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Lake Baringo

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Lake Baringo is at the threshold of Northern Kenya, and its freshwaters are an oasis in the arid plains. 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.

While it lacks the spectacle of some of its saline neighbours such as Lake Bogoria and Lake Nakuru with their huge flocks of flamingos, it more than makes up for this with the sheer variety of birdlife to be found in and around its shores. (It's also very well placed for a daytrip to Lake Bogoria.) More than 470 species have been recorded there in total, and more than 300 have been recorded in a single day.The 129 sq km lake is well stocked with fish, and attracts many Pelicans, Cormorants and Fish Eagles. The Lake is also well populated with Crocodile. 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. Indeed baringo is an ideal stopover on a safari to Northern Kenya.

Main road access to Baringo is directly from Nakuru by bus or private transport. The nearest town to the lake is Kampi ya Samaki. Some of the hotel and lodges here can arrange transfers to Nakuru/Nairobi. The lodges and caps here both organize local excursions. Boats can also be hired. See the Accommodation section for details.

Lake Baringo is part of the Great Rift Valley, the Earth's great scar, which in Kenya is fringed by a string of lakes. After the huge Turkana, Baringo is the northernmost and the largest, with 130 km². Together with Naivasha, Baringo offers the only freshwater shallow in the Kenyan Rift.

Tourism in the area has increased over the past years, hence Baringo is no longer a place off the beaten track. Still, at the lake's shores you can enjoy a peaceful mood very different from the most crowded parks. Its chocolate waters, stained with the region's soil, change in tonality along the day and depending on the sky's colour. After the sunset, the visitor can watch the hippos emerging from the water to graze in noisy groups at the moonlit pastures.
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