Expert Reviews – Lake Bogoria NR

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Sometimes pink tinged lake shore
Overall rating
2/5

Lake Bogoria is a tough one to review as so much depends on when you go and what the local weather patterns have been up too recently. Lake Bogoria is known as a holiday home for flamingoes and, when conditions are right, up to a million birds can turn parts of the lake pink. At such times this is one of the spectacular wildlife sights in East Africa. In addition to the flamingoes the lake is also characterized by bubbling, steamy hot springs and geysers.

When I visited in 2008 the park lived up to the hype with huge numbers of flamingoes present. However, on my recent visit in July 2014 things were very different indeed. In the two years leading up to my latest visit there had been a lot of rain and water levels in Lake Bogoria, (and in the beautiful neighbouring, Lake Baringo) had risen considerably. The rising waters had drowned the hot springs and geysers, flooded the surrounding areas and the deeper waters had caused the flamingoes to flee to waters more inviting. There were maybe fifty flamingoes present n the park. Possibly less. In addition to that the only other animals visible were the goats belonging to local villagers who had pretty much moved into the park. To make matters worse the local council who must surely have been aware of the complete lack of wildlife and he general dire state of the park had taken the bizarre step off doubling the cost of entry for tourists!

As it stand at the time of writing (late-2014) right now Lake Bogoria is a complete rip-off and a total waste of time. However, don’t dismiss it completely. Lake levels were slowly starting to fall and with luck the flamingoes will start to return and the local council will get to work making the park a worthwhile destination.

Lake Bogoria: The Flamingo’s New Home
Overall rating
2/5

The massed flocks of greater and lesser flamingos – up to two million in a good year – for years made this one of the best lakes in the Rift Valley to see one of Kenya’s most memorable spectacles. Honking in the shallows and all but concealing the alkaline lake’s waters, the flamingos for the most part stuck close to the shoreline of this 34km-long lake. At the time of writing the flamingos have gone elsewhere but remember that these populations can shift from year to year. Other wildlife is scarce, although the endangered greater kudu (hunted to the brink of extinction in Kenya for its extravagant horns) is here and I was lucky enough to see a pair close to the shoreline before they crashed off into the bush. Other possible wildlife sightings around the lake’s southern shore are leopards and klipspringers. The western shore is also home to hot springs and the largest number of geysers of any lake in Africa.

The multi-coloured steaming hot springs of Lake Bogoria
Overall rating
2/5

Bogoria, one of the Rift Valley lakes, is famous for its flocks of flamingos. When I visited the numbers weren’t very high, but this fluctuates depending on water levels and algae, the flamingo’s food source, present. There is only one road through the park, which follows the lakeshore and ends up at the impressive steaming and bubbling hot springs. Wildlife is scarce in the park. Although greater kudu is said to be abundant I didn’t see any. The birding is quite good, but aside from a good sized leopard tortoise and a couple of Kirk’s dik-dik, I didn’t see any other animals.

Average Expert Rating

  • 2.8/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

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