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Lake Baringo, The Great Rift Valley Lakes, Kenya

Lake Baringo Fishing Eagle, The Great Rift Valley Lakes, Kenya 

 Lake Baringo is, after Lake Turkana, the most northern of the Kenyan Rift Valley lakes, with a surface area of about 130 square kilometers (50 sq mi) and an elevation of about 970 meters (3,180 ft). The lake itself is truly beautiful, surrounded by volcanic ranges that stretch as far as the eye can see and small islands found on the lake.

This is the traditional home of the Njemps tribe, a unique people who are the only pastoral, cattle herding, but also a tribe who also fish. Among other pastoral tribes such as the Maasai, eating fish and fishing is a taboo.

Lake Baringo is part of the East African Rift system. The Tugen Hills, an uplifted fault block of volcanic and metamorphic rocks, lies west of the lake. The Laikipia Escarpment lies to the east.

Lake Baringo is fed by several rivers, Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel from the Mau Hills and Tugen Hills, and has no obvious outlet; the waters are assumed to seep through lake sediments into the faulted volcanic bedrock. It is one of the two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley in Kenya, the other being Lake Naivasha. It lies off the beaten track in a hot and dusty setting.

Over 500 species of birds have been recorded there, occasionally including migrating flamingos, Pelicans, Cormorants and Fish Eagles. A Goliath Heronry is located on a rocky islet in the lake known as Gibraltar.

The lake also provides an invaluable habitat for seven fresh water fish species. One, Oreochromis niloticus baringoensis (a Nile tilapia subspecies), is endemic to the lake as well as the marbled lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) introduced in 1974. Lake fishing is important to local social and economic development. Additionally the area is a habitat for many species of animals including the hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious), Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and many other mammals, amphibians, reptiles and the invertebrate communities.

The lake has several small islands, the largest being Ol Kokwe Island. Ol Kokwe, an extinct volcanic centre and a stark rocky island related to Korosi volcano north of the lake, has several hot springs and fumaroles, some of which have precipitated sulfur deposits a well appointed camp and several Njemps villages. A group of hot springs discharge along the shoreline at Soro near the northeastern corner of the island.

Several important archaeological and palaeontological sites, some of which have yielded fossil hominoids and hominins, are present in the Miocene to Pleistocene sedimentary sequences of the Tugen Hills.

The area is increasingly visited by tourists and is situated at the southern end of a region of Kenya inhabited largely by pastoralist ethnic groups including Njemps, Il Chamus, Rendille, Turkana and Kalenjin.


Why Visit Lake Baringo, The Great Rift Valley Lakes, Kenya.

  • Experience the beauty of the lake and the surrounding volcanic ranges.
  • See the Njemps tribe the only pastoral, cattle herding, who also fish.
  • For birding with over 500 bird species recorded at the area.
  • Enjoy seeing the fish eagles’ fish on the Lake Baringo.
  • Experience, learn and interact with the local pastoralist ethnic groups and tribes.
  • Stay at a remote luxurious lodge built on an island on the lake.

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