Approximately 7KM from Wajir town sits an artificial lake named after a Jew. Back in the 1970s, when construction work at the Wajir Airport began, Yahud, a Jewish Contractor, dug up this place to extract building material for the construction of the airport. The ensuing pit later filled up with water to form Lake Yahud, named after him. Apparently, it has never dried up since – speak of Jewish anointing!
These days the salty waters of Lake Yahud (the locals call it Yahut) provide a popular leisure spot for residents and visitors. Word, however, is that Yahut is as treacherous as it is beautiful. With an unknown depth, the lake has claimed the lives of many over the years. “Recently, over the school holidays, a boy drowned here,” Abdi, my taxi driver and tour guide tells me. “People are rarely recovered until nature spits them up through the process of decay,” he adds. Only expert swimmers and the resident birdlife seem to have mastered Lake Yahud’s darkness, so be careful as you take in the spectacular scenery.
But this hazard is never a deterrent to the locals and outsiders. “We can never stay away despite the risk of drowning,” Abdi observes. Who can? Besides its scenic attributes, Lake Yahud is a critical source of water for nearby irrigation. “Some people even fish here,” he exclaims. During the rainy season, Wajir gets heavy downpours which is typical of most arid areas. When this happens Lake Yahud bursts its banks, making accessibility a challenge. “Even then, we still come,” smirks Abdi.
The creamy-white rock here is particularly interesting – from a distance, you may mistake it for coastal coral. The rock’s colour and the exfoliated texture astonishingly resemble features you come across on the Kenya coast! It also seems to be a popular construction material around. If you stick around long enough, you might catch the resident giraffe. At about 6 pm, they saunter in to quench their thirst in the evening. At this time, it’s the golden hour when shots of an African sunset are something else. Truly a bucket list destination worth crossing out.