The lake is fed by two rivers, El Molo and Ol Arabel and has no obvious outlet, despite this it's is one of only two freshwater lakes (it is in fact slightly saline, but not enough to bother the crocs, hippos or people who swim in it) in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. The climate in the region is generally hot and dry and away from the lake shore the surrounding countryside appears quite barren. However the imposing cliffs house a variety of bird life and are also home to the Rock Hyrax (a small rodent-like mammal). The Hyrax are really rather endearing and quite interesting to watch, but from a birders perspective they are of interest as the favorite food of Vereaux's Eagle, which as a result are sometimes seen soaring over the basalt cliffs near the West shore of the lake. The scrub around the edges of the lake also has some interesting birds -if you can find them. Heuglin's or Three-banded courser is not uncommon and you may also be able to see Lichtenstein's Sand-grouse and the Spotted thick-knee
While it lacks the spectacle of some of its saline neighbours such as Lake Bogoria and Lake Nakuru with their huge flocks of flamingos, it more than makes up for this with the sheer variety of birdlife to be found in and around its shores. (It's also very well placed for a daytrip to Lake Bogoria.) More than 470 species have been recorded there in total, and more than 300 have been recorded in a single day. A recent bird census, carried out in two three hour spells on consecutive days recorded just over 280 species in the 6 hours, and that was outside the main periods for northern or southern migrants. While you're unlikely to see all 470+ species in a short visit, there are plenty of birds to be seen even by novice birders. Pale and dark phase Gabar Goshawk, Paradise Flycatcher, African Fish Eagles, Marabou Storks, Shikra and White-faced Scops Owl are amongst the regular sightings, while some the less common birds that can be seen there include Hemprich's Hornbill (along the cliffs), the African Darter and occasionally the African Skimmer.
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