Lake Elmenteita

Southern Rift Valley

Serene and framed by shaggy hills, Elmenteita is quieter and prettier than the lakes to its south, although its relatively open surrounds ensure that it lacks the drama or mystique that you find elsewhere. The lake is famous for its flamingos and pelicans and birdwatching in general; more than 450 species have been recorded around the lake and its hinterland. If you're lucky, you might also spot zebras and antelope grazing on the edges.

Squint and, depending on the season and time of day, you could be in Arizona or the Scottish Highlands; euphorbia, cacti and rocks stipple the higher ground, while cattle graze along the green soda shoreline.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southern Rift Valley attractions

1. Kariandusi

2.96 MILES

Kariandusi is signposted off the A104 Hwy near Lake Elmenteita. It was here in the 1920s that the Leakeys (a family of renowned archaeologists) discovered…

2. Soysambu Conservancy

4.97 MILES

This private conservancy offers quite extensive wildlife viewing, as well as camping. It is home to colobus monkeys, Rothschild's giraffes and about 450…

3. Lake Nakuru National Park

10.8 MILES

Just two hours' drive from Nairobi, Lake Nakuru is among Kenya's finest national parks. Flanked by rocky escarpments, pockets of forest and at least one…

4. Makalia Falls

11.66 MILES

The modest Makalia Falls, at the extreme southern end of the park, swell after the rains when they're at their best. You can camp at the nearby park…

5. Out of Africa Lookout

11.92 MILES

To get the best view that takes in much of the park, head up to the rocky Out of Africa Lookout. Less frequented by tour groups than the lower Baboon…

6. Baboon Cliffs

13.21 MILES

This popular viewpoint and one-time lunch spot has superlative views out over the lake, with some fine aerial vistas down onto the flooded lake shore…

7. Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site

13.53 MILES

This archaeological site, 4km outside Nakuru, is a great spot for a peaceful amble away from the rhinos and tourists. It contains a museum and the remains…

8. Murals

13.76 MILES

Lining the western side of the road on the approach to Lake Nakuru if you're coming from town, these eye-catching murals depict everyone from George and…