The Great Rift Valley is a prized Kenyan attraction, boasting beautiful lakes and escarpments, which provide havens for plentiful wildlife. The place attracts several species to its sparkling lake shores and is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Visitors mostly notice here huge flocks of flamingos that happily wade near hippos and other game species.
Three exceptional water bodies, Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Elementaita, are the most well-known in the valley. Travellers visiting the region will be treated to exceptional sightings of white rhino, leopard, Rothschild’s giraffe, and an assortment of plains game.
You will find a number of lakes in Southern Kenya – Nakuru, Elementatita, Naivasha, Bagoria, and Baringo – all unique and supporting a staggeringly large proportion of Kenya’s wildlife. The saline Bagoria is sometimes home to huge flocks of lesser flamingos and contains more true geysers than any other area in the world. However, beginning from the remote North, the first of these lakes is Turkana. Known as the Jade Sea, it is home to a range of incredibly resilient life-forms. The lake is rarely visited and is the largest desert lake in the world, supporting Africa’s biggest population of Nile Crocodiles.
Baringo is a crucial stop off for the migrant bird population. It supports 500 species of bird. Nakuru taking to its number of flamingos is the reason why this park is the most popular in Kenya. Naivasha is a freshwater lake and supports great populations of hippos.
Elementaita also attracts a large number of flamingoes. Like lakes Natron and Magadi, whose surfaces, like those of Elementaita, appear pink, such is the propensity of flamingos. The lakes, together with rich volcanic soil, are the key to life in the Great Rift Valley.
When visiting the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, below are some of the best things to do.
Rare Wildlife Encounters at Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park surrounds Lake Nakuru, a famous soda lake that’s found on the floor of Kenya’s Rift Valley. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great destination to search for two of the Big Five that you might struggle to see elsewhere – leopard and rhino. The park is currently home to the largest number of black rhinos in the country. The birdlife is another major attraction for visiting Lake Nakuru. Over 400 species of birds populate the sky, including pelicans, cormorants, and flamingos.
Hot Air Balloon Safari over Lake Elementaita
The lake is an important breeding site for many threatened bird species. It is protected by the Soysambu Conservancy and is also a sanctuary for the nationally threatened colobus monkey. You can see this natural wonder from the sky in a hot air balloon. The ride will take you 4,000 metres above sea level and you will marvel at one of the most untouched wilderness areas on Earth.
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