Lake Baringo is ninety minutes-drive north of Nakuru and 114 km away. This beautiful freshwater Lake has tea-colored water. The Njemps, who are the distant cousins of the Masai, are the fishermen here, and they set out with simple canoe in their day to day activities. The Lake has 13 islands, which are small and dots the Lake. The islands are sometimes referred to by the locals as Devil Islands. The reason behind this name is the fumaroles and hot springs that produce boiling water and steam. These hot waters are often used as public baths. The largest island on Lake Baringo is the Ol Kokwe island, which roughly translates to ‘The Meeting Place.’ This island is an extinct volcano. It has several bubbling pools: small, steam jets located on the Lake’s northeastern shoreline, and conspicuous hot springs. These features are believed to possess curative features, and the locals have been using them to treat skin ailments.
Besides the wonderful Njemps fishing communities, Lake Baringo is home to many crocodiles who have allegedly lost mammalian flesh appetite because of its fish. The locals who live in the Lake encourage water activities and swimming in the Lake, even though the lodges you will be staying in may require you an indemnity form before indulging in these aquatic activities. Hippos are a bit active in the Lake. They would probably be spotted emerging from the Lake at night to graze. Lake Baringo does not attract flamingoes because it is a freshwater lake.
Nevertheless, the Lake is one of Africa’s top birding destinations, boasting over 500 bird species. A number of them being scarce or are endemic to this location. Because of the plentiful fish in the Lake, fish eagles are present in huge numbers. They are seen swooping down to catch their dinner, customarily made of fish thrown out by the local fishermen. These majestic birds have become used to this, and they even respond to human whistles.
The Lake lies its beauty in a solemn oasis under the vast African skies and cliff-edged escarpments surrounding it, subject to astonishing climatic mood swings. Strong winds come up unexpectedly, which is a relief when the weather is hot, which is normal. Slight rainfalls and winds drop on the milky brown earth, making Lake Baringo and its surroundings seem more beautiful and glorious. The high-energy display of nature is evident here, and it is one of the most captivating, passionate, impressive dramas.
There is a great beauty that surrounds the Lake as well. The lake bowl is lined with the Rocky Mountains and stunning escarpments, reaching up to more than 4,920 feet or 1,500 m above the Great Rift Valley floor. Beyond the plains that border the Lake towards the east, a series of steep hills and ridges have gorges indented. Beyond this is the top of the Laikipia escarpment, which stretches as far as the eye can view. Just a few kilometers from the shore, on the other side of the Lake, the topography rises suddenly in utter basalt cliffs, some rising to over 328 feet (100m). these unique cliffs are divided by fissures and cracks that are vertical but it is flat on top. These cliffs are the recent considerable structures in the Great Rift Valley’s physical makeup, most likely due to the lava, solidified when the Karos volcano spewed it out. This volcano is located in the north of the Lake and was formed about 10,000 years ago. When viewed from a distance, the cliffs appear to be black and include mesmerizing basaltic topographies such as massive natural towers. If you are up for the challenge and ready to explore them, ensure you look out for Verreaux’s eagles, which generally reside and nest in the cliffs.
Interestingly, scientists are yet to find and confirm the Lake’s water’s exact source. Geologists have theorized it to be at Kapedo. A magnificent spring located some 37 miles (60km) due north of the Lake at the valley known as Suguta Valley. At this valley, one of the hottest locations on earth, where crystal clear water which boils at a great temperature, gushes out of the world and goes through several waterfalls to feed the Suguta River with a large number of crocodiles. The Suguta River flows towards Lake Turkana. At this remote location, outings and hikes can be easily arranged. Top activities are fishing along the fish laden river or picnic under the graceful palm trees that line its banks.
How to Get There
You can get to Baringo by road or air.
A charter flight will be needed by air, and the flight from Nairobi will take approximately 45 minutes.
By road, a direct drive from Nairobi will take 5 to 6 hours. The most convenient time to enjoy Lake Baringo is during the daytime. Lake Baringo is near Lake Nakuru and can be included as a side trip.
Lake Baringo gives a wide range of accommodation to fit your next holiday in Kenya. Different tiers are tailor-made to suit your budget and to put into consideration your comfort. Below are the lodges and camps that are found in Lake Baringo.
Baringo Island Camp- Safari level 3, it is a tented camp with a capacity of up to 33 persons. The camp has 11 rooms.
Kibelion Hotel- Safari level 3. The hotel has 46 rooms and can comfortably accommodate up to 71 persons.
Island Camp Resort- Safari level 3 hotel and can accommodate up to 20 people.
Robert’s Camp- Safari Level 2 has 16 rooms and can host 61 guests at once.
Sun Africa Hotels (Lake Baringo Club)- Safari Level 2 can accommodate up to 144 people at one given time.
Soi Safari Lodge- Safari level 3. The lodge has 80 luxury rooms and a capacity of 160 people.
Sarmatian Island Lodge- Safari level 3. The lodge has four rooms and a capacity of 12 guests.