Lake Bogoria, Great Rift Valley of Kenya
The Lake Bogoria Spa Resort is located immediately adjacent to the Lake Bogoria National Reserve in the northern sector of the Great Rift Valley. Set against the backdrop of the eastern wall of the rift and the Tugen Hills to the rift is surrounded by stunning scenery and offers excellent bird-watching. Clustered around a central building, the hotel has recently been expanded and offers a series of cottages above the pool and conference centre. Though not a spa in the technical sense of the word, the resort is a spa in the true sense of the word in so much as its pool and water gardens are naturally heated by the boiling springs and geysers of the national park.
The most dramatic yet the least-visited of the Great Rift Valley lakes, Lake Bogoria is a sinuous pewter-blue ribbon of mirrored water often pink-frosted with over a million flamingoes. On its western shores erupt the devilish spouting geysers and bubbling cauldrons of Kenya's most spectacular volcanic springs, to the east it is bounded by the forbidding walls of the towering Siracha Escarpment, and to the south by gentle groves of fig trees and golden-green acacias, in whose shade linger the rare and beautiful greater kudu.
The hotel is in Rift Valley Province, Koibatek, Baringo District and lies 266km from Nairobi
A lake of shifting shades of blue and green
A grey-blue ribbon of water that appears almost oily in its passivity, the 16 km long, 1-4 km wide, 5.4 - 10 m deep Lake Bogoria is fed by the Sandai (or Waseges) River, which rises on the eastern scarp of the Rift Valley; also by its own hot springs. Like most of the Rift Valley lakes, Bogoria has no outlet and this coupled with the searing heat of its climate causes intense evaporation. The resultant alkaline water provides the ideal habitat for the blue-green algae, cyanophyte Spirulina sp, which is the staple food of flamingoes. Consisting of three basins and two ‘necks' of land, the lake is bordered for the length of its eastern shore by the starkly furrowed walls of the Siracha Escarpment, which rises 610 m above its mirrored waters.
An insane vision of hell
Bogoria has around 200 hot springs in total but the largest and most spectacular collection erupts along the lakeside at Loburu, some 9 km from Loboi Gate. Characteristically signs of declining volcanic activity, hot springs are an indication that molten rock (magma) lies not far below the earth's surface. Boiling up from beneath the precariously shallow crust of the earth at temperatures from 94-104 C, the diamond-clear water is scalding hot to the touch and wreathed in billows of steam. Bursting into bubbling pools and boiling waterfalls, many of the ochre-brown depressions centre on sulphurous rock sculptures from which angry geysers blow jets of boiling water several meters into the air. Surreally set against the pink of the flamingoes, the petrol-blue of the lake and the forbidding mass of the escarpment, and punctuated by the bizarre spectacle of visitors boiling eggs in the writhing waters, the scene resembles a vision from an insanely beautiful hell.
The only constant alkaline habitat in the Rift Valley, Lake Bogoria provides a major feeding site for its itinerant population of an estimated two million lesser flamingoes, which increasingly since the 1990's tend to frequent Bogoria's waters rather than the more polluted waters of Lake Nakuru. Promenading the shoreline in shifting lines of mature pink and immature white, they can be seen scything their beaks to and fro to sift algae from the water. Some stand on one leg, others chug through the water like ducks or upend and kick their shocking pink legs in the air; all murmur, honk and mutter in incessant dialogue, and overhead cyclamen and black flight formations arrow in, tiptoeing briefly on the water before fluttering to an elegant landing.
There are 22 rooms in the main hotel and 23 cottages (4 of which have VIP status). All rooms are en-suite and have AC, telephone and laundry services.
Dining and bars
There is a central dining room with interior and exterior terrace seating. Most meals are served on a buffet basis. There is an interior bar and a poolside bar.
Conferences and events
The resort is a popular corporate conference venue and offers its own self-contained conference centre with two air-conditioned conference rooms.
Children are welcome and family rooms are available. Baby-sitting, children's meal times and menus
What to see and do
The hotel has extensive grounds and an attractive naturally heated pool. Access to Lake Bogoria National Reserve is just 5 minutes down the road.
Lake Bogoria Spa Resort - Rift Valley
Kenya Safari Lodges, Resorts and Hotels