuru Troubles

Lake Nakuru is a park under pressure. For a start, there aren't many places in the park where you can't see or hear the clamour of Kenya's fourth-largest city just beyond the fence. But beyond such longer-lasting concerns, the park authorities just can't take a trick.

In 2002, two park rangers were killed by lions within weeks of each other – both were walking from the old park gate to a nearby building. In response, the park authorities killed 10 lions – it was impossible to identify the culprit and no-one wanted a man-eater roaming the park or surrounding area.

Then, in 2014, the lake levels rose, as they did across Kenya's Rift Valley lakes. Apart from considerably reducing the land surface area of the park, the waters forced the authorities to abandon the old main park entrance (as you enter from downtown Nakuru), which was moved to higher ground a couple of kilometres away. The waters have receded a little, but the old gate remains one of the park's more haunting spectacles, and many lakeside access roads remain submerged and, of course, impassable.

In 2015, more than 300 buffaloes (out of a total park population of 4500) and a smaller number of other herbivore species died in an anthrax outbreak.

As if such misfortunes weren't sufficient, six rhinos were poached from within the park's boundaries in 2014; in January 2017, reports emerged that a rhino had been poached within the park, although the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) later reported that a poacher (and no rhinos) had been killed. If the KWS report is true, it would be rare piece of good news for the park authorities.