The mysterious rise of Lake Nakuru’s water level


Nakuru 104Nakuru 102

29 June 1939.

 …After breakfast we set off to make history by becoming the first living people to cross the lake on foot…There’s no water at all in the lake now.

– Nellie Grant in Elspeth Huxley’s Nellie: Letters from Africa.

Whether Elspeth Huxley’s mother was the first person to cross Lake Nakuru on foot is questionable. What we can be certain of, though, is that 74 years ago the lake was completely dry. And 70 years later, in 2009, an article published by the BBC titled: ‘Kenya’s heart stops pumping’ illustrated a similar scenario – the lake was almost bone dry. ‘This isn’t the lake shore’, one of the wardens said. ‘It’s the lake floor’. The situation today, however, is very different.

The water level is the highest it has been for half a century. It’s so high that a considerable portion of Lake Nakuru National…

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