Lake Bogoria is a shallow saline lake within the Great Rift Valley lying north of the equator famously known for its hot springs, geysers and huge amounts of blue-green algae attract hundreds of lesser flamingos on the lake. Except Lake Nakuru National Park and other Lakes like Lake Elementaita and Lake Naivasha, Lake Bogoria is another top tour destination in Kenya.
Lake Bogoria covers a total area of about 34 square km with the lake width being up to 4 km and the length up to 17km. The lake’s depth as of recent records is up to 8.5 m deep however the depth is constantly varying due to several changes in climate like rain fall amount in the area, rate of evaporation and transpiration, water drainages and discharges in and out of the lake among other factors.
The Lake is a RAMSAR site that has been protected for a long time and is located in Baringo County. Lake Bogoria was previously called Lake Hannington a name it acquired after Bishop James Hannington who visited this alkaline lake in 1885.
Lake Bogoria is endowed with lots of hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles along its shores because is an endorheic soda lake unlike other soda lakes in the region. The lake feeds from these seasonal rivers and streams together with the hot springs and the fumaroles. The rivers that fed Lake Bogoria are Mogun, Emsos, Loboi, and Waseges-Sandai.
The geysers in the Lake are about 10 geysers that and are at times 5 m high or low deepening on the lake water levels. High lake water levels hide the geysers and lower lake water levels expose the geysers. These geysers are the highest concentration in one lake in the whole of Africa, which fact makes Lake Bogoria a unique lake.
Though Lake Bogoria is saline and has been saline for a couple of years it wasn’t always been saline, studies have shown that are about 10,000 years back the lake had fresh waters but due to evaporation that is common in the lake’s semi-arid region the lake slowly became saline till it completely lost all its fresh waters.
The Lake being an alkaline lake has an abundance of blue green algae that attracts hundreds of lesser flamingos on the lake. Actually the flamingos keep migrating between Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria.
Lake Bogoria is surrounded by the Endororis people who believe are the wardens of this lake and this lake has strong cultural and spiritual importance to the people. In the 1970s however, some of these Endororis people were forced to leave the place leaving only a few people around the lake.
The has in recent years become popular for micro-organisms that are being harvested from the lake and used to produce enzymes for industrial use.
Lake Bogoria though not one of the most visited lakes in Kenya, it’s a great tourist destination for bird lovers and nature and visitors to the lake are guaranteed to enjoy some of the things below:-
- Flamingos: Lake Bogoria is a hub for Flamingos that are always at the lake feeding on the lake’s blue algae. visitors to the park will enjoy close up viewing of these pink birds as well as a few other bird species that live in communities with Flamingos. Other birds include: – grey crowned crane, black-headed herons, ostrich, hadada, sacred ibis etc
- Hot Springs: This endhoreic soda lake has over 100 amazing hot springs that give out hot water up to 94 degrees. People especially the locals visit the springs for spiritual purposes well as tourist and other people visit the springs to enjoy their uniqueness, some are even able to boil eggs on the hot springs.
- Geysers and Fumaroles: Visitors to the lake can view these spectacular geysers and fumaroles and many other natural features around the lake.
- Wildlife: Around the lake there are few wild animals like antelopes, impalas, gazelles, zebras, baboons and a few more; though these animals are not easily seen a private game drive through the plains can be arranged where you can take a tour through the surrounding savannahs and woodlands to find the animals. The other option is to take a luxurious walk into the plains to enjoy the ecosystem and while at it view the wildlife in the game reserve.
Lake Bogoria, can be visited any time of the year though definitely more people visit the lake during the dry seasons. The rainy season doesn’t really affect your visit to the lake because the roads and passages to Lake Bogoria are moderately developed and are passable even during the rainy season.