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When water calls, Coast isn't only option

 Groups participate in a boat race in Lake Victoria. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

What comes to mind when you feel like spending some time by a calming water body? For many, it is the coast region by the Indian Ocean.

For obvious reasons, the leisure and luxury associated with Mombasa beaches such as Malindi, Lamu, and Diani make the region the preferred holiday destination for many.

South Coast has especially been a great centre of more tourist attractions renowned for palm-fringed white sand beaches such as the ever-popular Diani Beach as well as accessible coral reefs.

However, there are lakes in the other parts of Kenya you could look out for, and they might be closer to you and more pocket friendly.

The first option is on the opposite end of the country, and the second largest water around us is Lake Victoria.

Lake Victoria

If you thought that it is only the Coast that harbours the country’s best holiday resorts ideal for luxury, then a visit to Siungu Beach in Siaya County would prove you wrong.

A trip to western Kenya is never complete without time by the shores of Lake Victoria.

Many go here for fish or a boat ride, but not until you see the sunset over Lake Victoria, do you know where the word ‘beauty’ gets its meaning.

And luckily, the Western tourism circuit has a lot of other attractions, so you will not lack something to do while you wait for this magical sight.

Waters of the Rift Valley

The obvious second area you would want to cast your eyes on is the Rift Valley with its many lakes, specifically the Nakuru, and Naivasha axis.

From Lake Naivasha to Lakes Nakuru, Baringo, Bogoria, and Elementaita, this is a rich region.

Lake Elementaita, located 30 kilometres from Nakuru town, has especially become something of an attraction with hotels eyeing the areas around it. 

At the southern tip, Lake Elementaita borders Soysambu ranch, which gives ample grazing land for zebras, gazelles, elands, pelicans, flamingoes, and warthogs among other species.

Lake Bogoria on the other hand marks the divide between the northern lakes of Baringo, Turkana, and the ‘Masai’ lakes of Nakuru, Elementaita, and Magadi.

Lake Bogoria is set at the bottom of the 600-metre Ngendelel Escarpment. Bogoria could not have been set in a more bleak environment.

 Flamingos at Lake Bogoria. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

It lacks an outlet, but the high alkalinity in the lake has been a factor in the propagation of the blue-green algae that is at the core of the lake’s fame. 

On some days, and especially during weekends or holidays, the hot jets and geysers are a hive of activity. People flock to Lake Bogoria for therapeutic steaming sessions. Many believe that the minerals found in the steaming water have some healing powers.

The Loburu Hot Springs have a particularly unusual and exciting history. There is evidence of the latent volcanic activity thousands of years ago, making the springs a pleasant spot to pitch tent as you watch nature’s creation against the backdrop of Ngendalel Mountains.

Lake Ellis, Mt Kenya

What about the central region of the country? Admittedly not home to many lakes, the area is more known for its rivers. 

However, on Mt Kenya lies several lakes, these include lakes Ellis, Alice, Rutundu, and Michaelson.

The most famous of these is Lake Ellis on the Eastern slopes of the mountain. 

From here you can see three peaks – Batian, Nelion, and Point Lenana. 

A favourite for hikers and adventure seekers on four-wheel-drive monsters, the breathtaking lake sits at 3,470 metres above sea level on Mt Kenya.

It serves as a stopover for hikers and is a popular site for sport fishing for those climbing Mt Kenya from the Chogoria Gate. Lake Rutundu became known around the world when Britain’s Prince William proposed to now Duchess, Kate Middleton.

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