Lake Baringo is a Rift Valley lake found in Northern Kenya south of Lake Turkana. Wild and beautiful Lake Baringo is the most remote of the Rift Valley lakes. It is also one of the two freshwater lakes along the Rift valley the other one being lake Naivasha. This Lake is one of the most spectacular destinations you can visit in Northern Kenya. Writing this guide reminds me of the road trip I had with my friends back in campus traveling from Nakuru all the way to Lake Baringo.
The journey took an eternity of hours as we had to stop and take in some of the wonderful landscapes along the way. We would also find out that the region produces the best wild honey and you can often come across women selling it along the way.
Finally, we made it to the lake after what seemed like countless hours. One thing you will notice is that the region is arid since the dominant trees are acacia along with sisal plantations which are indicative of a dry area.
However, Lake Baringo provides the source of livelihood for people living near the lake. Some practice farming while others are farmers. The lake is also clustered with habited islands that exist in isolation from the mainland. Lake Baringo is an oasis in the desert which gives life to the animals and people depending on it.
About Lake Baringo
The local inhabitants of the lake are a tribe called Njemps as well as Maasai. The Njemps is a uniques group of people since they are the only pastoralists who practice fishing. Among other pastoralists like the Maasai, eating fish is considered a taboo.
The lake not only gives life to land animals but also birds. Due to its adequate reserves of fish, the lake attracts over 460 species of birds. This makes Lake Baringo one of the best bird-viewing sites in Kenya where bird watchers can view several species of birds including; cormorants, Heroin, fish eagles, Hornbills, and pelicans. The lake is also popular as visitors often see crocodiles on the shores of the lake and Hippos bathing along the shallow ends of the Lake.
At night tourists can see hippos grazing on the greenery along the shores of Lake Baringo. The lake itself is truly beautiful, surrounded by volcanic ranges that stretch as far as the eye can see.
At the lakes 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. Needless to say, Lake Baringo is an ideal stopover on a safari to Northern Kenya.
Places To Stay In Lake Baringo
Lake Baringo is one of the remotest lakes in Kenya and even the hotels and accommodation around it have a remote feel to them. The area is unusually rural for an attraction and it gives you the peace of mind that you deserve. The lake has a rustic theme to it and accommodation facilities along the lake Continue to highlight that theme. Unlike other destinations like the Maasai Mara, Lake Baringo has limited options when it comes to accommodation.
You may choose to stay on the private islands on the lake or check in with one of the hotels at the shores of the lake. Some of the places you may love on the island include Island Camp Baringo and Samatian Island Lodge. Visitors access the Island via boat which adds some character to the vacation.
The accommodation facilities located on the island offer great views of the lake along with adequate amenities. Other accommodation options on the shores of the lake include Soi lodge and the Lake Baringo Country Club
Tours in Lake Baringo
The wetlands of Lake Baringo have not only received accolades as a RAMSAR site. The location has also won the hearts and minds of bird lovers around the world. Whether you are a novice or expert birder, twitchier or have never found the opportunity in birdwatching, Lake Baringo is a wondrous destination. It is particularly delighting for its hundreds of feathered and winged species.
Unlike most destinations that we have reviewed here, Lake Baringo is not a game drive destination. It is more of a relaxed and respectful place where you visit with the motif of rejuvenating yourself.
Apart from the birds and fish that live within the ecosystem, Lake Baringo is also home to impalas, giraffes, hippos and other small mammals. Boat safaris on Lake Baringo are the most popular activities due to the variety of routes and proximity to the spectacular action that takes place throughout the day on the lake and shoreline.