Rift Valley Lakes in Kenya: 6 Most Popular

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Great Rift Valley runs from North to South, and along it are a few lakes, which are some of the most thrilling attractions in Kenya. The Great Rift Valley lakes in Kenya are either freshwater or alkaline. Most of these lakes are Ramsar sites protected by the Ramsar Convention.

The most popular Great Rift Valley lakes in Kenya are:

  1. Lake Baringo

Set in a dry and dusty location, Lake Baringo is an important birding destination, with over 470 recorded species of birds. This lake is one of the largest lakes in Kenya.  It feeds from several rivers such as Perkerra, but it does not have a defined outlet.  Lake Baringo’s other attractions are its islands.  One of its most popular islands is Ol Kokwe Island.

Accommodation in Lake Baringo is available in hotels like Island Camp Resort, Sandai Resort, Kibelion Hotel and Soi Safari Lodge.

  1. Lake Bogoria

Lake Bogoria is mainly known for its hot springs and geysers that shoot up water about 5m high. One of the bird species to see in this location is the lesser flamingo.

  1. Lake Elementaita

Lake Elementeita is not as popular as other lakes in Kenya, but it is one of the most scenic locations in the Great Rift Valley. It is situated between two lakes that are Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha. This spectacular attraction is visible from the nearby Nairobi-Nakuru Highway. Wildlife in and around the lake includes Greater and Lesser flamingoes, zebras, gazelles, elands and warthogs.  You can combine a trip to Lake Elementeita with a tour of the neighbouring Kariandusi Museum.

  1. Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is situated a short distance from Naivasha, which is just an hour’s drive from Nairobi. Wildlife seen here includes over 400 bird species and hippopotamuses. A trip to this attraction can be combined with a tour of other attractions in Naivasha such as Hell’s Gate National Park.

A boat cruise on Lake Naivasha, at Sawela Lodge.

A boat cruise on Lake Naivasha.

  1. Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana is the northern most lake in the country, and it is one of the largest alkaline lakes in the world. There are several national parks in Lake Turkana, and they include the Central Island National Park and South Island National Park. Wildlife to see in this lake includes the largest population of Nile crocodiles in the country, zebras, gazelles and giraffes.

  1. Lake Nakuru

The lake is part of Lake Nakuru National Park. Wildlife in this park includes rhinos, giraffes, lions, leopards and hundreds of birds. You can visit this attraction, and later drive to Naivasha for another round of adventure in Lake Naivasha and Hell’s Gate National Park.

Discover these and more lakes in Kenya, during your safari. There is so much to see and enjoy in and around these lakes from birding excursions to boat cruises, fishing, and game viewing safaris.


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