Lake Elmenteita

Lesser flamingoes seen along the shores of Lake Elmenteita
Lesser flamingos seen in front of an acacia forest observed near Lake Elementeita's shoreline

Lake Elmenteita

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    10,880 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    00°28'S 36°14'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Lake Elmenteita is a shallow, saline alkaline lake that provides a favourable environment for diatoms and blue-green algae (Spirulina platensis), which are at the base of a food chain which supports a rich bird life. On average a population of over 610,000 birds of more than 450 species (including 80 waterfowl) have been counted at the Site. The Lake hosts an average of over 28% of the world’s population of lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor). During the dry season, the black lava islands provide the only suitable nesting and breeding habitat in the Rift Valley region for white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus). Local people depend on the hot springs around Chamka for domestic water supply, subsistence irrigation and livestock watering, and the nomadic Maasai use the area as a grazing and salt-licking area for their livestock. Salt, sand and diatomaceous earth are mined from the Site, but most of the land around the Site is set aside for biodiversity conservation. Tourism and recreational facilities are an important source of foreign exchange income and employment. The local community has formed several conservation committees, and a management plan for the Site was being prepared as of 2024.

Administrative region: 
Nakuru County

  • National legal designation: 
    • Greater Lake Elmenteita Conservation Area
    • Lake Elmenteita Community Eco-tourism Project
    • National Wildlife Sanctuary - Lake Elmenteita Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents