Africa Travel News

Intercept the path of winged migrations in Kenya

The Great Rift Valley in Kenya is a mecca for migratory birds making their way across the continent on their way to Europe. More than 100 varieties of these graceful winged creatures pass through the area from November through March, seeking rest and shelter during the cold winter months. Pelicans, spoonbills, storks, grebes and lesser flamingoes are only some of the migratory birds that call Kenya home, and during an African safari, you'll have the rare opportunity to witness these stunning animals in their natural habitat.

The Kenya Lake System

Before the birds arrive in the Kenya Lake System, you may have the chance to see any of the 13 endemic and endangered species that live there throughout the year. Located just two hours north of Nairobi, the 122 square miles of this sanctuary contains four stunning lakes that are filled to the brim with pink flamingoes once November rolls around. Along with flying animals, the Great Rift Valley also serves as a home for zebras, rhinos, lions, giraffes and cheetahs, so you should keep your camera poised and ready to capture these rare and beautiful mammals on film.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kenya Lake System's bodies of water include Bogoria, Nakuru and Elementaita, which combine  to form the most important foraging site for the lesser flamingo. When the 4 million or so birds arrive in early November, the mammals living in the area form a common and natural bond, relishing in the cool and refreshing waters of the lakes together.

The migration

Considered one of the most underrated world wonders by National Geographic, the winged migration in Kenya is truly a sight to behold. There is little to do but gawk in amazement as millions of light pink flamingoes descend upon the lakes, creating an ocean of warm colors that seem to wave like a calm sea.

All of the traveling birds flock to the Kenya Lake System because of the natural hot springs that create a bottomless buffet of green algae - a mainstay of most fowl, including the lesser flamingo.

During your safari in Africa, you'll likely see a myriad of incredible natural wonders, but perhaps no other experience will be quite as unforgettable as witnessing this winged migration.

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