The Kenya lake system in the Great Rift Valley consist of three inter- linked alkaline lakes including the surrounding territories. They are Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita and their surrounding territories covering an area of 32,034 hectares. The lake system is located on the floor of the Rift Valley, which itself was created and shaped by tectonic and volcanic events. With no visible water outlet, the three lakes are linked under ground through seepage system.
Kenya Lake System has been classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO because of its ecological and biological importance. It presents an exceptional range of geological and biological processes of natural beauty including falls, geysers, hot springs, open waters and marshes, forests and open grasslands concentrated in a relatively small area and set among the landscape backdrop of the Great Rift Valley. Other factors making the area very important include providing valuable insights into the evolution and the development of soda lake ecosystems and the related communities of plants and animals. The production of huge biomass quantities in these distinctive lakes and the food web that this green algae supports are also of international scientific value, and provide critical support to birds, which visit the property in large numbers as part of their migration in response to seasonal and episodic changes in the environment.
The Kenya Lake System is the single most important foraging site for the Lesser Flamingo in the world with about 1.5 million individuals moving from one lake to the other and provides the main nesting and breeding grounds for Great White Pelicans in the Great Rift Valley. Home to 13 globally threatened bird species and some of the highest bird diversities in the world. The lakes’ terrestrial zones also contain important populations of many mammal and bird species that are globally or regionally threatened. They are home to over 100 species of migratory birds and support globally important populations of Black-Necked Grebe, African Spoonbill, Pied Avocet, Little Grebe, Yellow Billed Stork, Black Winged Stilt, Grey-Headed Gull and Gull Billed Tern. The property makes a critical contribution to the conservation of the natural values within the Great Rift Valley, as an integral part of the most important route of the African-Eurasian flyway system where billions of birds are found to travel from northern breeding grounds to African wintering places.
UNESCO World Heritage list