HOTELS FULL

Tourism boom in Baringo as flamingos flock Lake Bogoria

The beautiful birds, which normally return between June and July, arrived last week with thousands of young.

In Summary
  • A spot check by the Star on a tour of the lake found millions of the birds forming a beautiful pink patterns, which is a great attraction for visitors.
  • Major tourist hotels in the area are enjoying high visitor turnout.
Lake Bogoria flamingos.
UNDER THREAT: Lake Bogoria flamingos.
Image: FILE

The tourism sector in Baringo county is enjoying a boom after millions of flamingos migrated to Lake Bogoria following a successful breeding season in Lake Natron in Tanzania.

The beautiful birds, which normally return between June and July, arrived last week with thousands of young flamingos.

A spot check by the Star on a tour of the lake found millions of the birds forming a beautiful pink patterns, which is a great attraction for visitors.

Lake Bogoria senior warden James Kimaru said the breeding season of the flamingos is between February to April every year when they usually migrate to Lake Natron, a salt lake located in Northern Tanzania, and come back in July.

“The birds have kept their migration constant for the past seven years, which usually occurs between June and July.  They spend between four and five months in Kenya, then fly back to Lake Natron for breeding,” Kimaru said.

“They have come in large numbers and they all look healthy, signifying a successful breeding season. The birds often fly back to Kenya to spend more time and feed after a successful breeding season.” 

Kimaru said the birds flocking back to Lake Bogoria often coincides with the tourism peak season, which he says has seen tourism numbers grow.

Major tourist hotels in the area are enjoying high visitor turnout.

Lake Bogoria Spa Resort manager Lydia Dentewo said their facilities were stretched almost to the limit following the birds’ migration.

“Our accommodation facilities are fully booked for the next two months. We are in the process of setting up more than 120 additional rooms and tented camps to cope with the high number of customers seeking accommodation,” Dentewo said.

Lake Bogoria is a World Heritage Site under the Kenya Lake System, which comprises lakes Nakuru and Elementaita.

The flamingo population in Lake Nakuru has decreased over years, which has been attributed to the increasing water levels and pollution. Lake Bogoria host larger populations of flamingos in the region.

A recent report on the status of World Heritage Sites in Africa proposed that other lakes, which play a critical role in survival of flamingos, be included on the World Heritage List. They include Lake Natron in Tanzania, a key breeding haven for flamingos.

The flamingos,  the report said, mainly nest in Lake Natron, while flocks also exist in lakes Manyara and Eyasi and in Ethiopian lakes such as Abijatta, Shalla, Metehara, Chitu and Aranguade.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star