Lake Bogoria

Lake Bogoria National Reserve is 10km north of the Equator and 285km north of Nairobi. It sits on the floor of the eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley at an altitude of 1000m above sea level from which the escarpment forms one of Kenya’s most pictures que backdrops. The lake lies in a trough below the Ngendelel escarpment, a sheer wall 600 metres (2,000 ft) high.

It is 107km sq and most of the reserve is occupied by Lake Bogoria, a spectacular sight reflecting searing blue skies and the rose pink of flamingos. It is well known for its hot springs and geysers dotting thesouthern shore of the lake. In the steam jets, an egg can be boiled and cooked in seven minutes. Sulphur water gushes out of the ground and it is known to have therapeutic value. The hot springs are natural spas and steam baths. The hot spring water geysers are extremely hot – the gushing out water is at boiling point and visitors are forewarned to be Cautious.

The reserve is in a semi-arid area. The only major river feeding the lake is the Waseges River, which rises on the northern slopes of the Aberdare ranges . The Waseges runs through productive agricultural land higher up, through bush and scrub used for grazing, and then through very dry bush before entering the lake at its northern end. The lake is surrounded by grasslands dotted with bushes. There is acacia-ficus woodland to the south, and the north merges into a papyrus swamp.

Lake Bogoria National Reserve has 135 species of birds. Like Nakuru, lake Bogoria is alkaline, feeding blue-green algae which in turn feed flamingoes. thousands of flamingoes, greater kudu, impala, buffalo, zebras, klipspringer and leopards attract visitors to the reserve. In the recent past, it has become most stable home of the lesser flamingo with a population approaching two million birds. This is in addition to more than 310 resident and 50 migratory species of birds – 374 bird species have been recorded.

The park was gazetted in November 1973. Facilities for tourists include the park lodge, three public campsites and one privately operated campsite. Visitors may also bathe in the hot springs, which form a natural spa. The reserve was submitted as a candidate World Heritage Site in 1999.

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