Lake Elmentaita, Kenya

Situated within the Great Rift Valley, Lake Elmenteita is surrounded by spectacular scenery, and lies in the shadow of one of Kenya’s hills known as the ‘Sleeping Maasai’.  Despite being a large body of water, the word Elmenteita comes from the Massai word meaning ‘dust place’. The lake has been christened this due to the extremely arid conditions during their dry season, in particular, January and March. 

Lake Elmenteita is found between Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru and is now a protected area as well as a UNESCO heritage site. As one of the lesser known of Kenya’s Rift Valley ‘soda lakes’, Lake Elmenteita is home to an abundance of wildlife and the ultimate peaceful and secluded place to observe wildlife in their natural habitat.  For bird lovers, this around is one of the best birding destinations in the Great Rift Valley and is home to over 400 species of birds. As well as this, you are likely to see zebras, gazelles and families of warthogs all playing close to the shoreline. 

Another popular area of Lake Elmenteita to visit is the southern end, where you’ll find the ‘Kekopey’ hot springs – thought to be the passage site for ivory and slaving trade in ancient times. Or perhaps take a day trip to Lake Nakuru National Park, which is home to one of the world's most endangered animals, the Rothschild's giraffe. Lake Naivasha is also only a short drive away and is the perfect place to see hippos and the mighty water buffalos.  

Highlights

  • Take a boat safari and observe over 400 species of birds  

  • Watch families of warthogs play on the shoreline as well as gazelles grazing 

  • Take a day trip to Lake Naivasha or Lake Nakuru 

  • Explore the Kekopey hot springs and learn about the area's historical past

Jen
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I was born and raised in Africa, and I have spent 25 years living, working and travelling across various African countries including South Africa and Tanzania. I learned how to track wild animals, went on to become a nature guide and later a safari lodge manager, and I can also speak Swahili and Afrikaans.

Map of Lake Elmenteita