Mother Nature continues to be one of the strongest forces in the earth. And as travellers and lovers of all things nature, we are always happy to stumble upon natural miracles. Lake Oloiden is a perfect example of phenomena that have both locals and scientists mesmerized by its mere existence. Here is everything you need to know about this magic lake.
Oloiden is located in Naivasha County, approximately 90 kilometres from Nairobi CBD and 60 minutes from Nakuru. It is located very close to Lake Naivasha with a man-made canal connecting the two lakes.
Scientists believe that Lake Oloiden was formed as result of tectonic rising in what was originally Lake Naivasha, leading to separation by land of the two lakes. The locals say the lake just appeared mysteriously when some hills started growing out of the water, cutting off Lake Oloiden completely from the main Lake Naivasha.
If its formation is not intriguing enough for you, then consider the state of the waters. Initially, Lake Oloiden was a fresh water lake considering it was once part of Lake Naivasha. However, in the late 1990’s the lake became significantly saline. This can be attributed to the fact that the lake has no outlet. In fact, the lake became so saline that it saw the death and migration of hundreds of birds and animal life. On the other hand, however, the salinity was perfect for the lesser flamingos and up to 2008, the lake was home to these beautiful birds. However, climate change in recent years led to the Lake Oloiden and Lake Naivasha waters occasionally mixing, therefore, reducing Oloiden’s salinity and gradual disappearance of the flamingos.
What to do and see
Lake Oloiden is about 800meters from the main road. It shares the same ecosystem as Lake Naivasha so you are guaranteed wildlife sightings and great natural aesthetics. At the lake itself, there are four things to do:
- Boat ride across the lake. You will enjoy the tranquillity that this small but mighty lake offers as you appreciate the views of the Longonot, Aberdare and Eburru mountains. The yellow fever acacia trees give the lake an amazing background that is almost picture-perfect.
- Bird watching. Among the many birds you are going to see here, the great white pelican takes the spotlight. The birds seem to enjoy the calm waters and almost undisturbed environment. If you get there early enough you will be entertained by their dances, fishing rituals and simple grooming practise.
- Hippo spotting. The Lake Oloiden is home to various hippo families who do not seem to fear human beings. In fact, you will often see one or two getting very close to the boat and then swimming away.
- Fishing. Lastly, at the lake, you can participate in fishing with the guidance of the expert fishermen. It is always a great thing knowing where your next meal is coming from.
The lake is surrounded by various activities and venues including camping sites, local hotels, market grounds and of course the Lake Naivasha National park.