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Parks & reserves: Lake Elmenteita
No Safari Card    Managed by: Private owners
   Safari Card: No

View from Lake Elementaita Lodge. Javier Yanes/ View from Lake Elementaita Lodge. J.Y./


General info

Elmenteita, or Elementaita, is a small soda lake located southeast of lake Nakuru. Since it lies on private grounds, it is much less visited than Nakuru, and flamingo concentrations are usually also lower. Perhaps because of being a quieter place, not long ago there was a breeding flock of greater flamingo, which apparently fled due to encroachment by pelicans.

Most of the safaris covering the trip from Naivasha to Nakuru only stop at the viewpoint overlooking the lake on the A104 main road. However, it is possible to get down to the lakeshore and even walk around some of it, except for the private Soysambu Conservancy belonging to the Delamere family, one of the most classic clans of the colonial days.


Elmenteita lies some 30 km southeast of Nakuru. Leaving Nakuru through the A104 heading for Nairobi, when reaching the lake there is a lookout point by the road, from where a presumed footpath leads down to the shore. Heading on along A104, at the end of the lake there is a signposted turnoff on the right side to Lake Elementaita Lodge, half a kilometer from the main road. Little further beyond along the A104, before reaching Gilgil, there is a right turnoff to the D321, leading to Soysambu Conservancy.

If you plan to make a day trip to Elmenteita from Lake Nakuru National Park, the easiest way is to leave the park through Nderit Gate, beyond Lake Nakuru Lodge. This track dies at the D320, which runs southward (right) heading for Elmenteita town, where it joins the D321.

Flamingos usually visit this lake, though in much smaller numbers than in Nakuru. Some fishing birds can also be found here, such as pelicans and herons.

In the old days there was also a hippo colony, but it disappeared due to the droughts, that occasionally have completely dried up the lake.


Nearness to Nakuru offers the chance to stay at one of the lodges at Lake Nakuru and make a day trip to Elmenteita. Nevertheless, this lake has its own lodging choices:

Lake Elementaita Lodge:

This lodge, now belonging to Jacaranda Hotels, is an ancient farmhouse built in 1916 which belonged to the settler and farmer Lord Galbraith Cole. His brother was Berkeley Cole, friend of Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton who was featured in the movie version of 'Out of africa'.

The facilities are surrounded by beautiful gardens set on a vantage point over the lake's landscape. The quality of the restaurant is above average. Politeness of the employees reaches surfeit.

Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp:

The former Delamere's Camp is since July 2011 the latest addition to the Serena collection. The camp hosts 24 luxury tents, all with views of the lake. Since it is located within the private Soysambu Wildlife Conservancy, access is only through reservation or by prior arrangement.

Elementaita Flamingo Camp & Cottages:

This is the most basic and affordable lodging option around the lake. It houses five tents and three cottages with a total capacity for 22 guests. There is a signpost on the main road leading to the property.


There is self camping available at Elementaita Flamingo Camp & Cottages.


Gambles Cave

Near the lake there are several prehistoric sites. In fact, frequently every new ground perforation brings to light remains of sorts, indicating that this area was densely populated in the old days. The best known place is Gambles Cave, 10 km southwest of Elmenteita town.


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Lake Elmenteita
Lake Elmenteita
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