Menengai Crater is one of Kenya's most intriguing destinations, with spectacular scenery combining with local beliefs about evil spirits roaming the area.
Menengai Crater, Kenya - view from the caldera edge.
Menengai Crater is believed to be the second largest caldera in the world and at 90 km2 and almost 2500 m above sea level it is an impressive attraction. It provides amazing views of Lake Nakuru
Of Spirits and Peace
Menengai Crater, located just outside the town of Nakuru, is a place of legend and violence. It is here where the Ilaikipiak Moran [also Maasai] were defeated by the Ilpurko Maasai during a fight over grazing land. The defeated were thrown over the edge of the crater and the place has been named for the Maa word for 'the dead' describing the fumaroles in the crater that are said by locals to be the souls of the dead warriors trying to get heaven.
The Crater is believed to be a very spiritual place and people come from far and wide to spend time praying and contemplating - and those who have spent time there say they have felt the presence of God - but it is thought by some to be haunted by evil spirits that take people captive.
Many people are said to have disappeared after exploring the area, and others return totally confused. There are reports of spirit beings cultivating the land on the crater floor with eyewitnesses saying that the plowing with tractors, planting and harvesting all happened within an hour. There are even witnesses who speak of a flying umbrella rising from the crater floor when it rains.
There are reports from the locals in the area that they have witnessed the devil riding a motorbike on Kirima Kia ngoma or Devil's Hill which is next to the crater.
Visiting Menengai Crater
The Menengai Crater is surrounded by lush forest and is protected by the Kenya Forest Service. There are numerous flowering plants and grasses, you can see Kirk’s dik dk, slender mongoose. Black faced vervet monkeys, tree hyrax and mountain reedbuck here. Also home to Verreaux eagle, Abyssinian ground hornbill and African Marsh Harrier along with other forest species of bird.
- Viewpoints of both Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria
- Hikes and nature trails
- Picnic spots
- The Menengai caldera
- Mountain biking
See Accommodation in Lake Nakuru