03-04-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
Some pearls of Kenya must be seen in person to be able to tell about them, trying to convey the peace of the senses and the refreshment of the soul that their beauty can transmit.
This is the case of Lake Elmenteita (also known as Elmentaita, from the Maasai name "Ol Mutaita", which means place of dust), a small body of water between the two most famous volcanic lakes of Naivasha and Nakuru, which dot the Rift Valley and offer watering places for nature among the great valleys that host immense farms, national parks such as Hell's Gate in Naivasha and Nakuru National Park, and important conservation havens such as the Soysambu Ranch Conservancy which we entered to tell you about this beautiful corner of Kenya.
Entering through the main entrance, located on the road from Nairobi to Nakuru, two hours and a bit more from the capital, a few kilometers from the town of Gilgil, the Soysambu reserve immediately offers a breathtaking view, that of the lake surrounded by high hills on which thousands of pink flamingos seasonally perch. Acacia forests shade the shores at times, becoming home and breeding and feeding grounds for more than 450 species of rare and endangered birds, including the great white pelican of the Rift Valley. This is also why the reserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and included in Kenya's protected areas in 2011. Proceeding, even with a vehicle not necessarily equipped for safaris, one encounters the varied population of wild animals that the Elmenteita, with its 2500 hectares of land, hosts: buffalo, water antelopes, eland, zebras, giraffes, gazelles including the rare greater and lesser kudu, find abundant pastures in the large valley of the lake.
The Soysambu Conservancy represents the wildlife dream of Lord Delamere, the first true landowner and farmer in colonial Kenya, who settled in the area in 1897 and became one of the most powerful men in the British East African protectorate.
Delamere travelled around Kenya and Africa for a long time but decided to make Lake Elmenteita his home and his descendants still live here today, bringing with them more than a century of stories, legends and evolution.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why time seems to stand still in the Soysambu conservancy and when you walk around the reserve, the scenery takes you back to the paradise that appeared to the European pioneers who discovered Kenya and settled there, and still gives you more or less the same emotions.
Below is our report on the spot!
(VIDEO IN ITALIAN, USE YOUTUBE TRANSLATOR)
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