Lake Baringo


Lake Baringo

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.

Lake Baringo

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

Star-spotted NightjarLake Baringo

Slender-tailed Nightjar

Pennant-winged Nightjar

Allen’s Gallinule

Senegal Thicknee

Heuglin’s Courser

Abdim’s Stork

Little Bittern

Dwarf Bittern

White-backed Night heron

Goliath Heron


Pearl –spotted Owlet

African Scops Owl

Northern White-faced (Scops) Owl

Greyish Eagle Owl

Verreaux’s Eagle Owl

Blue-naped Mousebird

Greater Honeyguide

Red-and –yellow Barbet

Madagascar Bee-eaterLake Baringo

Northern Carmine Bee-eater

Abyssinian Roller

African Pygmy Kingfisher

Pygmy Batis

White-crested Helmetshrike

Somali Fiscal

White-necked Raven

Pygmy Sunbird

Shining Sunbird

White-billed Buffalo Weaver

Northern Red Bishop

Northern Masked Weaver

Somali Sparrow

Somali Tit

Pale Prinia