Lake Bogoria in Kenya is one of the lesser celebrated of the Rift Valley lakes but it provides as much beauty and inspiration as any of the other dramatic lakes in the region.
Such is the importance of Lake Bogoria that it has been declared a Ramsar Site and the Lake Bogoria National Reserve has been a protected area since the early 1970's. With a depth of about 10 meters the lake is relatively shallow and is approximately 34 km long by 3.5 km wide.
Lake Bogoria is a saline, alkaline lake and lies just south of Lake Baringo. With it’s ideal conditions it is home to one of the world's largest populations of lesser flamingoes. Due to the lake’s alkalinity, blue green algae grows well, this in turn feeds the flamingoes. At times the number of flamingoes feeding in the lake may be as many as two million - creating a wonderful undulating blaze of pink as the flamingoes go about their feeding. This scene of brilliant pink flamingoes by the millions is only found in the Rift Valley Lakes of Kenya, and so is not replicated anywhere else in the world, due to the very specific environment needed by the birds.
Aside from the flamingoes there are many other birds and animals to see at Lake Bogoria such as buffalo, zebra, baboon, warthog, caracal, spotted hyena, impala and dik dik.
Geysers and Hot Springs
The ground in this area is formed geologically from recent volcanic rocks from the miocene - pleistocene era. Around Bogoria there are some 200 hot springs with water temperatures from 39 to 98.5C. Nearly all these springs are close to the lake or are inside the lake. The hot springs in general have a high content of carbon dioxide, this causes the wild boiling of the springs.
There are also many geysers found spouting here, formed by the vents in the earth’s surface by the volcanic activity. Over the past decade, there has been some major hydrothermal changes which has occurred by frequent fluctuations of water level of Lake Bogoria. Even slight changes of water level in this shallow lake can impact geyser behaviour. Some geysers that were active during 2001 and 2005 have become weak hot springs or steam vents by 2006 with the fall in water level due to drought, whereas activity on other springs increased.
At Loburu delta on the western shore of the lake, the geyser activity increased. One of the geysers, KL30 erupted on a regular 45 minute cycle up to 5 m in height. When active KL30 is probably the highest natural geyser in Africa. During 2007, when the area was flooded all the geyser activity was suppressed, including KL30.