Great Rift Valley Lakes

Beautiful lakes filled with grunting hippos, cool crocodiles and the air pink with flamingoes...


The Great Rift Valley is a huge geological fault-line. It runs south through Kenya from the remote turquoise Lake Turkana in the north, and bisects Kenya and much of Africa. Here you find some of Kenya’s most beautiful lakes surrounded by lush cattle and game estates.

The Great Rift Valley area is often the starting point for a Kenya safari. As it’s only a two hour drive or short flight from Nairobi. And there are direct flights from Naivasha on to the Masai Mara. It is an ideal curtain raiser to a Kenya safari.

Soda Lakes of Kenya

One of the highlights of the Great Rift Valley region is the picturesque  ‘flamingo lake’ of Lake Nakuru. Famous for its colourful flamingos and abundant rhino. The soda lakes of Bogoria, Elementaita and Nakuru all attract swathes of flamingos, pelicans and other birds. While the freshwater lakes of Naivasha and Baringo offer good boating and fishing.

Cattle & game estates in the Great Rift Valley

The highlands surrounding the soda lakes are lush pasture, first roamed by Masai herdsmen and then settled by successive generations of pioneer adventurers.  We recommend Loldia House, a restored old colonial farmhouse on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

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Gloria Darvall

Africa Travel Specialist
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. More enriching, more restorative and making more of a difference. Discover how working with a specialist adds value to your African adventure.


Why you may love it

  • Beautiful lakes filled with grunting hippos, cool crocodiles and the air pink with flamingos
  • Along its entire length are active and semi-active volcanoes and hot springs
  • Soda Lakes of Kenya are a highlight for birding and game-viewing, as well as boating and fishing
  • Spectacular canyon, hot springs and abundant wildlife at Hell’s Gate
  • Picnic at Crescent Island or go on a guided walk around Crater Lake

Explore the Great Rift Valley Lakes map

When to visit Great Rift Valley Lakes

Mid-December to March

Summer in Great Rift Valley Lakes

The broad Laikipia area (which encompasses the Lewa Conservancy, Ol Pejeta Game Reserve and the Highlands Conservancies) are at a high altitude, often over 2,000m (6,500ft). So this makes the days pleasant and the nights quite cool (10-11C) with only occasional afternoon showers.
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 9 ℃ / 48 ℉

April to May

Autumn in Great Rift Valley Lakes

The long rains here take the form of hard afternoon showers so there is still plenty of sunshine. April is the wettest month.
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 79 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

June to October

Winter in Great Rift Valley Lakes

Interestingly it continues to rain here through the winter months, though not as much as in April. Indeed rain can be as frequent as every 2-3 days in July and August. The temperatures are cooler but remain a pleasant 22-24C whilst nights can dip down to 9C.
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉
MIN TEMP 10 ℃ / 50 ℉

November to mid-December

Spring in Great Rift Valley Lakes

Unlike further south, there is no real short rain period. In fact it tends to be very similar to the later summer months with a gradual rise to warmer temperatures but nothing hectic.
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉
MIN TEMP 10 ℃ / 50 ℉

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Did you know
  • LandscapeHome to 8 lakes
  • GeographyGeological fault, almost 5000 km in extension