Lake Elementaita is one of the Kenya Rift Valley Lakes (Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria, Lake Logipi, Lake Magadi, and Lake Turkana). It is located in Nakuru County northwest of Nairobi, a distance of 136 km. the nearest town is Gilgil.
It is a shallow soda lake whose surface area is 18 km2 and an average depth of 1 m.
Lake Elementaita is popular for its abundant birdlife especially the greater and the lesser flamingos and has hence been protected and has been named as a heritage site by UNESCO. It is a Ramsar site.
Hot springs known as the Kekopey at the south end of the lake provide breeding grounds for the Tilapia grahami and bathing area for the Maasai community who believe they have curative properties.
Tourist Attraction Sites near Lake Elementaita
- Kariandusi Museum an important prehistoric site where the stone hand-axes and cleavers were discovered
- Elementaita Badlands which is a lava flow to the south of the lake covered in bush
- Lake Nakuru, 52 km away
- Lake Naivasha, 55 km away
Lake Elementaita Animals
The lake has abundant birdlife-over 400 species on record including the flamingos that feed on the lake’s crustacean, insect larvae, and on its suspended blue-green algae.
Tilapias were introduced in the lake which has contributed to the decline of the flamingos since they attract fish-eating birds such as pelicans and herons that also feed on flamingo eggs and chicks. As a result, some have migrated to the nearby Great Rift Valley Lakes
The lake is also home to a number of herbivores which include; warthog, eland, zebra, gazelle, antelope, and hippos especially during the rainy seasons when water levels are high.
Things to do in Elementaita
- Game watching
- Bird watching
- Hot air balloon safaris
- Horse riding safaris
- Swimming in the Kekopey hot springs
- Nature walks around the lake shoreline
Lake Elementaita Weather & Climate
Dry seasons occur from July to October and between January and February. The average annual temperature is 26°C ranging between 24°C-29°C.
Short rains are from November to December. Long rains begin from March up to June with peaks in April and May.
When to Visit
You can visit the lake all year round as every season has its own merits. During the dry season, animals congregate around the remaining water bodies giving you an opportunity to view them. A variety of species gather around a relatively small area. It is also easy to navigate during the dry seasons.
Rainy seasons are for nature-loving travelers as it brings flora to life and it is during this time that most animals give birth, especially the antelopes, and you get to witness the coming of a new generation. Navigation is relatively difficult during this period
How to get there
Elementaita is along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, a distance of 136 km from Nairobi.