Who Shares the Lake?

Imagine you're a fish eagle soaring over the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Africa. What do you see? There are many lakes in the valley below, but the water in most of them is too salty to drink. You know one lake that has good, fresh water—Lake Naivasha. Other animals know Lake Naivasha, too. Fresh water is important to everyone in this dry part of Africa.

there is a picture of a lake

® Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy

The lake looks quiet now, but giraffes and zebras, antelope and buffalo, and sometimes even leopards, come to drink the water.

Birds visit the lake to find fish to eat. Eagles spot fish from the air and dive down to catch them. The long-legged Goliath heron stays close to shore, wading in shallow water to find its lunch.

Cormorants can just hop out of their nests to go fishing. A tree grew when part of the lake dried up. Years later, heavy rains filled the lake again and surrounded the tree with water.

Hippos wallow all day in the lake to keep cool. At night they eat grass along the shore.

People come to the lake to fish, too. As they spread their nets in the shallow water, they must take care not to disturb the hippos.

Farmers use the water from Lake Naivasha to grow vegetables and flowers. They send roses and carnations to markets around the world. It's another way to share the beauty of the lake.

Vocabulary

wallow:
To roll around in.

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Activity

  1. What kind of resource is Lake Naivasha?
    [anno: Lake Naivasha is a natural resource.]
  2. How do animals use the lake?
    [anno: Animals use the lake to drink, to fish, and to live in.]
  3. How do people use the lake?
    [anno: People use the lake for food and water. They fish from the lake. They use the lake to water their vegetables and flowers.]
  4. Why is Lake Naivasha important in this part of Kenya?
    [anno: This part of Kenya is very dry. The lake is probably the only fresh water around for miles.]