Lakes can be drab, deforested, polluted, urbanised, featureless and thoroughly dull. But occasionally you come upon a lake that is of just the right size and shape to stir the soul. Here are a few of my favourite lakes of the world:
During peak season Lake Nakuru, in southwestern Kenya, hosts between one and two million flamingos. It’s a gathering that has been described as the greatest bird spectacle on Earth.
Volcano-ringed Lago de Atitlan, in central Guatemala, is one of the favourite lakes of the backpacker hordes. There are mountains to climb, villages to visit, and ample tourist junk to purchase.
Lake Mashu is a caldera lake, and it’s endorheic (it’s a closed basin; no inlet, no outlet). It was once classified as the clearest lake in the world (in the 1930s) with visibility of 41.6 metres.
Lake Ohrid (that’s pronounced Occckrhid) is a picturesque, tranquil water body shared between the Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania. Locals love telling you how deep the lake is – it’s 288 metres deep, which I concede is pretty deep – but it wasn’t the depth of the lake that impressed me, it was the calmness that welled up inside me whenever I sat and gazed out over its glassy, still waters.
Take a sunrise cruise on Lago de Yojoa, Honduras. Go by rowboat if you can; gliding silently over the still, glassy surface is a superb way to start the day. Sunrise is also the best time to be out on the lake if you wish to engage in a little bird spotting.
Lithuania has a long, cold, dark winter. Months go by without sunlight; there’s fog, wind, grey skies, ice. If I lived here I’m sure I would end up cursing the winter before long. As a visitor though, wintertime is full of delights, especially if you’re heading to Lake Galvė.