Picture a high mountain lake in a volcanic region near the equator covered with an endless swarm of bright, pink flamingoes. Dotting this lake and surrounding areas, steamy hot springs enhance the already dreamlike atmosphere. Now add in the sight of numerous bubbling geysers erupting along the banks and from within the lake itself.
This… is Lake Bogoria National Reserve – a sight and a place unlike anything else you’re ever likely to see.
But as compelling as the scene before you appears, Lake Bogoria is not a heavily visited destination. Come early in the day and there will be few other visitors. Just you and as many as two million flamingoes.
The deep saline and alkaline composition of the lake spurs the growth of blue-green algae which provide food for immense flocks of flamingoes. And by the great designs of nature, raptors like tawny eagles are attracted to this site preying on the flamingoes. Before you lies a complete and dazzling eco-system.
But flamingoes aren’t the only birdlife feeding on the abundance of this rich environment. Even this relatively small reserve supports 135 species of birdlife such as stork, spoonbill buzzard, hornbill, heron, ostrich and the sacred ibis.
Though the lakeshore itself is somewhat barren due to the intense chemical nature of the water, the area supports a surprising cast of wildlife. You can easily spot kudu antelope along the banks. And the acacia woodland to the southern end hosts buffalo, klipspringer, impala, zebra, gazelle, warthog, baboon and even leopard.
Besides the dazzling display of fuchsia pink lesser flamingoes and a small number of greater flamingoes blanketing the lake, the area features over 200 steaming volcanic springs. Most of these lie alongside the lake, but a few feed into the lake floor itself.
In various locations around and within the lake up to 10 geysers can be spotted, their plumes rising up to 5m (16ft) high. In all, the park contains more geysers than any other spot in Africa – a total of 18.
With its technicolor displays of wildlife and dramatic geyser outbursts showing off nature’s power, the reserve is the perfect place to explore on foot or bicycle.
The park is 107sq. km (41sq. mi) with the lake covering 34sq. km (13sq. mi). The reserve lies about 1500m (1 mi) above sea level.
Lying just south of the equator, Lake Bogoria is 239 km (148mi) northwest of Nairobi.
Daytime temperatures average 28oC/82oF, although it can get chilly in the evenings. January and February are very dry with occasional rains from September through May.
When there are lots of flamingoes! The birds usually arrive when the lake is low, August to October. Unfortunately, this is not always predictable. The good news is that there are usually a substantial number of these bright pink birds flocking to the lake most of the time.
The reserve is open early, from 08:00Hrs to 1800Hrs.
You can book a tour with Natural World Kenya Safaris from Nairobi, about 4 ½ hours by car.
By air: There are no domestic to flights to Lake Bogoria.
There is nothing quite like the sight of thousands or sometimes millions of glittering pink flamingoes blanketing the shallow lake. The birds will protectively move away when you approach… but if you settle in for a few minutes, they’ll shuffle back, like a great pastel postcard. The best photos are usually captured early or late in the day.
Taking a bicycle safari around the lake is a great way to appreciate the diversity of land and wildlife found here. You’ll find yourself cycling past hot springs and boiling geysers.
Care to try out your cooking skills at the lake? Just outside the reserve, local women sell raw eggs for curious visitors. You can take your egg and submerge it in the hot springs to make your own hard-boiled… or soft-boiled egg.
Lying just outside Lake Bogoria in the north is Kesubo Swamp, a wonderful spot for birdwatching. Over 200 species have been spotted here.
Just north of Bogoria lies Lake Baringo, a freshwater lake that is home to hundreds of bird species. Look for owls, herons and hornbills. Plus, crocs and hippos.
With its wild and barren shores, plus rich and colourful birdlife, Lake Bogoria is a reserve that few have visited yet many have experienced through amazing photographs. You can witness up close this reserve of steaming hot springs, erupting geysers and seas of flamingoes.
Let Natural World Kenya Safaris transport you to this special and unforgettable realm so close to Nairobi. We have safaris departing from Nairobi to this and other special Kenya Parks for your Africa holiday.
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