Plant location


Lake Magadi occupies a trough in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa. The area has one of the largest soda ash reserves of the East African rift valley lakes. Lake Magadi occupies the lowest elevation in the basin of the Rift Valley of southern Kenya.

Magadi is just south of the equator in southern Kenya, only 36km from the border with Tanzania, 56km (in a straight line) from Kajiado and 120km south west of Nairobi on the southeastern edge of Lake Magadi.

The town of Magadi, plant and almost all ancillary works are situated on a peninsula rising about 15m above the lake surface. The peninsula is 500 - 550m wide and has the plant, a township, two clubs, waterworks, golf course, airstrip, landfill and a cemetery along the spine of the road running north to south.

A tarmac surfaced road links Magadi to Nairobi and a rail line links Magadi to its port terminal at Mombasa some 600km away.

Lake Magadi is situated at a low point in the Great Rift Valley at an altitude of 600m above sea level. Temperatures are in the range from 21° to 41°C. The average annual rainfall is about 500mm; approximately a quarter falls in the period October to December (the short rains) and the remainder in April to May (the long rains).

The surrounding countryside for many miles is semi-arid bush. The ethnic group, Maasai, who continue their traditional lifestyle of tending their herds and using donkeys to transport water and goods, sparsely populate this countryside. The nearest village of about 20 dwellings is located 8km from Magadi.

There is a variety of wildlife in the area, including baboons, giraffes, hyenas and zebra. Amongst the bird population is the lesser flamingo that feeds in the lower salinity lagoons around the lake.