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Lake Elementaita Lodge - Rift Valley, Kenya

Lake Elmenteita - Great Rift Valley of Kenya

Lake Elementaita Lodge is a part of the history of Kenya. It was built by the honourable Galbraith Lowry Egerton Cole (1881-1929), one of the more colourful characters of colonial history, who is buried on the lakeside just below his old house. Built in 1916, this atmospheric house still retains all the features of a colonial home, from the red brick walls and a long verandah overlooking the flower garden, to the paneled rooms, fireplaces and library.

Once known as Kekopey Ranch, the land was given to Galbraith Cole by his brother-in-law, Lord Delamere, who owned the adjoining Soysambu Ranch (which is still owned by the present Lord Delamere today). A step back in time, the lodge also uses oxcarts (similar to the ones used by the colonial settlers to transport their belongings up country)to transport guests on tours around the surrounding estate.

The location
The Lake lies 160 km from Nairobi - a 2-3 hour journey depending on road conditions.

Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.

The Background
Lake Elmenteita, also spelled Elementaita, is a soda lake, in the eastern limb of East Africa's Great Rift Valley, about 120 km northwest of Nairobi, Kenya. Elmenteita is derived from the Masaai word muteita, meaning "dust place", a reference to the dry and dusty quality of the area, especially between January and March. In the south-to-north sequence of Rift Valley lakes, Elmenteita is located between Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru. At the southern end of the lake lie the "Kekopey" hot springs, in which the Tilapia Grahamii breed. The reedbeds nearby are fishing grounds for Night Herons and Pelicans. The lake is normally very shallow (< 1 m deep) and bordered by trona-encrusted mudflats during the dry seasons. During the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, Lake Elmenteita was at times united with and expanded Lake Nakuru, forming a much larger dilute lake. Remnants of the former joined lake are preserved as sediments at various locations around the lake basins, including former shorelines.

Associated sites
Nearby is the Kariandusi Museum, at an important prehistoric site where stone hand-axes and cleavers were discovered in 1928 by Louis Leakey. Elmenteita Badlands is a lava flow to the south of the lake, covered in bush and including some spectacularly scenic peaks.

The lodge offers 33 double and twin en-suite rooms.

Dining and bars
The dining room and bar are accommodated in the original house.

Conference and event facilities
The lodge offers a range of conference services.

The lodge welcomes children.

What to see and do
Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the Lake Nakuru / Lake Elmenteita basin. Elmenteita attracts visiting flamingoes, both the Greater and Lesser varieties, which feed on the lake's crustacean and insect larvae and on its suspended blue-green algae, respectively. Tilapia were introduced to the lake from Lake Magadi in 1962 and since that time the flamingo population has dwindled considerably. The tilapia attract many fish-eating birds that also feed upon the flamingo eggs and chicks. Over a million birds that formerly bred at Elmenteita are now said to have sought refuge at Lake Natron in Tanzania. The lake's shores are grazed by zebra, gazelle, eland and families of warthog.

Wildlife highlights:
Defassa waterbuck, gazelles, antelope, colobus monkey, rock hyrax, impala, dik-dik, bush pigs, aardvark, leopard, striped hyena, bat-eared fox, wild cat, golden cat, reedbuck and buffalo and over 450 species of birds.

Other attractions
• Swimming pool
• Bar, restaurant and dining terrace
• Ox-wagon safaris
• Bird walks
• Sundowners and champagne breakfasts
• 2 resident naturalists
• Horse riding
• Visits to the local hot springs and Kariandusi pre-historic site and museum.

Lake Elementaita Lodge - Rift Valley
Kenya Safari Lodges, Tented Camps, Hotels & Resorts


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