Tourists flock Baringo’s Lake Bogoria as flamingos return

Wednesday August 30 2017

Tourist take pictures of flamingos at Lake Bogoria in Baringo South on August 25, 2017. More than 800,000 flamingos have migrated to the lake leading to a boom in the tourism sector with major hotels around the lake almost fully booked. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Tourist take pictures of flamingos at Lake Bogoria in Baringo South on August 25, 2017. More than 800,000 flamingos have migrated to the lake leading to a boom in the tourism sector with major hotels around the lake almost fully booked. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By FLORAH KOECH
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Hundreds of tourists are trooping to Lake Bogoria in Baringo County to watch thousands of flamingos which have migrated there over the last one month.

The lake normally hosts the birds during this season but their numbers have significantly shot up this year attracting more visitors.

The birds, estimated at 800,000 by the Kenya Wildlife Service, are said to have migrated locally from Lake Nakuru and some from lakes in Tanzania.

They have created a unique spectacle at the lake that is known for its geysers.

The flamingos have lined up along the shoreline and their brightly-coloured feathers are easily noticeable from a distance.

SPECTACULAR

According to Mr James Kimaru, a game warden at the reserve, this spectacular phenomenon has been attracting tourists from far and wide who are also enjoying the hot springs.

The warden said that the flamingos migrate from one place to the other following certain patterns and this season, they have chosen Lake Bogoria.

“According to the recent bi-annual count, there were about 800,000 flamingos but the numbers keep going up,” Mr Kimaru told Nation on Wednesday.

He said the bigger number had made the lake more attractive, adding that they have received many tourists eager to see the birds for themselves.

STRETCH FOR MILES

“The birds stretch for miles, creating a wildlife experience unlike any other. We expect an upwards of 1.5 million of these birds as many fly in,” said Mr Kimaru.

He said that the number of flamingos that go to Lake Bogoria every year varies, depending on the amount of food and water levels. Heavy rainfalls, for example, can keep them away.

“They migrate to the valley when their food sources deplete and [during the] mating season. (Flamingo) Couples rely on unique environments for nesting spots, enjoying the freshwater streams of Lake Bogoria, and they produce just one egg at a time,” said Mr Kimaru.

WORLD HERITAGE SITE

The warden said that the number of tourists touring the lake has also increased tremendously since the reserve was listed as one of the world heritage sites by Unesco.

Hotels situated within the national reserve have reported increased uptake of their rooms as tourists spend time there to enjoy the spectacle.

Lake Bogoria Spa Resort General Manager Lydia Dentewo told Nation that their facilities are almost being overstretched due to the high demands for their rooms.

“All our rooms are almost fully booked but we have set up another 60 cottages to accommodate more visitors,” Ms Dentewo said.

She said the warm water in the lake is also proving attractive to tourists.