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Road to Baringo’s majestic boiler

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Jayne Rose Gacheri | July 18th 2021

Lake Bogoria is no doubt a remarkable place to visit. [Courtesy]

Kenya provides a treasure trove of unique unmatched landscapes and a hub of timeless vistas waiting to be explored. It does not matter how many times you have been to a destination, there is always something new to discover, a story to be told, and a culture to learn.

Take for instance a road trip to the Great North Rift – any destination to this part of the country will leave you with an amazing experience.

My destination is the Boiler – a nickname for Lake Bogoria. My journey started from Nanyuki through Nyahururu, onward to Nakuru. 

After Nakuru, we drive through contrasting and captivating scenes – from luxuriant maize and wheat farms (depending on the season) of the Kabarak area to the thorny acacia shrubbery of Mogotio. Then comes the hilly rocky terrain of Marigat.

I have been through this road many times, but I had never noticed the various tree and shrub species, and landscapes, and other features along the road. Joseph Moturi, an accomplished guide, had everything at his fingertips.

Before I know it, we are at our destination – Lake Bogoria, Kenya’s own boiler!

Lake Bogoria is no doubt a remarkable place to visit. For starters, there are those hot springs and steam jets that combine mystery with beauty to produce an awesome spectacle – why it is worth being referred to as a boiler. Then again, there is that tranquility.

From afar, the view is stunning. If you are visiting Lake Baringo (once called Lake Hannington) your thoughts are likely to revolve around the next visit; particularly how you want to come back for a picnic or to pitch a tent on a camping safari.

Sharing this peaceful aura within Lake Bogoria is a haven of birds and animal species. Indeed, the lake is an oasis in the middle of the vast savannah, occasionally dotted with acacia shrubs. Now I understand why a visitor described the beauty “as a perfect adventure setting – ‘a huge film-studio setting’ only you do not need lighting”.

It is fun watching the massive sunrays, against the backdrop of the dramatic western wall of the Great Rift Valley, and the Tugen Hills to the east of Lake Bogoria. But the curtains of this breath-taking setting are not drawn yet. Not before, you watch the highlight of the magical show – experiencing the hot springs geysers and steam jets.

On some days, and especially during weekends or holidays, the hot jets and geysers are a hive of activity. People flock to Lake Bogoria (always practice the Covid-19 protocols) 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.

Besides the hot jets and geysers, there is plenty to see. A game drive will capture a treasure-trove of wildlife (no guarantees). On a lucky day, you might be able to capture animals like the lesser kudu and leopards, plenty of birds such as the kingfish eagle and his next-door neighbour – the marabou stork.

However, the drama around Lake Bogoria is not limited to only birds, wildlife, the hot springs, and geysers. Lake Bogoria is magical for a family or group trip.

The destination provides for a few indulges such as trying out some experiments such as boiling eggs, maize, and sweet potatoes in nature’s own hot pots.

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