The fourth leg of our search takes us from the Aberdares, across the edge of the Laikipia Plateau and across Ol Arabel, before taking a remote and seldom used track down the wall of the Great Rift Valley and into the heat and burning wastes of Lake Bogoria and its small population of greater kudu.

Although common in Southern Africa the greater kudu is at the northern limit of its range in Kenya and only occurs in isolated pockets in the dry, rocky, semi-desert country to the north of the equator. In the late nineteenth century they were far more common but the great Rinderpest epidemic that swept through Africa wiped out all but a few small populations.

One of the greater kudu’s population pockets is at Lake Bogoria National Reserve. Lake Bogoria is a saline, alkaline lake that lies in a volcanic basin south of Lake Baringo, a little north of the equator. Lake Bogoria, like Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmenteita, and Lake Magadi further south in the Rift Valley is home at times to one of the world's largest populations of lesser flamingos. The lake is a Ramsar site and has been a protected National Reserve since November 1973 and at certain times of the year, particularly when migrants are passing through, the bird spectacle can be quite staggering. The reserve is also famous for its geysers and hot springs.

The lake is surrounded by barren, rocky hills and can’t be seen until you are almost upon it. The western shore is home to the Loburu hot springs which are well worth a visit. When water levels are right the water and steam from the springs bursts into the air before running through sulphur encrusted rivulets to the lake. Even in the northern deserts there are few places as harsh and severe as the land around Lake Bogoria.

Apart from the kudu wildlife in the area is pretty scarce and largely restricted to the inaccessible eastern shore although it is a good place to look for Guenther's dik-dik, with its elongated proboscis-like nose and klipspringer. Most people visit the reserve to take in the hot springs and see the masses of flamingoes and the rest of the lake’s prolific birdlife. The fish eagles here have abandoned their traditional diet and adapted to catching and eating flamingos.

At the southern end of the lake the landscape is relieved by trees and fresh water streams running into the lake. It is here that the reserve’s two campsites are located. When we camp here we base ourselves at the eastern-most site, under some large fig trees, right on the lakeshore. The trees are home to a wide variety of birdlife and troops of baboons when the trees are fruiting. Kudu and buffalo often come down to drink near the camp site and there is normally something to occupy your attention when relaxing in the shade.

If people don’t wish to camp we stay further north, at Lake Baringo, and visit Lake Bogoria on a day trip. At Lake Baringo, we prefer to use the more intimate facilities of Robert's Camp which is a beautiful lakeside resort, offering a range of accommodation options including bandas, family cottages or camping. However, not staying at the camp in Bogoria means the chance of seeing greater kudu is greatly diminished since the kudu don't tend to come down from the higher slopes near Fig Tree Campsite until late afternoon/early evening.