The Kenyan section of the Rift Valley is home to eight lakes, the most famous surely being Lake Nakuru, whose algae-rich warm alkaline waters attract thousands if not millions of pink flamingo. Its shores – protected by a national park that shares its name – are home to both black and white rhino as well as a number of rare Rothschild’s giraffe.
Lake Elmenteita lies about an hour by road to Nakuru’s southeast, a much smaller, shallower soda lake whose waters are a deep blue-green. A RAMSAR site since 2005, Elmenteita is paradise for bird-watchers with over 400 individual avian species recorded in and around the lake including two types of flamingo, African Spoonbill and Great White Pelican. Close to the lake is the Kariandusi Museum, which showcases the prehistoric site where paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey discovered tools used by Early Stone age man in 1928.
Freshwater Lake Naivasha is the farthest south and in addition to prolific birdlife, boasts a sizeable population of hippos. Small but spectacular Hells Gate National Park is situated nearby, and offers visitors an opportunity to hike and cycle amid extinct volcanoes, towering cliffs and deep gorges inhabited by a range of wild animals including zebra, eland and gazelle. Look up, because this park is home to an array of endangered raptors and vultures that are commonly seen circling overhead.