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The Great Rift Valley lies in the west of Kenya: this deep crevice between 2 plates in the earth’s crust runs from Mozambique in south-eastern Africa to Syria in Asia. Thousands of kilometres of the Great Rift lie in East Africa. This impressive gorge is between 30 and 100 kilometres wide and features the deepest lakes and highest mountains.
The lakes and rivers between the fault lines are still deepening. The fresh water lakes are home to fish that occur nowhere else in the world and the diversity of birds is enormous. The region is also home to several native tribes, such as the Masai and the Samburu. The lakes and the geysers and hot springs in the volcanic landscape make this a truly unique setting - a natural wonder, with a unique combination of lakes, swamps, grassy plains, forests and animals.
Because of their unique natural phenomena, the 3 interconnected lakes of Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elmenteita in the Great Valley have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Home to 13 endangered bird species, the region features a great diversity and large concentration of birds. The geysers make it even more spectacular. Lake Elmenteita, the smallest of the 3 lakes, has beautiful birds and unique hot springs. Lake Bogoria is a saltwater lake and is even more spectacular because of the large numbers of flamingos that flock there. But Lake Nakuru is best known for its population of the elegant pink birds and has even been nicknamed The Pink Lake. Hundreds of thousands, or even millions of flamingos live among pink pelicans and rhinos. The area around the lake in Lake Nakuru National Park is home to all of the Big Five. But you will also find zebras, baboons, giraffes and gazelles here. Bird watchers will definitely also love this area with over 500 species of birds, including bee-eaters and crowned cranes.
The lakes of the Great Rift Valley are home to 2 species of flamingo: the smaller ’lesser’ flamingo and the large ‘greater’ flamingo. The birds prefer shallow water; after it rains they will often move to the next lake. Another fun fact: often seen balancing on one leg, the flamingo is born white/grey and not pink. The bright pink colour is the result of its food intake as here they feed on algae that live in the lake. It uses its beak to filter the algae from the water.