Parks & reserves: Lake Bogoria National Reserve
Lake Bogoria is a saline water shallow located at the northern region of the Kenyan Rift, 25 km south of Lake Baringo. The reserve, managed by Baringo/Koibatek County, comprises the lake and adjacent lands, with 107 km². In the Colony days the lake was known by the name of its discoverer, the Kampala bishop James Hannington, who in 1885 was the first European to see this place while he was heading for his diocese following Thomson's route. This would be the glory day for the priest, but also his last journey, since upon reaching Lake Victoria he was murdered by order of the cruel king of Buganda, Mwanga II.
If Baringo is increasingly attracting more visitors because of its plentiful birdlife, Bogoria is, or at least it was until few years ago, a place where the visitor can enjoy the spectacular African scenery in full solitude. Except for ornithology lovers, who don't forgive the pilgrimage to Baringo, this region is quite off the most common itineraries, specially the one-weekers. The reason is that Bogoria is far from outstanding for its mammals' wildlife, the paramount objective for most tourists.
Still, the scenery at Lake Bogoria makes it one of the most spectacular sights in the whole Kenya. J.W. Gregory, the English geologist who travelled the region in 1892, blessed the site as "the most beautiful view in Africa". He wasn't off track. The lake displays a superb scenery of bluish hills populated with dry bush, grasslands and riverine forests, framing the calm water shallow pinned with flamingoes. Beyond the eastern shore, the soil rises abruptly to 600 m in the Laikipia Escarpment. At the opposite edge, the earth forms strangely coloured swampy crusts, which break up in deep gaps spitting stinky sulphur waters and steam jets. The close-up geysers, the pink brushstrokes of the flamingoes on the lake, and farther away the dramatic backdrop of the Laikipia Escarpment, everything in Bogoria conveys an unrivalled scenery. But watch out, don't get too close, the signposts warning "Stop - danger zone - go back" are serious: the earth collapses under your feet and underneath there is boiling water.
However, Bogoria is not only flamingos. Among the various mammals to be found here, keen wildlife fans will appreciate the unparalleled value of being the most accessible place in all the country where you have the chance to spot the majestic greater kudu.