Abyata – Shalla Lakes National Park

Abyata-Shalla National Park


Situated in the heart of the Rift Valley Lakes National Park are two exceptionally scenic stretches of water lakes Abyata and Shalla. Together they form 50 percent of the 880sq km conservation area. Lake Shalla, shrouded by an area of primeval wonder. It is thought to be the deepest lake in Africa north of the Equator.

Lake Abyata is circled by 60 km of white shoreline. Despite their natural beauty, these lakes are best known for their bird life. Abyata isn’t more than 10 meters deep, Greater and Lesser Flamingos abound, alone with White Necked Cormorants. Several species of Herons, Storks, Spoonbill, Ibises including the Sacred Ibis, African Ducks, Gulls and Terns.

During the northern winter, thousands of Asiatic and European Ducks and Waders migrate to Abyata’s shores. Lake Shalla is well known for its large colony of Great Pelicans, undoubtedly the most important breeding colony for this species in Africa.

It was created primarily for its aquatic bird life, particularly those that feed and breed on lakes Abijatta and Shalla in Large numbers. The park compresses the two lakes, the isthmus between them and a thin strip of land along the shorelines of each. Developments have been limited to a number of tracks on land, and the construction of seven outposts. While attention is focused on the water birds, the land area does contain a reasonable amount of other wildlife.

Abijatta and Shalla are both terminal lakes but very different in nature. The surrounding area is mainly acacia woodland, some of which is very degraded by man. Lake Abijatta is a shallow pan, only fourteen metres (46 feet) deep, and its level fluctuates periodically, caused in part by human activity but often by natural phenomena as yet not fully understood. The beaches are unstable and saline, and vehicles must not venture too close as there is a very real danger of sinking.

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