Lakes of Kenya
The day you find yourself in the midst of unimaginable trail of great natural beauty, be sure,..you will be in Kenya. The World’s leading safari destination is home to some of the best treasures nature has ever held. I am tempted not to mention the Eighth wonder of the world, but now that I already did, allow me to remind you It takes place in the rolling plains of Mara between the month of July and October. This is a rare natural occurrence and experience that will stun you. Perhaps before crossing over to Mara, you’ll have traversed the floor of the Great Rift Valley for a breathtaking picturesque of Kenya’s countryside. The Great Rift Valley cuts across Kenya from North all the way to South characterized by a carpet of some of the best lakes in Africa. Of lakes, is what I wanted we talk about today, so that next time I can leak you a secret about the best beach in Africa and a perfect place to cool off some hooves at the Coast of Kenya after grueling wildlife safaris up country.
Kenya has a great deal of lakes. Most of them formed by volcanic activities along the Great Rift Valley. However, below are highlights of lakes both along and away from the Great Rift valley;
Down from the south is Lake Chala and Lake Jipe on the borders of Tanzania and Kenya near Taveta fed by streams from Mount Kilimanjaro. Of the two, Chala is stunning and lies on a privately owned sanctuary. To the north in the 2,090 sq. km Marsabit National park is Lake Paradise. The lake is a crater lake and one of the three lakes that are home to many bird species in Kenya. Its fame resulted from early films and writings by Martin Johnson and Vivien de Wattville. Between Homa Bay and Kisumu City is Sidi Crater Lake that harbor quit a number of flamingos.
Lake Victoria, once known as Victoria Nyanza, covers an area of 69,490 sq. km (26,830 sq. mi). It forms natural boundaries between Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. The lake is 337 km (209 mi) long at its greatest length, and stretches about 240 km (about 150 mi) at its greatest width. Victoria is the world’s second largest freshwater lake, after Lake Superior. It is drained by the Nile River (the second longest river in the world), and its chief affluent is the Kagera River. It has sandy beaches and many islands. In Kenya, the Rift Valley holds the most lakes. According to Travel Discover Kenya, Lake Logipeis one of the lesser known Rift Valley lakes located south of the Turkana.
Lake Turkana is the largest of the Rift Valley lakes and covers an area of 6,405 sq. km. Originally known as Lake Rudolf, a name given by the first Europeans to spot it, is located in the north western part of Kenya. It was named Lake Turkana in 1975. It is also a prehistoric site with a rich history of Man.Lake Turkana, image source; Wikipedia
Lake Bogoria is synonymous with hot water springs. Located in the Ngendelel escarpment, it’s the only lake in Kenya you are likely to have some ‘cooking lessons’ (boiling maize and eggs in hot water springs). Lake Baringo in Baringo county of Kenya is a fresh water lake. The 130 sq km lake is home to some fishing and water sports activities. Around the lake is the Njemp community with a rich cultural background. Crocodiles, hippos and a nearby snake park are some other reasons worth visiting the lake.
According to Kenya Wildlife Service, Lake Naivasha is home to over 450 bird species including the African Fish Eagle. It is a fresh water lake and the highest of all Rift Valley lakes at 1880 meters above sea level. Lake Elmenteita about 30 km from Nakuru is located on private land. It has a rich bird life and visitors are allowed in.
Lake Nakuru is located 160 km northwest of Nairobi and is home to fuchsia pink flamingos, fish eating pelicans and some other 450 bird species. The lake from which Lake Nakuru National Park is named after, was gazetted to protect the endangered flamingos and also provide sanctuary to endangered species such as the Rhino, Rothschild Giraffe as well as other wildlife ranging from the black rhino, antelopes, the lion, the leopard, elephant, buffalo and other game.
Lake Magadi located 120km from Nairobi is home to sodium carbonate mines. Little information exists about Lake Rutundu and Lake Alice. According to Travel Discover Kenya, Lake Rutundu is situated in the northern slopes of Mt. Kenya at 10,200 feet just above the forest line. The two lakes are privately stocked with Rainbow Trout. Horse riding and fishing excursions are arrange from lodges in the area.
Additional information sources: KWS & Travel Discover Kenya
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