There is a line of lakes in western Kenya that run roughly north-to-south. Some are fresh water and some are soda lakes, and there appears to be no rhyme or reason why they differ so markedly. Naivasha (fresh) in the south, then Nakuru (soda) and on to Lake Bogoria (soda) and Lake Baringo (fresh) plus numerous other small lakes.
Where is Baringo?
220 Km north of Nairobi in the Great Rift Valley; 5 hours driving. Lake Baringo National Park is at the threshold of Northern Kenya and its freshwaters are an oasis in this arid area.
This is the traditional home of the Njemps tribe, a unique people who are the only pastoral, cattle herding tribe who also fish. Among other pastoral tribes such as the Maasai, eating fish is a taboo.
How big is the park?
Access to the park:
You need a 4×4 because the roads are eroded and steep in places. The park is best explored by boat, which can be arranged along with your accommodation.
Habitats of Baringo
This is hot, dusty country. It’s a mysterious fact that several rivers feed into Lake Baringo, but there’s no obvious outlet. It’s assumed the water seeps into the bedrock.
Animals of Baringo
The most impressive bird species is the Goliath Heron and there is a huge breeding colony on an islet in the lake. Someone with a sense of humour has named it Gibraltar. The birding list is over 470 species. Hippos, crocs and several amphibian species all of which are absent from soda lakes.
A couple of lodges and several campsites. The best lodge by far is Robert’s Camp which has lovely rooms with lawns stretching to the lakeshore; and don’t forget the classic bar, called …
Park note – The lake itself is truly beautiful, surrounded by volcanic ranges that stretch as far as the eye can see. At the lake’s heart is Ol Kokwe Island, a stark rocky island that is home to Njemps villages and a well-appointed camp. This is an excellent base for exploring the lake, with boat trips ideal for bird and hippo spotting. Baringo is an ideal stopover on a safari to Northern Kenya.