Parts of Ethiopia and Kenya are known as regions of intense geothermal activity, thanks to the geological turmoil beneath the Great Rift Valley. As a result, these two countries are dotted with numerous hot springs, which have become a big tourist draw. Here are 10 of the best hot springs in Ethiopia and Kenya, some of which are associated with luxury spas and hotels.
Sources: TripAdvisor.com, VirtualTourist.com, Travel.Kenia.co.ke, Journals.Worldnomads.com, Norway.org.etThis slideshow originally appeared on AFKInsider.com.
1. Filwoha, Ethiopia
These springs, which once attracted Ethiopian nobility, are now accessible to all citizens and visitors in the form of public baths and showers. Ethiopians visit the spot regularly to relax or soak in water that hovers between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius (104-122F). The area also attracts birds and wildlife such as water bucks, dik-diks, and the Nile alligator.
2. Sodere, Ethiopia
The two pools at Ethiopia’s Sodere Hot Springs Resort are fed by natural springs. Public baths and showers are also available. The resort draws many Ethiopians who want to escape from the city for a while. Tour companies also offer day trips to the springs.
3. Wondo Genet, Ethiopia
This spring, located outside of Addis Ababa, supplies the Wondo Genet Resort Hotel with a steady stream of hot water. Part of its allure is the lush green mountains and abundance of wildlife. Members of the public can visit for a small fee.
4. Woliso, Ethiopia
The Negash Lodge offers visitors access to the healing waters of this hot spring. Locals strongly believe the water cures certain ailments. The lodge also has a jacuzzi and a poolside bar.
5. Lake Abijata-Shala National Park, Ethiopia
This park, which is located in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley, has a number of hot springs that double as tourist attractions, such as those around Lake Abijata and Lake Shala. Sometimes so much steam rises off Lake Shala that the whole area looks as if it’s shrouded in fog.
6. Lake Bogoria, Kenya
Lake Bogoria actually has more than 200 hot springs around it, and is the most famous of all the hot springs regions in Kenya. Some of the springs are in the lake itself, while others are close to it. The temperature of the water hovers around 37 degrees Celsius (98F).
7. Lake Magadi, Kenya
This alkaline saline lake is located in the Kenyan Rift Valley, which is known for its volcanic features and hot springs. Visitors can go on a one-day expedition of Magadi to explore the fascinating sand flats, swim in the hot springs, and try bird watching. The Lake is in Maasai country, which provides a perfect opportunity to learn about the culture of the people.
8. Lake Turkana, Kenya
Also located in the Kenyan Rift Valley, this salt lake is the world’s largest permanent desert lake, and by volume, the fourth-largest salt lake in the world. The area has many fossils and is regarded as the cradle of humanity, resulting in expeditions there every year. There are numerous hot springs dotted around its fringes.
9. Loburu Hot Springs, Kenya
Loburu sits in one of Kenya’s largest geothermal areas, near Lake Bogoria. There are 32 separate springs, three of which have continuous geysers, earning them the name “perpetual spouters.” Tourists can take excursions to the lake to enjoy this scenic marvel.
10. Chemurkeu Hot Springs, Kenya
Also part of Lake Bogoria, this is a group of approximately 40 hot springs. Like most of the other natural areas nearby, the vegetation is one of the attractions. Some of the geysers here are covered in crystals of aragonite that grow several centimeters long.
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