Your are here : Destinations * Kenya * Lakes and Rivers * Lake Magadi  



Lake Magadi

Deep in the heart of Southern Kenya’s Maasai land, you are ushered into a lost world of salt plains and shimmering heat haze of the unearthly Lake Magadi. This 104 sq km soda lake is completely surrounded by vast natural salt flats while the sweltering hot plains prevent any animals from reaching the alkaline lake at its centre. For this reason, thousands of flamingos descend on the lake each year to nest on elevated mud mounds at the lake’s edge safe from any potential predators.

Lake Magadi is a saline, alkaline lake that lies in a graben. It is the southernmost lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley, lying in a catchment of faulted volcanic rocks. The lake is an example of a "saline pan". During the dry season, it is 80% covered by soda and is well known for its wading birds, including flamingos. Freshwater springs at the Lake’s shore attract a host of other birds while baths provide a natural spa for visitors. At the lakes east shore lays Magadi Township.

The thick encrustation of soda that give the landscape around the lake Magadi a weird lunar appearance, the intense heat, the isolation, the baking salt plains that stretch into horizons of shimmering heat haze and the pink waves of nesting flamingos give a lot of diversity in life making lake Magadi just another world.

The Lake is also well known for its extensive deposits of siliceous chert. There are many varieties including bedded cherts that formed in the lake and intrusive dike-like bodies that penetrated through overlying sediments while the silica was soft. Most famous is "Magadi-type chert", which formed from a sodium silicate mineral precursor magadiite that was discovered at Lake Magadi in the 1960s.

Lake Magadi is the world second largest source of sodium carbonate. The general landscape in the pinkish mirror like Soda Lake is stunning because of the wonderful colors of its soda water and its bird life. The lake changes color according to the changes in light. Nevertheless some parts have turned bright green due to the profuse number of algae.

The sweltering heat around the lake hasten the process of evaporation hence the salts flowing in the lake from the hot springs are trapped and concentrated in the lake leaving a vast expanse of white salt that cracks to produce large polygons. A single species of fish Cichlid called Alcolapia Grahami, have adapted the hot and alkaline waters of this lake basin.

Magadi is often the final destination for treks from the Nguruman escarpment or the Loita hills. Rarely visited by tourists because it is located in a remote area at the Kenyan south border with Tanzania, Magadi area is known for being one of the hottest and driest place of Kenya and for its pinkish mirror-like soda lake. Proximity to Nairobi means that trekkers can leave the heat of Magadi behind and ascend 1000 metres to the highland cool of the capital within two hours drive.

The lake is recharged mainly by saline hot springs (temperatures up to about 83°C) that discharge into alkaline "lagoons" around the lake margins, there being little surface runoff in this arid region. Most hot springs lie along the north-western and southern shorelines of the lake.

The landscape along the road is awesome as the road pass over the Ngong Hills to suddenly plunge into the deepest heart of the Rift Valley. After passing the last hills hidden behind the Ngong Hills (Ol Exayeti and Ol Esakut Hills), you will cross large grassplains similar to the one of Mara.

In addition to the lake, you may see the hot springs and you can as well visit the Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site enroute.
Home   Packages and special offers   Destinations  Safaris  Air Travel  Cruise Holidays  Honeymoon  Gallery  Access us  Terms and Conditions  Newsletter   Blog
Powered by GoNetReady   |  Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use  |  Skin Designed By