The best thing about travelling in Kenya is that you will always discover something new. Lake Sonachi, for instance, is a lesser-known lake found in Naivasha that has so much to offer including aesthetics. It has been in existence for a few decades now but rarely gets listed among the lakes in the Rift Valley. Here are a few intriguing facts about this beautiful lake.
It is a crater lake
A crater lake is formed when a large depression is formed on the surface of the earth due to the impact of a meteorite or volcanic activity. In Sonachi’s case, the latter explanation is more viable. It is believed to have formed due to the constant tectonic movements that occur around the Rift Valley that resulted in the formation of other features including the Hell’s Gate gorge.
It is alkaline
Lake Sonachi is alkaline thanks to the absence of an outlet. It gets most of its waters from rainfall and the underground aquifers. For this reason, the lake does not hold any mammals like its neighbours, Lake Oloiden and Lake Naivasha.
It is green in colour
Lake Sonachi appears a dark green from a distance. The shade grows lighter as the distance grows shorter, but it still remains green. The colour comes from the high population of algae found in the lake thanks to the high levels of alkalinity. This special algae is so rich in chlorophyll (the green pigment also present in plant leaves) that it can photosynthesize in the presence of sunlight.
It regularly hosts Lesser Flamingos
Although not constantly, Lake Sonachi regularly hosts a small group of lesser flamingos over the years. These birds are believed to use the lake as a stopover as they fly to and from Lake Natron, which is their breeding ground in East Africa.
It is not connected to Lake Naivasha
Unlike Lake Oloiden, Lake Sonachi is not connected to Lake Naivasha through any surface or underground flows. Therefore, even in the times of high rainfalls and tides, the two lakes never combine, as is the case for Oloiden.
It is privately owned
The crater lake Sonachi is owned privately and ran as a part of a sanctuary for wild animals that live near and around the lake. The lake is surrounded by a healthy growth of woodland that is home to animals like the impala, gazelles, colobus monkey and hundreds of land bird species. There is a tented camp at the crest of the lake that hosts guests who would like to explore the area more.