LAKE BOGORIA NATIONAL RESERVE
A Colorful Eruption of Steam and Flamingoes
Lions? Leopards? And Chimps
With its bubbling broth of geysers, steam, and hot springs you might think you’ve landed on another planet except for the dreamy flocks of pink flamingoes gathered right before you. Lake Bogoria National Reserve is an altogether different safari – a high mountain lake that’s lightly touristed but offers an immersion of incredible birdlife. At times during the year, the flamingoes can erupt to over two million, carpeting the shoreline with their intense fuchsia plumage.
While the reserve doesn’t abound with the largest African game, a trip here will still bring opportunities to spot impala, zebra, gazelle, warthog, buffalo, klipspringer, monkey, baboon… and occasionally leopard and cheetah. Near the lake itself, you may find numbers of greater kudu, an antelope, grazing not far from their flamingo neighbors.
Flamingoes and Other Avian Life
Bogoria is a highly saline and alkaline lake due to the area’s mineral and volcanic activity. Blue-green algae thrive in this chemical soup and this, in turn, provides ample sustenance for the great flocks of lesser and some greater flamingoes that settle upon the lake’s shores. Depending on the season and the year, you might find yourself immersed in one of the world’s greatest populations of flamingoes.
Also attracted to this austere high-altitude lake are large numbers of raptors like tawny eagles and 135 other avian species. Look for buzzard, goshawk, starling, hornbill, heron, ibis, ostrich, buzzard, and the elegant grey crowned crane.
Volcanic Springs and Geysers
Just as intense as the animal life on the surface is the geothermal life bubbling and spouting from under the earth. You’ll find more geysers here –18– than any other spot in Africa. And some of them burst up through the lake itself in hot plumes rising to 5 m (16 ft) in a scalding display of volcanic exuberance.
The lake and surrounding shores also host over 200 steaming volcanic springs… warm enough to boil eggs.
Sharing this land flocked with distinctive acacia trees are the Maasai people, nomadic herders from whom the park takes its name. They construct traditional villages surrounding the reserve and live as they have for eons, herding their cattle and pushing back at an ever-encroaching modern world.
Known for their brightly colored shukas and deft beadwork, the Maasai are a living link to a past that stretches back beyond colonial Africa, to an era when the entire continent was wild and untouched.
The Birds – But of course you can’t miss the sight of the thousands or more dazzling pink flamingoes colorfully astride the blueish lake. Approach them gently and they’ll stay fairly close, creating picture-perfect moments.
Kesubo Swamp – Just outside the park, this is an active birdwatching destination. Look for raptors and other varieties like grebe, swift, spoonbill, and more.
Lake Baringo – The aquatic opposite of Bogoria, Lake Baringo is all freshwater and hosts innumerable avian life. You’ll find hornbills, herons, owls, and even hippos and crocodiles.
Ride a bike – Besides enjoying a foot safari around the lake you can also explore on bicycle, pedaling your way past the grazing wildlife, the clouds of flamingoes, hot springs, and plumes of geysers.
Eggs easy – At what other park can you cook au natural? The locals here sell eggs just outside the park. Pick up a few and parboil them in one of the natural hot springs. Instant breakfast.
These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.
- Education for local students, including computer skills training
- Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
- Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.
Ol Pejeta Eco-Facts
- Sanctuaries to protect endangered chimpanzees, oryx, hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, and bat-eared fox
- Home to the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos
- The largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa – the rhino population has increased by over 100 in the last 25 years.
Survey: Lake Bogoria National Reserve
This small high altitude park is only 107 sq km (41 sq mi) at an elevation of 1500 m (1 mi) above sea level.
Location: The reserve is just south of the equator and fairly close to Nairobi – 239 km (148 mi).
Climate: Expect even daytime temperatures of 280C (820 F). Because of its higher elevation evenings could get chilly. Early morning temperatures of 120C (530 F) are not unusual.
The dry season is January – February with rains expected from September – May.
Best time to visit: That would be the flamingo season. When the lake is low from August to October great flocks of the fuchsia birds arrive. Though their numbers are unpredictable, you can usually expect to see plenty of the brilliant birds throughout the year.
Operating Hours: From sunrise to sunset.
Getting there:You can Book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris. And you’ll go in style – a specially outfitted 4 x 4 safari Jeep.
This is Lake Bogoria
Where else can you safari to a brilliant blanket of flaming fuchsia flamingoes? And in numbers not many other places can rival. Your photos will tell the story of a world few have touched or seen up close. But they will brightly illustrate your tales of Lake Bogoria.
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