Tourist Attraction in Kenya: Kenya Soda Lakes
Kenya Soda Lakes: Kenya is endowed with many soda lakes forming part of the East African Rift Valley system and includes lakes Bogoria, Nakuru, Elementeita, and Magadi. These lakes are characterized by steep fault escarpments, deep gorges, canyons, and craters on the rift floor, some of which have gushing geysers and hot springs. Historically, the lakes were thought to have been one continuous system called Lake Kantian. Reconstruction of the history of the four lakes based on dated sedimentary time-series data reveals unique hydrological, ecological, and species richness trends that have fluctuated through time between alkaline and freshwater conditions.
Lake Nakuru is renowned for its incredibly vast flocks of flamingo that literally turn the lake pink – with numbers reaching into the hundreds of thousands (or even millions) It’s said to be the ‘greatest bird spectacle in the world’. As it’s within easy reach of Nairobi and is one of the few fenced national parks, it’s a safe haven for black and white rhino as the Rangers are better able to protect them from poachers. The white rhino is grazers and is found on the grassy floodplains around the lake; black rhino is browsers and found more in the thick acacia woodlands on the southern reaches of the lake.
Wildlife is plentiful here and some of the more notable species include the endemic Rothschild’s giraffe, large numbers of buffalo, waterbuck, reedbuck and other antelope; even small numbers of lion and leopard. Apart from the flamingos, bird lovers should be able to spot large numbers of the white pelican and a myriad of other woodland and water birds.
Lake Elementaita is a small (18sq km) soda lake in the eastern sweep of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Elementaita is surrounded by a spectacular country that played an important role in the early colonial history of Kenya. This was the estate and stronghold of Lord Delamere. Today Elementeita is a peaceful and low-key place, lying in the shadow of an impressively peaked hill known locally known as the ‘Sleeping Maasai’
Birds of Lake Elementeita
Out of the 400 bird species, there are 13 globally-threatened and 8 regionally-threatened species that live there. Both Greater and Lesser Flamingo varieties are attracted to Lake Elementeita by the insect larvae, crustaceans, and blue-green algae. This lake is the only breeding colony in East Africa for Great White Pelicans with over 8000 breeding pairs. There are over 100 species of migratory birds, including the African Spoonbill, Black-Necked Grebe, Yellow Billed Stork, Gull Billed Tern, Pied Avocet, Black Winged Stilt, and Grey-Headed Gull. These lands have an important role along the African-Eurasian flyway system, where billions of birds travel from northern breeding grounds to African spots in the winter months.
The lake is the heart of an arid landscape, in the shadow of the dramatic walls of the Siracho Range. The lake is also famous for geysers and hot springs along the bank of the lake and in the lake. In four locations around the lake can be observed at least 10 geysers, which erupt up to 5 m high. Geyser activity is affected by the fluctuations of lake level, which may inundate or expose some geysers.
The soda waters of the lake attract massive flocks of Flamingo, and the lake is often carpeted with pink. The 32 sq km lake is still volcanically active. The Western shore is lined with spouting geysers, spurting steam and bubbling geothermal pools. Freshwater springs at the lake edge attract an abundance of birds and wildlife. There are many Fish Eagles, which often prey on the local flamingos.
Magadi is an amazingly unique and serene destination for nature lovers, bird lovers, and adventure camping tourists. Endowed with a wide variety of bird species. The lake’s spectacular geographical landscape to the northern part serves as the main attraction to many visitors in search of pristine camping grounds in the vast wilderness.
The Lake is well known for its wading birds, including flamingos and Pelicans. A number of wildlife is also found around the lake; this includes giraffes, antelopes, ostriches, zebras, wildebeests, hyenas, and a few lion families are only seen very early in the morning or at night when the temperatures are low. Elephants and buffalos can be seen at the Conservancy to the south of the lake.
The Lake occupies the lowest level of the vast rift valley depression. Approximately 100 square kilometers and its bed consist almost entirely of solid or semisolid soda; crispy caked crust, dyeing the waters vivid pink.
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