Hot Geysers and Hot Pink Flamingos
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 flamingos.
The deep saline and alkaline composition of the lake spurs the growth of blue-green algae which provide food for immense flocks of flamingos. And by the great designs of nature, raptors like tawny eagles are attracted to this site preying on the flamingos. Before you lies a complete and dazzling eco-system.
But flamingos 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.
A Geothermal Paradise
Besides the dazzling display of fuchsia pink lesser flamingos and a small number of greater flamingos 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.
About Lake Bogoria Reserve
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.
Best time to visit:
When there are lots of flamingos! 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 Pride Drive Tour Solutions from Nairobi, about 4 ½ hours by car.
By air: There are no domestic to flights to Lake Bogoria.
Things to Do and See
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.
Boil an Egg
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.
Visit Lake Bogoria National Reserve
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 flamingos.
Let Pride Drive Tour Solutions 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.
A cool, mist-shrouded rainforest in Kenya? And only a short drive from the coast? Absolutely! This is Shimba Hills Nation Reserve, where you can view wildlife amongst the waterfalls and wafting sea breezes.
Just about 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) from your Diani Beach or Mombasa coastal resort, Shimba Hills offers an easy day trip to view its massive population of elephants, as well as the only place in Kenya where you can view the elegant sable antelope.
The reserve is one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa. Its cool climate is a welcome relief from the hotter temperatures of the coast and other game parks. And though the park is small, it offers its fortunate visitors a rich variety of wildlife, birds and even butterflies – 300 varieties.
As the cool winds drift off the nearby ocean you can enjoy the sights of the elephants. The park has the highest density in Kenya. Look for some of the bigger game like lion, leopard, Masai giraffe, buffalo, zebra, impala and gazelle.
Traveling on safari through the morning mists in the reserve’s forest you may find yourself gazing upon velvet monkeys, baboon and bushy tailed mongoose.
But the most unique animal here is the sable antelope. The reserve hosts about 100 of this last breeding herd in Kenya. Pride Drive Tour Solutions will guide you to the hidden spots in search of these elusive animals with their distinctive and majestic horns.
The over 230 species of bird life in this small jewel of a park, such as African hawks, Guinea fowls, eagles, falcons and hornbills, will keep you actively engaged.
The high elevation (400 m) of Shimba Hills and its rainforest climate create an environment of wonderful plant diversity – over 1100 species, many of them rare or endangered, like the cycad and orchids.
And if the rainforest climate and wonderful wildlife at Shimba Hills weren’t enough of an attraction, you’ll also find sparkling waterfalls here to add a refreshing note to your visit.