Lake Elementeita ( also spelled Elementaita) is a small (18sq km) soda lake ,the word Elementeita is derived from the Maasai word muteita, meaning “dust place”,.
A reference to the dryness and dustiness’ of the area, especially between January and March.
Lake Elementeita which is alkaline is close to Lake Nakuru National Park, part of it is within Soysambu Conservancy.
It is globally recognized as an Important Bird Area
Lake Elementeita has also been designated as one of the wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites) in Kenya since 2005
Due to the assemblage of various birds of conservation concern,such as the threatened, range-restricted Grey-crested Helmet-
shrike (Near threatened) which occurs in the surrounding woodland where it may be resident.
It also sustains significant populations of over 100 species of Palearctic migratory birds by offering a vital wintering ground for them.
Making this one of the greatest ornithological spectacles on earth, the lake forms part of the Great Rift Valley migratory flyway system for migratory birds
Lake Elementeita is fed by the Kikopey hot springs at its southern end, and two small streams, the Meroronyi and Kariandusi, flowing from the eastern plateau.
The surrounding landscape is characterized by dramatic rocky faults, volcanic outcrops and cones.
Rainfall is erratic and averages less than 600 mm/year.
In addition, lake elementeita supports one of the major breeding colonies of the Great White Pelicans in the world.
with over 8000 breeding pairs in the three islands
Every day the adult pelicans, which can weigh up to 15kg, fly south to Lake Naivasha to feed in groups, dipping their heads into the water in unison.
They return in the late afternoon and regurgitate fish from their throat pouches for their young
The natural vegetation is mainly Acacia and Tarconanthus camphoratus bushland interspersed with Themeda triandra grassland.
Patches of Acacia xanthophloea woodland occur near the shore, and formerly covered a large area south of the lake
Birds of Lake Elementeita
Birdlife in lake elementeita is prolific; over 400 bird species have been recorded.
Both Greater and Lesser Flamingo varieties are attracted to Lake Elmenteita by the insect larvae, crustaceans, and blue-green algae
Close to 1 million Lesser Flamingos travel between the three lakes (Lakes Elmenteita, Nakuru, and Bogoria). And that’s just Lesser Flamingos
Birding in Lake Elementeita is pretty easy because it is done while walking as opposed to many areas where it is done while driving vehicles.
On a good day you can record up 200 bird species