Lake Baringo is named after the local word “Mparingo“, meaning lake. It is a semi-fresh water lake located in Rift Valley in Kenya situated roughly 77 Kilometers North of the equator and 279 Kilometers from Nairobi and is one of the seven inland drainage lakes within the Rift Valley drainage basin. The lake is located in the administrative district of Baringo at an altitude of 1,000 m above sea level, while its basin extends to the neighboring districts of Koibatek, Laikipia and Nakuru.
Several seasonal rivers drain into the lake, including Ol Arabel, Makutan, Tangulbei, Endao and Chemeron. Perkerra and Molo are perennial rivers, although with significantly reduced water discharges during dry seasons.
The lake has several small islands, the largest being Ol Kokwe Island. Ol Kokwe, an extinct volcanic centre related to Korosi volcano north of the lake, has several hot springs and fumaroles, some of which have precipitated sulfur deposits. A group of hot springs discharge along the shoreline at Soro near the northeastern corner of the island.
The lake is an important source of water for humans and livestock, as well as a significant income source for local communities through activities such as tourism, biodiversity conservation, and fish sold in local markets. The Kamasya and Njamus (Njemps) peoples of the Baringo basin catch species of tilapia in the lake, herd cattle, and raise crops as a source of their livelihood.
Lake Baringo is known for over 450 species of birds including Palearctic migrants. This is birding hotspot that hardly misses in every birding itinerary. It is the place where famous field guide, Terry Stevenson worked as a resident ornithologist. The lake also has Nile crocodiles, Hippos and smaller reptiles like Nile monitor lizards. The place plays host to photographers given the openness of the habitat and the proximity of wildlife especially by boat along the shores.
The area is richly endowed with scenic features and wildlife that make the place a must visit. The beautiful hills surrounding the lake and the basalt cliff rising stiffly over 70m make the place magnificent and a beehive of travelers’ excursions. You will be intrigued by the scenic view and natural beauty that characterizes Lake Baringo.