Lake Baringo is a freshwater lake located in the Kenyan Rift Valley, about 270 km northwest of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. It is the northernmost of the Kenyan Rift Valley lakes and the second most northerly freshwater lake in Kenya after Lake Turkana.
It covers an area of approximately 130 km² and has a maximum depth of 10 meters. The lake is fed by several rivers, including the Molo, Perkerra, and Ol Arabel. It has no visible outlet and is assumed to lose water only by evaporation.
Lake Baringo Wild life
The Lake is home to a diverse array of wildlife, both on the lake and in the surrounding area. Here are some examples of the wildlife that can be found in and around Lake Baringo:
The Lake is home to a large population of hippopotamuses, which lounge in the lake or graze on the surrounding land. Visitors should exercise caution when approaching the water’s edge due to the presence of Nile crocodiles.
Fish: The lake is home to over 450 species of fish, including the Nile tilapia, catfish, and several species of cichlid.
Birds: Lake Baringo is known for its abundance of birdlife, with over 470 species recorded in the area. Some of the notable bird species include the Goliath heron, the African fish eagle, the Marabou stork, and the flamingo.
Monkeys and baboons: Several species of monkeys and baboons can be found in the surrounding area, including olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and colobus monkeys.
Reptiles: In addition to crocodiles, other reptiles that can be found in the area include snakes, lizards, and tortoises.
When to go to visit Lake Baringo
The best time to visit the Lake is during the dry season. This typically runs from June to October and from December to March. During this time, the weather is warm and dry, and the wildlife is more easily visible as they congregate around the lake in search of water.
It’s also important to note that the lake’s water levels fluctuate depending on the season. Water level is often being highest in November and December. Visitors planning on boating or fishing on the lake should be aware of these seasonal changes and plan accordingly.
Some of several activities and attractions that visitors can enjoy in the lake include;
- Bird watching
- Boat tours
- Cultural tours
- Hiking and trekking
- Visit Lake Baringo Island
- Hot springs
How to get there
Here are some ways to get to Lake Baringo:
- By road: From Nairobi, you can take the A104 road to Nakuru, then turn onto the B4 road towards Kabarnet. After passing Kabarnet, follow the signs to Lake Baringo. The journey takes about 5-6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
- By air: There are several flights from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the nearby Kabarnet airstrip. From Kabarnet, you can take a taxi or arrange for a transfer to the Lake.
- By public transport: There are several buses and matatus (shared taxis) that operate from Nairobi to Kabarnet and other nearby towns. From Kabarnet, you can take a taxi or boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) to the Lake.