Nestled between the Tugen Hills and Laikipia Escarpment, Lake Baringo sprawls across 130 square kilometres in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. It’s fed by the Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel rivers and provides a refuge for more than 470 bird species that include migratory waterfowl and flamingos. Once a popular fishing spot for luring tilapia, Lake Baringo is now known for its marbled lungfish.
Join a guided boat cruise to explore Lake Baringo while catching sight of hippopotamuses and Nile crocodiles submerged in the reflective waters. A healthy population of Goliath herons resides on the rocky islet of Gibraltar, with these giant birds boasting a wingspan of up to 230 centimetres and weighing in at almost five kilograms.
Another island not to miss is Ol Kokwe, an extinct volcanic centre that’s home to several hot springs and smoking fumaroles. The shores of Lake Baringo are dotted with small settlements inhabited by pastoralist ethnic groups while archaeological and palaeontological sites in the surrounding hills have revealed early hominoid fossils.
If you’re a keen angler, try your luck at luring marbled lungfish, which were introduced to the lake in 1974 and now provide an important food source for the surrounding communities. While you’re waiting for a bite, keep your eyes peeled for flamingos, which can sometimes be seen along the shores during migratory journeys.
Lake Baringo is around five hours’ drive from Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with long-distance buses from the Kenyan capital connecting in Eldoret. Matatus are the main means of getting to and from towns throughout the region, although having your own vehicle is more convenient for exploring the shores of Lake Baringo.