Lake Bogoria National Reserve

 

Summary report for Lake Bogoria National Reserve 12th November 2005 presented by James Koima Kimaru.

 

Introduction and Background

Lake Bogoria National reserve is an important conservation area in Kenya holding regionally and nationally endangered species like Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsciseros) and other mammals. The reserve has unique physiographic feature and geothermal manifestation due to its history .the combination of landforms, biodiversity content, availability of water and forage makes this site important for community, national global levels.

It was designated as a national reserve in1974 with a found boundary plan 216/26 delineating a total area of 107 km2 and 2002 it was listed as a third wetland of international important under the Ramsar convection the same consideration in the international convection which make Lake Bogoria a World Heritage Site. The natural resource content, cultural values which increase the number of tourism form making an important revenue resource for social- economic development. The lake is the deepest alkaline lake in Kenya with numerous alkaline hot springs that contribute significant inflow into the lake. This reserve is rich in biodiversity and the lake is an important stop-over point for the northern avian migrants.

 

Location

Lake Bogoria National Reserve , lies between 360 4and 36 0 7East and North and about 10km North of the equator in Baringo and Koibatek District of Rift Valley Province Kenya .Its Altitude between 970m at the lake to 1650 meters on Siracho escarpment. The reserve lies close to eastern wall of the Great valley and has its headquarters at Loboi gate.

 

Access

Lake Bogoria National reserve is about 285 km northern Nairobi which can be accessed by Road via Loboi gate through Nakuru Marigat road town, three kilometers before Marigat, is a right turnoff clearly marked LBNR.Loboi gate is 20km from this turnoff. Other gate are Maji Moto and Emsos which can be accessed through a rough earth road that branches off to the right just before Mogotio shopping centre,36 km from Nakuru town. And again reserve can be accessed by air through airstrip in Lake Baringo and then by road back to Marigat junction. However a non-gasatted which can be used by light aircrafts is located at the northern end of the Lake adjacent to the Loboi gate.

Management

Lake Bogoria National Reserve is under the management two councils Baringo and Koibatek with the Authority from Wildlife Act They is responsible for conservation of biodiversity and natural resources especially within the National Reserve and its environs;

  • Ensure ecological integrity of the reserve through proper planning and management
  • Promote tourist as an income generating project in the catchments
  • Implementation of the management plan
  • Fully support on the initiative done by other stakeholder within the catchments

 

Geysers and Hot springs

In Lake Bogoria the geysers and hot springs are the major attractions which are at the central basin of the lake. It has the temperature of close to boiling point and highly mineralized and is believe to be sourced from shallow aquifers in contact with Laval intrusions. The have an estimated discharge of 900l sec-1 (28.38Mm3) to the Lake namely

  1. The Loburu Area
  2. The Chemurkeu area
  3. The Mwanasis-kubwa-losamat area (Renault et al, 1987).

The hot springs at the Loburu and chemurkeu have a shallow aquifer with temperature of about 1000c, while the other is deeper with temperature of about 170oc. the all spring as the pH of 8.0 and there are other small hot spring, geysers and fumaroles in the area.

 

Tourism

Lake Bogoria National reserve and its catchment have a high tourism potential, and tourist attractions including biodiversity aspects, landscape and culture. The geysyres hot springs are the major attraction which attracts both the National and the International tourist. Again the endangered species Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsciseros) and rare species like Patas monkeys, Cheteehs, Leopard and Karakuls is also one of the attractive in the reserve.

Visitors have accesses to either accommodate themselves in hotels out site the reserve or the campsites in the resrve.Campsite available in the reserve are Acacia campsite, Riverside campsite, fig Tree campsite and other community campsite includes Loboi River and picnic site next to Loboi River Bridge, NETBON camping site near Maji moto gate and Emsos community camp near Emsos gate. The hotels are Lake Bogoria hotel which is a 3 star hotel with private cottages and seminar facilities, Papyrus Inn and Zakayos Hotels are low budget cost outfits located near the reserve headquarters and offer accommodation and meals.

Flora.

Biodiversity inventories have identified approximately over 210 plant species belonging to 53 plant families in the reserve and neighboring wetlands. The vegetation distribution to large extent is determined by topography and hydrological features, wich some of the vegetation type area medicinal plants, shrines and sacred site.

Climate and rainfall

The climate of the area ranges between the arid and semi arid regimes found within the Rift valley system in Kenya .The climatic conditions are harsh with temperatures at the Lake ranging from 180 c-390 c with daily mean of 250c. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 500-100 mm occurring in two seasons April-May and October- November.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fauna

Over 373 species of birds have been recorded in the area including over 50 migratory species have been recorded in Lake Bogoria National Reserve; making it one of the richest birdlife areas in Kenya justify its inclusion as one of the 60 Important Bird Areas (IBAs).

The Lake holds huge congregations of lesser flamingo that feed on high production of blue-green algae mostly dominated by Sprirullina platenesis.the lake shore configuration and fresh water points contribute to these assemblages that can at times comprise of 1.5 millions flamingos.Compered to other alkaline lakes, lake Bogoria support the highest population of the greater Flamingos . Other water birds found in the lake include migratory waders such as Ruff, Curlew sandpiper, little stint, Tawny eagle, among others.

Wildlife species characteristic by a high diversity at low densities. Animal found are the common mammalian like Greater Kudu, Burchells Zebra warthogs, Forest hog Impala, Klipsrigers, Cape buffalo, Patas Monkeys among others. Predators include genet, serval cat, cite and white tailed mongoose cheetah. There are several reptiles including monitor lizard, agama lizard, tortoise and a number of snakes such as Black mamba, spiting cobra and puff adder.

 

Ecological Components of Lake Bogoria.

Lake Bogoria is characterized by steep shoreline and has a trough basin morphometry consisting of three simi-distict but interconnected basins consisting of the northern, centre and southern basins which the deepest part of the Lake (14m).The Lake has high alkalinity with pH ranging between 9.8-10.6,the open water is dominated by phytoplankton species such as Spirullina platensis,Microcystis aeruginosa,Anabeanopsis armoldii and bacteria extremophiles.The lake has River and the streams that drainage the water to lake. There is fully meteorological station for the conservation and educational purposes for the community and environs

 

Zoning

The reserve has a high diversity of habitat some of which be considered as ecologically fragile, or contain rare species of plants or animals that need to be protected from direct anthropogenic impacts.Thses is categorized as no use zones or wilderness zones, within the reserve some of the most important tourist attractions are located in sensitive habitats that are vulnerable to degradation by uncontrolled tourist activities. Sensitive areas include the hot spring, river mouths and sections of the lakes shoreline. Zoning of the reserve for different types of tourist use and activities is recommended and should be based on habitat structure, ecological fragility and their ability to sustain the designated use type.

 

For: More information pleases contact;

The Chief Game Warden,

Lake Bogoria National Reserve,

P o box 64, Marigat.

Kenya

Tel +254 0512211987 Fax +254 051 2214935