LAKE BOGORIA NATIONAL RESERVE

Lake Bogoria National Reserve Lake Bogoria is about 80 kms north of Nakuru town in the Great Rift Valley. Formerly known as Lake Hannington, this is one of the most beautiful of the Rift Valley lakes. It is shallow soda lake which was established as a National Reserve in November 1983.

The reserve covers the whole lake and its surroundings. It is a geological wonder no-one can afford to miss. Jets of steam and boiling water shoot out of geysers and fumeroles indicating the sort of volcanic activities which created the Great Rift Valley a very long time ago. When the water levels in Lake Nakuru become low, thousands of both lesser and greater flamingoes migrate to Lake Bogoria. It is the best place in Kenya to see the greater kudu which lives on the western shores of the lake. Shifting Shades of blue and green Lake Bogoria is fed by the Sandai (or Weseges) river, which rises on the eastern scarp of the Rift Valley as well as by its own hot springs.

Like most of the Rift Valley lakes, Bogoria has no outlet and this, coupled with the searing heat, causes intense evaporation. The resultant alkalinity of the water provides the ideal habitat for blue green algae cynophyte spirulina sp, the staple food for flamingos. Consisting of three basins and two ‘necks’ of and, the lake is bordered along its eastern shore by the starkly- furrowed walls of the Siracha Escarpment, which rise 610m above the water level. An insane vision of Hell Bogoria has around 200 hot springs but the largest and most spectacular collection erupt along the lakeside at Loburu, some 9km from Loboi gate. Characteristically a sign of declining volcanic activity, hot springs are an indication that molten rock (magma) lies not far below the earth surface. Boiling up from beneath the precariously shallow crust of the earth at temperatures from 94-104o C, the diamond- clear water is scalding hot to the touch and wreathed in billows of steam.

Bursting into bubbling pools and boiling waterfalls, many of the ocher-brown depressions center on sulphurous rock sculptures from which angry geysers blow jets of boiling water several meters into the air. Surreally set against the pink of the flamingos , the petrol blue lake and forbidding mass of the escarpment, punctuated by the bizarre spectacle of visitors boiling eggs in the scalding waters, this is a scene that resembles a vision from an insanely beautiful hell.

Pink Paradise The only constant alkaline habitat in the Rift Valley, Lake Bogoria provides a major feeding site for its itinerant population of an estimated 1.5 million lesser flamingos, which frequent Bogoria’s waters. Promenading the shoreline in shifting lines of mature pink and white, they can be seen scything their beaks to and fro to sift the algae from the water. Some stand on one leg, others chug through the water like ducks or upend and kick their shocking pink legs in the air- all murmur, honk and mutter in incessant dialogue. It is one of the few sanctuaries in Kenya where you may be fortunate enough to catch an early morning or late evening glimpse of the rare greater kudu. Around the Reserve’s three permanent swamps, black headed herons and sacred ibis abound but due to its high salinity the lake attracts only a few water birds, such as Cape teals, Egyptian geese, black –necked grebes, hammer kops and storks.  

 

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