Lake Baringo is named after the local word "Mparingo", from the Njemps community meaning lake.
The lake is located in the Eastern Rift Valley in Kenya and is one of the seven inland drainage lakes within the Rift Valley drainage basin.
Lake Baringo has a surface area of about 130km2 (50sq mile) and drains a total area of 6,820 km2.
The lake is located in the county of Baringo at an altitude of 1,000 m above sea level, while its basin extends to the neighboring counties of Laikipia, Nakuru and Turkana.
It is slightly saline, the water is used by the many communities surrounding the lake for domestic use.
Lake Baringo has seven islands, namely Lokoros, Rongena, Lengai, Samatian, Olkokwa, Parmolos and the Devil’s Island, the largest of them is called Olkokwe.
In the Ilchamus language, Olkokwe means a meeting place.A remnant of a small volcano belonging petrogenetically to the Korosi volcanic.
From the Island, a number of hot-springs discharge into the lake.
To the east of the Lake is the Laikipia escarpment and to the west rises the dramatic Tugen Hills
Several seasonal rivers drain into the lake, including Ol Arabel which originates from Aberdares Ranges, Makutan, Tangulbei, Endao and Chemeron.
Perkerra and Molo are perennial rivers which originate from Mau Escarpmentand Tugen Hills; although with significantly reduced water discharges during dry seasons.
Lake Baringo experiences very high annual evaporation rates of 1,650-2,300 mm, compared to an annual rainfall of 450-900 mm.
Thus, its survival depends on the inflows from rivers originating from the humid hill slopes of the drainage basin, where the annual rainfall varies between 1,100 mm and 2,700 mm.
Word has it that the abundance of fish has supported the high crocodile population in such a way that the reptiles have shown no interest in humans and other mammals.
The lake also provides an invaluable habitat for seven fresh water fish species, with the Nile Tilapia being endemic to the lake.
More than 400 bird species have been recorded in the Lake Baringo and its environs, on a good day it’s possible to see over 200 species
Birding is done early morning and late afternoon due to the high temperatures experienced in the area
Boat ride in Lake Baringo offers a chance to see the African Fish Eagle do the Swoop-Swipe-Splash- fish catching routine
Lake Baringo Bird Checklist
Great Spotted Cuckoo
White crested Turaco
White-backed Night heron
Pearl –spotted Owlet
African Scops Owl
Northern White-faced (Scops) Owl
Greyish Eagle Owl
Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
Red-and –yellow Barbet
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
African Pygmy Kingfisher
White-billed Buffalo Weaver
Northern Red Bishop
Northern Masked Weaver