From Lions Bluff you can see the Pare Mountains and Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, beneath which lies the serenely beautiful waters of Lake Jipe, a haven for ornithologists and lovers of solitude alike.
Fed jointly by the run-off from Mount Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains, the lake is bordered by extensive beds of Typha reed and features large permanent swamps at its eastern and western ends. As a result, Lake Jipe is considered to be one of the most important wetland areas in Kenya and provides sanctuary for a vibrant selection of marsh and water birds to include knob billed geese, pied kingfisher, white backed night heron, black heron palm-nut vulture and African skimmer.
As for wildlife, Lake Jipe not only offers an abundance of hippo and crocodile but there is also a small herd of the rare Grevy’s zebra, translocated from northern Kenya in 1977. To the northern end of the lake are also a few tiny villages whose inhabitants make a living from fishing.
Remote and peaceful, Lake Jipe is the ultimate in getting away from it all and since the Kenyan/Tanzanian border slices right through its centre you can float on the waters in blissful ignorance as to which country you are in. Lake Jipe also supports an important heronry, where African darter nest (this is located a few kms outside the park).
How to get to Lake Jipe
Head west from Lions Bluff towards Taveta and turn into Jipe park at the Mwakitau gate only 10 km away.
Things to do
Lake Jipe is an ornithologists’ paradise and there is also a boat available for hire from the KWS rangers. You can also explore the bush around the lakeshore, keeping a close lookout for hippos, which are especially prevalent between the Park Gate and the village.