Kenya Rift Valley And Its Lakes

The Great Rift Valley

The great rift valley begins in the dead sea in the north and ends at the Zambezi River in Mozambique to the south. The valley which was formed by drifting of the earth crust some 10 – 20 million of years ago extends approximately 8700kms.

The Kenya Rift Valley nearly divide Kenya down its length. All the way from Ethiopian border in the north to the Tanzania border in the south. The valley is characterized by uninhabitable deserts in the North, Fertile farmland in the middle of flat arid plains (Savannah grassland – Maasai Mara) to the south.

Kenya Rift Valley Lakes
Lake Bogoria

Kenya Rift Valley Lakes

Since 2011, all Kenya Rift Valley Lakes have experienced rising in water levels. The lakes affected include Lake Naivasha, Elementaita, Nakuru, Bogoria and finally Baringo. This increase in water level have not been experienced in the last 50 years. The government agencies and meteorological departments confirms that the rainfall pattern in the Rift Valley have been pretty normal. Scientists have attributed these rises of water to the effect of regional tectonic movements. Techtronic activities is when violent forces push up molten rocks in volcanic eruption through the fault lines.

Kenya Rift Valley Lakes
Increased water levels at Lake Nakuru

In our case, the Rift Valley is responding to the pull of the Indian Ocean forces. As a result, these effects have coursed some activities along some of the lakes to stop. The rising water level have consumed some areas meant for agriculture, buildings and hotels and recreational grounds. The hot geysers at Lake Bogoria have also been affected as they have been completely covered.

The good news though is that the lakes might not rise higher than the current levels. So, no course for worry!

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Why The Bogoria Girl Safari

WHY THE BOGORIA GIRL:

Its during the just passed festive season (December 2017) that the Bogoria girl was born in me. My family’s 2017 Christmas holiday took us to all the lakes in Kenya’s Great Right Valley. We left Nairobi on the 24th December and first destination was Lake Bogoria where we stayed for three nights. Our home for those three nights was Lake Bogoria Spa and Resorts. With two swimming pools the resort is a perfect getaway for families with kids. It gave us a chance to swim late at night because one of the pols is naturally heated pool. Lake Bogoria is famous for hot geyser springs thus the naturally heated swimming pool. 26th Dec will forever remain a special day for me. On this day dinner was by the pool (the natural heated pool). Friends of Lake Nakuru was the band entertaining us, we also had the bogoria women perform their traditional dance. Then here came what would be my 2017 highlight. The manager on duty announced that there was a short video clip they wanted to show us. He went on to explain what it was all about. It was about one of their own at Lake Bogoria Spa and Resort by the name Lydia. The clip was about what Lydia has been doing for the community around the resort and she was appealing for well-wishers to join her. This Lady has been putting smiles on girls and women in Bogoria though the journey has not been easy. I came to learn then that the girls in Bogoria are not able to attend school throughout each month because their parents can’t afford sanitary pads. Came every November and December those that are of age risk going through FGM.

This story touched me so deep and I felt the urge to know more about Lydia and the bogoria girl. Ruth was our waiter that evening and I enquired from her who Lydia was and if it was possible to see her that evening since we were to leave next day in the morning. Luckily enough she was on duty and within few minutes she was at our table.
Lydia shared with me at length on what it is that she does for the bogoria girl and woman. To most of you reading this maybe it has never occurred to you that we have some girls who miss school for 3 to 5 days every month because they can afford sanitary pad. I would like to let you know that this does happen and Bogoria is one of these places that you will meet these girls. She goes onto tell me that she uses her little savings and what she has collected from friends to buy these girls the sanitary pads. This was shocking. Yes it was not the first time I was hearing this kind of story in my home land Kenya but it was the first time I was listening unedited story. A story from someone on the ground who told me as it was. I asked here a hundred and one questions. With the little she gets she is able to buy the pads but there are times when she does not get enough money to buy and provide to all the needy girls. By now you all have an idea what happens when a girl does not get her monthly supply…..you are right, she misses school close to five days and though she stays at home she is very restricted on where to go or what to do. Sad, right? You will be more surprised to learn that one girl needs only Kshs 2000 (20 USD) to be able to get a one-year supply for the sanitary towel. Yes, the figure is correct. Per month this will be Kshs 170 approximately (USD 1.70). During this talk an inner voice kept on telling me Anne you need to do something and even as I type this that inner voice is still talking to me. I have no dought that I need to do something for these girls.

Effect of these 3 to 5 days is very huge. These girls are forced to go out and source for the little money they need. And how do they do this? They are lured by men who in return gives them some few shillings for their needs. A times this results in early pregnancy and early polygamous marriages.
Lydia goes on to tell me that come November and December which is our schools longest holiday some of these girls are forced to go through FGM. This is also another of her project. To see that these girls are not subjected to this inhumanly act, she keeps on educating young girls on why they should not agree to go through FGM. Our talk got deep that at some point, I had to release my family to go for a swim at the spa pool promising to join them later (we had agreed earlier that we were to have a late-night swim). Our 7-year-old son kept on coming to remind me that I needed to join them in the spa pool as we had a deal. At one point he came and said “Mummy, I can see that this is a very serious talk but is there hope of you joining us at the swimming pool” He was very right, I was touched by this story that for moment I forgot why I was at Lake Bogoria Spa.

Remember I mentioned that some becomes victim of early pregnancy? There need also becomes more. As we concluded promised Lydia that I will be one of those who will walk with her on this journey. Am not sure but maybe she has been told this before but nothing materialized. As we ushered in the new year I told myself that will make personal contribution to this very noble course. I will approach my friends and request them to each take care of a girl for a whole year. Being that I am the CEO and Founder of Kisima Safaris I felt I could do more. On coming back to the office after the holidays I have shared the story with my team and they all want to be part of this journey. It is through this that THE BOGORIA GIRL SAFARI has been born. For every client who travel with us Kisima safaris will contribute 20 dollars toward purchasing of sanitary pad. We also welcome our guests on this safari to add something on this kitty and be a part as we give confidence to the BOGORIA WOMAN. The Bogoria is thus commencing this year and we are ready to walk with these girls and make them have a bright future ahead.

Mystical Lake With Seven Islands

Lake Baringo

This is a wonder Lake with seven Island and several Mythical tales about it. Some of which will give you goose balms and some, if you are adventurous enough, will leave you wanting to explore the dangers in it. It is the 2nd most Northern of the Rift Valley Lakes just below Lake Turkana. Also, one of the 2 fresh water Rift Valley Lake (the other one being L. Naivasha). Strange thing being, the Lake is fed by several rivers including, Molo, Perkera and Ol Arabel but has no visible outlet. Probably it sips its water to the sedimentary rocks below.

The 130Km2 Lake has a total of 7 Islands in it; namely Lokoros, Rongena, Lengai, Samatian, Ol kokwe, Parmolos and the Devil’s Island. One of the Islands is habited by one family, 1 man several wives and very many children. Ol Kokwe is the Island of Hot Natural Springs where you can boil your eggs as you enjoy the Bewitching silence. The Devil’s Island I find to be the most Interesting. The four fishing communities the Njems, Pokot, Turkana and the Turgen who all sail in L. Boaringo have a mythical tale about this Island. All off them sail far from the Island not to dare getting closer to it. They say a blue flame lights the Island every night. Occasionally, the Devil living there is heard hauling the names of anyone who dares to get close to the Island at night. Though Tourist Love the area for it’s hiking landscapes.

The Eco System

The ecosystem in Lake Bogoria is one of the richest. With 470 bird species recorded so far, including the migratory flamingos and the common Fish eagle, it is a heaven for bird watchers. With seven fresh water fish species, it has provided four communities and the resident crocodile with more than enough to live on. The water plants take care of the numerous numbers of Hippopotamus living in the lake in groups of 10-15. Research says that the Hippos in Baringo can feed up to 40kgs of grass on a daily basis. However, all these living things depend on L. Baringo as a habitat are all at risk as siltation is slowly interfering with the water levels. So far, the fish are reducing and the Nile Crocodile who once live in perfect harmony with the Locals are now hazardous to them.

The Highlights

Lake Baringo is a destination to die for. Spectacle sunset, a dazzling array of endless colorful birds, the authentic culture of the Pokot fishermen in their simple, traditional fishing vessels. The nights at the Island lodge is a special treat of bewitching silence only interrupted by the waves of the lake and the chipping birds. And the highlight being, seeing the sunrise behind the lake from the comfort of your bed at Island Camp.

Sustainable Tourism is part of us. We practice it in our offices and out in the field. As you travel with Kisima Safaris please join us by practicing sustainable tourism.

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