Tourist attractions in Baringo County

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The county Government of Baringo will on 5th and 6th of November 2015 hold its first ever Entrepreneurship and Expo summit with a focus on green energy, agriculture and tourism. The summit will bring together prospective investors to sell ideas such as the availability in the country for geothermal energy.

 

Lake Baringo. Image from http://www.kenyandbeyond.com/destinations/kenya/lake-bogoria-and-baringo/
Lake Baringo. Image from http://www.kenyandbeyond.com/destinations/kenya/lake-bogoria-and-baringo/

The county would also like for the investors to see Baringo County and some of its attraction. Baringo County is named the land of a thousand views because of the very beautiful scenery that can be found here.

Baringo County has 556,000 inhabitants, of whom 403,000 are Tugen, 133,000 are Pokots and the smallest community is the Njemps, with a population of 20,000.

The various places the investors and visitors can visit are:-

Lake Bogoria and Lake Bogoria National Reserve

Lake Bogoria National Reserve covers Lake Bogoria and the land immediately surrounding the lake. The lake is a shallow saline alkaline because it does not have a water outlet. It also has geysers and around 200 hot springs which can reach a temperature of 94 degrees Celsius and you can even boil an egg. The park was opened in November 1970. It became a Ramsar site in 2011 which means it is an internationally important wetland area supporting many regionally and nationally endangered species.

It has abundant birdlife with 135 species of bird having been recorded. They include little grebe, the black-necked grebe, pratincole, swift, little bee-eater, cape wigeon, yellow-billed stork, water dikkop, great tit, starling, hornbill and crombec. It also one of the largest populations of the lesser flamingoes.

The reserve is a conservation area for the shy Greater Kudu. Other large mammals include buffalo, zebra, cheetah, Olive baboons, warthog, velvet monkeys, spotted hyena, impala and Dik Dik.

Facilities for tourists include the Park Lodge, three public campsites and one privately operated campsite. Visitors may also bathe in the hot springs, which form a natural spa.

Activities you can engage in:-

• Bird watching,
• boat trips
• game watching
• Picnicking and nature walking.

Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo is one of the two fresh water lakes found in the Rift Valley. It has inlets from Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel rivers but has no obvious outlet. It is thought that water leaves it through seepage in the volcanic rocks underneath it.

The lake has several small islands, the largest being Ol Kokwe Island. A group of hot springs discharge along the shoreline at Soro near the northeastern corner of the island.

The area is also a habitat for many species of animals including the hippopotamus, Nile crocodile, fish eagles, Scops Owl, Barbets, Eagle Owls, African Hoopoe and rare species of bat.

The rocky isle of Gibraltar on the eastern side of the lake has the largest population of the Goliath heron birds in East Africa. At the western shore next to the town of Kampi ya Samaki, there is an escarpment where a lucky watcher could find Verreaux eagles, Hemprich’s hornbills and bristle-crowned starlings.

Apart for bird watching and boat trips you can indulge in fishing, water sports (ski, wind-surfing), camel rides, day trips to the nearby Lake Bogoria National Reserve and visits to a Njemps village, where you can check out the local handcrafts and dances. These activities are mainly run by the lake’s two lodges, Lake Baringo Club and Island Camp.

Accommodation

• Soi Safari Lodge on the shores of the Lake at Kampi Samaki
• Island Camp
• Lake Baringo Club

Lake Baringo Reptile Park

This park was opened in 2003 so as to educate the local community and visitors on the different species of reptile around. It was created in conjunction with the Museum Nationale d’histoire Naturelle in Paris. The museum is opened daily and displays several species of reptiles including the Black Mamba, Puff Adder, Boomslang (tree snake), Spitting Cobra as well as Monitor Lizards, Crocodiles and a central pit shared by endangered tortoises and harmless Stripe Bellied Sand Snakes.

There are trained staff that will answer your questions and take you round. It is a step towards the conservation of the Baring Retiles as they are poached and taken to overseas collection.

Lake Kamnarok Game Reserve

Lake Kamnarok Game Reserve nicknamed “Amboseli of Baringo” is an oxbow lake with its adjoining land at the base of the Kerio Valley. Its tributaries are rivers Ketipborok, Cheplogoi, Oiwo and Lelabei . An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water that forms when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water. It is the second largest oxbow lake in Africa.

The name originated from the word Narok, which is a species of water plant that was widely found in the lake in the early stages of the lake formation.

It has the second largest crocodile population after Lake Chad but the numbers have steadily dwindled and now there are less than 5000 from 15,000 five years ago. This is because of human encroachment and siltation that is caused by human activities around the lake.

Wildlife that can be found here are Dik Dik, bush pigs, waterbuck, elephant, buffalo, warthog, and Rothschild’s giraffe. Abundant varieties of birds are also found in Lake Kamnarok National Reserve mainly the water birds such as grebe and pelicans.

There is no accommodation here.

Kerubo swamp

The swamp is located at the northern end of Lake Bogoria, just before the entrance to the Bogoria National Reserve. It is a quiet, peaceful area punctuated with shrills and calls of various birds. The lush green of the papyrus forms a picturesque contrast to the parched brown starkness of the surrounding landscape.

The major attraction of the swamp is its birdlife with over 200 species calling the swamp a home. The swamp holds the Kenyan record for the largest number of bird species seen in one hour at 96 as recorded by the Lonely Planet guide to East Africa.

Kabarnet Museum

The museum was opened in 1996. The main attractions include exhibits especially on the culture of the Keiyo, Marakwet, Samburu, Pokot, Nandi and Kipsigis.

In addition an overview of the history of the district, from pre-colonial, colonial and post-independence era are on display. While the playground, homesteads and park provides visitors with attractive outdoor scenes.

Kabarnet’s location is in close proximity to various attractive scenes, which include Lake Bogoria, Baringo and the Tugen hills.

For more on Baringo county check out Tourist attractions in Baringo County, Tugen way of life at the Koroto Cultural Festival,and general information on Baringo.

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