The Great Rift Valley is part of a huge geological fault in East Africa. This fascinating deep scar in the Earth’s crust that divides Kenya in a north-south direction, extends for 9,000 kilometres within a wild and seemingly endless landscape. The fault is particularly famous for its soda, alkaline and freshwater lakes, such as Lake Naivasha that is located 100 kilometres from Nairobi.
As with many other lakes in the Great Rift Valley, with more than 400 bird species, Lake Naivasha is a true paradise among ornithologists. The tranquility of the lake can be quite deceptive and the Massai name of the lake, Enaiposha, meaning ‘back and forth’, is an indication of how turbulent Naivasha can sometimes be.
A friendly welcome awaits visitors to Crescent Island, at the southern end of Lake Naivasha. This idyllic island is located on the edge of a submerged volcanic crater and as there are no dangerous animals on the island, it can be explored at leisure.
Lake Nakuru’s main attraction is its flamingo population. Up to 2 million of these birds once lived here and even today, they have transformed the lake into a mass of dazzling color. Cormorants, heron and pelican are among the most important birds on Lake Nakuru. They each survive on fish, of which the lake has an abundant supply.
Located below the 600 metre high Laikipia Escarpment, Lake Bogoria is the most spectacular lake in the Great Rift Valley. As with most lakes in this region, Lake Bogoria is alkaline due to its lack of outlets, yet at the same time, it is paradise for the flamingo.
The fascinating lakes of the Great Rift Valley are one of the most outstanding highlights of Kenya’s landscape and one of the most spectacular areas on the entire African continent.