Site description (2002 baseline)
Lake Balangida Lelu lies along the bottom of the south-eastern escarpment of the Mbulu Highlands and only 50 km north-east of Singida (IBA 34). Like other Rift Valley lakes, it is formed in a shallow basin with no outlet and is therefore alkaline in character. The short grass along the western shoreline merges into Acacia tortilis woodland that grades into Brachystegia woodland along the escarpment. The eastern shoreline rises quite quickly into a series of broken hills dominated by Acacia woodland.
The lake is 13 km long and 4 km at its widest point, although this varies between seasons and years. At the northern end of the lake and along parts of the eastern shoreline, there are extensive stands of Sedge, holding populations of birds associated with fresh water. As with other similar lakes, there is an area of overflow at one end that floods during heavy rains providing rich, but temporary, feeding for concentrations of waterbirds. The site defined here comprises 6,900 ha below the 4,600 ft contour in which the lake lies and 6,400 ha of surrounding woodland and escarpment.
The northern end of the lake rises into extensively cultivated land along the road to Katesh and there is quite dense cultivation to the south along the valley floor.
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lake Balangida Lelu. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/lake-balangida-lelu-iba-tanzania on 29/02/2024.