Soysambu Conservancy : In order to protect the wildlife, plants, and landscape of the Soysambu Ranch, which is located northwest of Gilgil in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, the Soysambu Conservancy was established in 2007. The property, which would serve as the entrance to the projected Nakuru-Naivasha wildlife corridor, has been given a conservation lease by the Conservancy. The Elmenteita Badlands are located in the southern part of the Conservancy, which covers 48,000 acres (190 km2), close to Mawe Mbili. It shares a 12.1 km-long border with Lake Nakuru National Park on the west.

The History of Soysambu conservancy

 Since the ranch’s founding in 1906, Lord Delamere’s family has been farming there. Among the present enterprises are a sizable cow herd, a hay-baling business, and an agri-forestry company. Although the owners had always loved wildlife, they had found the cost of protecting it to be prohibitive. Everyone in the region will gain from this partnership’s commitment to public access, best management practises, and a new business model. This is more of a paradigm shift than a lease for an agricultural business that was previously privately owned and run.

Following some pig sticking, Winston Churchill took a lunch by the lake in 1908, and Evelyn Waugh remained for some “corridor creeping” in the 1930s. Jomo Kenyatta attended a modest picnic in 1978 (shortly before he passed away) with only 300 dancers, and Prince Amyn Aga Khan attended a luncheon in 2001.On the northern lakeside, where Simon Combes grew up and eventually moved back to reside, a portion of Tomb Raider 3 was filmed. The northern, western, and portions of the southern coasts of Lake Elmenteita are all included in the conservancy. Pelicans nest on a few rocky islets in this lake, which is their final nesting location in Kenya.

Ten kilometres to the west, in Lake Nakuru, the pelicans graze before bringing fish across to their young to feed them. Typically, they feed on Tilapia grahamii. Some of them, which breed in the Kekopey hot springs, have gotten loose and are now swimming in Lake Elmenteita.

In 1995, 11 Rothschild’s giraffe from Lake Nakuru Park and one more from Giraffe Manor were trans located to Soysambu in addition to the more than 50 animal species already present there. This was done by KWS in collaboration with a truck from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Colobus monkeys were relocated in 2002 from behind Gilgil, where their habitat was quickly being destroyed, into the riverine forest. The Wakuluzi Colobus Trust assisted with this.

Soysambu is surrounded on two sides by fencing, with the wildlife corridor to the south-east and the park to the west. Capital outlay on the clothes, tools, and vehicles used by rangers.

Lake Elmenteita

In the Great Rift Valley, some 120 kilometres northwest of Nairobi, Kenya, is a soda lake called Lake Elmenteita.

The Maasai word Muteita, which means “dust place” and refers to the area’s dryness and dustiness, particularly between January and March, is the source of the name Elementeita. Near the lake is the town of Gilgil. Elmenteita is situated between Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru in the south-to-north order of the Rift Valley lakes. Drivers have a breath-taking view of the lake as they go along the main Nairobi-Nakuru highway (A104 Road) which follows the surrounding escarpment. Due to its abundant bird life, the lake is now a protected area and has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites together with Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria. The “Kekopey” hot springs are located at the lake’s southern end, where a newly imported species called the Lake Magadi tilapia breeds.

Soysambu Conservancy
Soysambu Conservancy

The first white settlement in the Lake Elmenteita region was Soysambu, a 190 square kilometre (48,000 acre) ranch built by Lord Delamere (1879–1931) on the lake’s western shore. The Honourable Galbraith Lowry Egerton Cole (1881-1929), whose “Kekopey Ranch” is where he is buried, received the land on the other side of the lake as a gift from Delamere. Today’s Lake Elementaita Lodge is still standing on this portion of the “Kekopey Ranch” that was given to Cole.

Lord Delamere’s family still live on the Soysambu ranch, including the contentious[why?] Thomas Cholmondeley who played a key role in establishing the Soysambu conservancy. Over 12000 wild animals call the conservancy, which occupies two thirds of the seashore, home.

Since 2005, Lake Elmenteita has been a Ramsar site. In the Lake Nakuru /Lake Elmenteita basin, more than 400 different bird species have been identified. Greater and lesser flamingos, which feed on the lake’s suspended blue-green algae and crustacean and insect larvae, respectively, are attracted to Elmenteita. The flamingo population has significantly decreased since Lake Magadi tilapia were brought to the lake from Lake Magadi in 1962. Numerous fish-eating birds are drawn to the tilapia, and these same birds eat the flamingo chicks and eggs. At Lake Natron in Tanzania, it is estimated that more than a million birds that had bred at Elmenteita have found safety. Zebra, gazelle, eland, and warthog families can all be seen feeding along the lake’s beaches.

The lake is typically relatively shallow (less than 1 m deep), and during the dry seasons, trona-encrusted mudflats surround it. Lake Elmenteita and an extended Lake Nakuru were occasionally combined during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene to create a much larger diluted lake. Sediments from the old united lake have been preserved in numerous lake basins, including along former shorelines.

In recent years, as a result of increased human activity drying up catchment areas, the lake level and flamingo population have decreased.

Elmenteita Badlands

The Otutu Forest, often referred to as the Elementeita Badlands, is a lava flow in Kenya that spans around 36 square kilometres (9,000 acres). An extensive dryland forest with cedar trees (Juniperus spp.) and Leleshwa shrubs (Tarchonanthus camphoratus) once covered the area. Boophone and Wild Jasmine are also discovered.

The land is dotted with pyroclastic cones of the Holocene age, with the highest peak rising to a height of 2126 metres between Lake Elmenteita and Ol Doinyo Eburru volcano, on the southern edge of the Soysambu Conservancy. Some notable peaks include “Horseshoe Crater” and “Scout Hat Hill.” There are some lava tubes that exhibit signs of prehistoric occupation, as grinding plates and stone bowls 

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