Flamingos in Kenya – Lake Bogoria
Located in Baringo County, Lake Bogoria formerly known as Lake Hannington is a Ramsar site within Lake Bogoria National Reserve, protected since November 1973 and at times home to one of the world’s largest populations of lesser flamingos. The lake is shallow-about 10m in depth and covering about 34 square kilometers, with a width of about 4km wide and a drainage basin of 700 square kilometers. Lake Bogoria has hot springs and geysers on the western shore and its water is derived from the heavy rains and the numerous springs feeding the lake. When the water levels are low, that’s the time the lesser flamingos take advantage to flock the lake shores.
Lake Bogoria isn’t the usual lake that sparkles with hues of blue, the lake is pink because of the color of the flamingos. From a distance or an upper view, it may seem like the park is filled with pink candy floss, however, on getting closer you realize this is actually a flamboyance of lesser flamingos.
When it comes to flamingos in Kenya, Lake Nakuru is the most popular destination included in many Kenya Safari, promising numerous flamingo sightings. However, flamingos are migratory birds, and depending on the conditions they can be in any of the East African Rift Valley Lakes. With the large-scale flower farming, large flocks of flamingos move northwards to Lake Bogoria. The lake may not be as popular as Lake Nakuru as a destination for sighting flamingos but is truly the ultimate place for the lesser flamingos.
Best time to visit Lake Bogoria
Lake Bogoria can be visited all year round. However, the best time to visit is during the long dry season between the months of July to October. During this time, the rainfall reduces and this limits the drinking water that is available to the wildlife and therefore they tend to move and congregate around the few remaining fresh watering holes. The dry season coincides with summer breaks and therefore there are increased numbers of tourists.
Lake Bogoria generally has fewer visitor numbers than Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha. However, with the decreasing number of flamingos in Lake Nakuru because of the increasing water levels, Lake Bogoria remains a better option for uninterrupted photography and safari experiences.
In some years, however, the reserve has an unusual weather pattern of long rains between the months of July and August.
During the rainy season, flooding increases the water levels in the lake and this adulterates the salinity of the alkaline lake, making the lake murky therefore reducing the abundance of food sources. Due to this, the large numbers of flamingos for which the lake is known may not be present.
With the fact that flamingos can migrate due to changes in these conditions sometimes migrating to Lake Suguta and Lake Natron in Tanzania, it is advisable to beware of where to find large flocks at a particular time. Jewel Safaris has expertise in planning these safaris and will therefore allocate you a professional guide who will ensure your visit is worthwhile.
If your interest is flamingos, then Kenya is quite a fairy tale place to have a glimpse of these beautiful birds. However, if you have a greater safari interest including activities like Tanzania wildlife safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris, Rwanda gorilla tours, chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, and any other adventure trip in East Africa, then contact Jewel Safaris for all bookings.