I have always had a fascination with water, maybe because my Horoscope is Pisces. However, I am an African and we do not believe in astrology. But let me not bore you with star signs. I will instead enlighten you on my recent trip to the shores of Lake Elementaita, all in pursuit of a large body of water I could admire from close proximity.
Lake Elementaita is a one and-a-half hour drive from Nairobi, so long as you do not stop over at the Great Rift Valley viewpoints or at the small Italian Chapel on Mai Mahiu Road.
To access Sirville Lodge like my friend and I did, take a left turn off Nakuru Nairobi Highway where you see ‘The Pelican Lodge’ wooden sign and then follow the Sirville Lodge road signs and within five minutes, you will be at your destination.
Whatever you do, do not use Google Maps. I love and use Google Maps whenever I am travelling to a strange place, but in this case, the pointer indicates the bush 300m from Sirville Lodge. The map lost us many times and it was easier just to ask passersby for directions.
On arriving at the hotel, we were warmly received despite having arrived late in the evening. We were shown to our cottage, which had a great view of the lake.
The room was clean, with a large bathroom and a spacious wardrobe. Since I had missed the sunset, I woke up early to catch the sunrise. But, Oh! You cannot watch the sunrise from Lake Elementaita as the sun normally rises behind you in the direction of Gilgil town.
Though you may not get the sunrise with hues of orange and red that inspire poetry, watching Ugali and Sleeping Warrior hills slowly become visible, as the mist lifts is quite breathtaking. After lazing around near the lakeshores for a while watching the hill, and a few pelicans and flamingoes frolicking in the lake, we walked back to the restaurant for breakfast.
The hotel has a show kitchen where you can watch as the chefs prepare what you order. When the meals were ready, we moved outside to commune with nature as we enjoyed pancakes. In between meals, there are various activities to engage in. Nature guides can escort you on walks around the lake or a hike up the nearby Ugali hills and the Sleeping Warrior.
These walks are perfect if you fancy yourself an orthnologist or simply need to learn wonderful tidbits about birds. “Did you know that there are fewer flamingoes and pelicans now on Lake Elementaita due to the low decreasing water levels of the lake?
The flamingos migrated to the nearby Lake Natron,” a guide said. Since I am a lazy walker and was content with the part of the lake I could already see, I decided against the nature walk and opted to splash around in the pool like a young hippo.
I also took a turn at the trampoline since there were no babies in the restaurant and that vacuum desperately needed filling. Later, I tried the quad bikes at Sh500 for a thirty-minute ride. Time flies past fast when you are having fun.
Soon, it was lunchtime, then suppertime. Dinner was definitely my favourite part of my stay there. Having supper with a fiery sunset and flamingos busy ducking their heads in the water searching for their own supper built a new appreciation of nature in me. I will be going back soon, that sunset reflected in Elementaita waters needs another sighting from me.