We are back to yet another awesome lake experience, it feels pretty amazing to be back at the lake. Our destination today being Lake Magadi. Lake time and sunshine, all what the heart needs…
Our day trip started at 0800hrs (3 hrs 45 min drive). It took us about four hours to get to the Lake due to the many potholes along the way😩😩. In most of the places the earth looked like someone had sucked it dry. Several stopovers’ along the way helped us forget the bumby journey. For the Maasai, life for them appeared to have remained the same for centuries.
Lake Magadi is located southwest of Nairobi. The lake itself is located 30 min outside Magadi Town. It is an amazing unique and serene destination for nature lovers including bird watchers and adventure campers. It lies in a catchment of faulted volcanic rocks north of Tanzania’s Lake Natron. It is 32km long and 3km wide. During the dry season, its 80% is covered with soda and is well known for its wading birds, including flamingos. The area also boasts of hot springs, which is said to have curative powers for various skin ailments.
The geography and geology of the lake is such that it is among the few places on earth where trona, (a naturally occurring mineral that contains sodium bicarbonate compounds) is found at the surface. The final scenes of the movie “The Constant Gardener”, based on John le Carre’s novel, were filmed on the shoreline of the lake, when in fact the location in the story was Lake Turkana. Many production companies would be wowed by the breathtaking landscape view and the desert environment in Magadi. A number of films and music videos have been done in Magadi. Recent Music videos among hundreds would include:
- Wyre ft. Kalighraph – Hotter
- Noushka – Mungu wangu
- TID – Nyota yangu
- Sauti sol – Oya come make we go
A number of wildlife is also found around the lake; this includes giraffes, antelopes, ostriches, zebras, wildebeests, hyenas, and a few lion families are only seen very early in the morning or at night when the temperatures are low. Elephants and buffalos can be seen at the conservancy to the south of the lake. From a distance one can see the baking salt plains spread far and wide. The heat is quite high. Ensure you have carried enough drinking water.
We arrived at the facility early afternoon, waited at the guard station where we were given tickets then proceeded to the hot springs. We picked up a guide because the road to the hot springs had no road signs and in some of places you would have to drive on the lake. To be on the safer side always request for a guide. Some of us hiked halfway through. (I am some of us).The view was underwhelming to say the least.
The hot springs were the most exciting part of the journey. They are just hot enough to be tolerable, we found some of the local community members there; they informed us that the hot springs cure all kinds of diseases, e.g. asthma. I wouldn’t know how. If you decide to take a dip is prepare to look super ashy afterwards, the salt will leave a white cast on your skin – this I was not willing to try tho a fun experience. The Maasai women enticed us with their Jewellery. This is an awesome way to promote the local community and why not take home a souvenir.
In the town itself, is Lake Magadi Sports Club, the entry point for the hot springs, but also one of the few places to get a sit-down meal. Ignore the notice saying strictly no non-members allowed. Visitors can make use of the restaurant, pool (Ksh 300 a day) and bar. This is where some of us enjoyed a swim and also had our late lunch. They also offer decent rooms, starting from Ksh 8,000 for a double, BB. The club has a tented camp nearby, 15 tents offering slightly cramped, but comfortable enough, accommodation. Doubles start at Ksh 7,000 BB.
Would I travel to Lake Magadi again, heck yes…during the cold season tho. The hot weather is a disclaimer.