Lake Magadi In Kenya
Lake Magadi lies in the Southern part of Masai Mara land. It is the world second largest source of sodium carbonate. This lake has a thick crust of soda carbonate which is removed using a floating dredge. It is then pumped to refineries, where it is then processed into soda ash which is used in glass making. This lake covers an area of about one hundred and four kilometers. It is surrounded by volcanic hills or escarpments which have covered the area with alkaline ashes which have sodium carbonate. These ashes are then carried to the lake by rain water. Due to evaporation caused by the hot temperatures, the salt is left in the lake.
The sweltering hot plains surrounding Lake Magadi prevent the big cats or predators from reaching the alkaline water lake especially at its center. This encourages thousands of pink flamingos to migrate to this lake each year. Here they nest on the elevated mud mounds at the lakes edge where no predators can reach them. There is only one fish species called Cichlid (Alcolapia Grahami). This species is able to survive in the hot and alkaline waters of the lake basin where temperatures get to below forty-five degrees Celsius. The freshwater springs at the lake’s shores also attracts other bird species, for instance the Spoon Bill, Hero and Pelican. There is a lot of game viewing since the lake lies between the Masai Mara National Park and the Samburu National Park. The animals mostly spotted here include giraffes, antelopes, zebras, gazelles, warthogs and the black rhino.
The Magadi town which is near the lake is owned by the Magadi Soda Company. This town is very clean and well-maintained under the management of the company. There are Schools, hospitals, sport clubs and residential houses build in this town. However, there is a small fee charged at the entrance. You can also visit the Nguruman escarpment which is densely forested and ideal for bird watching and Lake Natron which is also a good site for watching flamingos. In addition, you can also visit the Ewaso Nyiro delta and Shompole volcano.
Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site, which was discovered by Louis and Mary Leakey in 1942 lies in the land of the Masai communities. This site was donated to the government by the Masai people and covers an area of fifty-two acres. There are six different excavated areas where visitors can see animal bones, hand axes and other items dating more than 200,000 years ago. The intense heat, isolation of the lake and the escarpments are a great adventure for every visitor.
Jackline Mwathe Is A Tour Operator And Has Been Organizing And Reporting On Kenya Vacation, Travel And Tours For Years. For more information on African Tourism, visit her site at LAKE MAGADI IN KENYA