Lake Baringo National Park
Baringo, a shallow freshwater lake with two inlets and no outlet, lies 110 km north of Nakuru town. So shallow with a maximum depth of only 6 m and yet the lake is becoming shallower through soil erosion in the surrounding land!
The climate in the region is generally hot and dry and away from the lake shore the surrounding countryside appears quite barren. However the imposing cliffs house a variety of bird life and are also home to the Rock Hyrax- a small rodent-like mammal and a delicacy to the Vereaux’s Eagle
The area around the western shore is mainly Acacia tortilis woodland, with small bush-covered hills, gorges and cliffs. Ficus spp. grows on the cliff faces. The north and east have denser bush, thinning out towards the south, dominated by Acacia mellifera, Acacia reficiens and species of Boscia, Commiphora, Terminalia and Balanites.
The open, flat southern part is bushland interspersed with dry riverbeds and stands of Acacia tortilis and Acacia elatior. Swampy wetlands, with Typha reeds and Echinochloa marsh grass, occur at the mouths of rivers draining into the lake, notably the Ndau, Molo and Mukutan, and much of the shore is lined with Ambatch Aeschynomene sp.
Plenty of game to be viewed here including the water dependant; the Nile crocodile, Hippopotamus and most interesting of all, the range restricted snake species – Coluber keniensis.
Birding Lake Baringo National Park
Baringo is a well-known destination for birdwatchers and boosts of an up to 500 bird species Checklist. The lake used to boast a large Goliath Heron with over 20 individuals on record, although Goliaths are still breeding around the lake, the Heron has disappeared. However, Lake Baringo is at the southerly-easterly end of the range for the regionally threatened Jackson’s Hornbill along with their closely similar species, the Von der Decken’s Hornbill.
Baringo Bird Area is not only a home to 36 of the 94 Somali-Masai biome species that occur in Kenya but also four globally threatened species namely; Madagascar Pond-Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Pallid Harrier, Lesser Kestrel. A number of regionally threatened species are also recorded, namely Podiceps cristatus, Anhinga rufa, Casmerodius albus, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, Thalassornis leuconotus, Trigonoceps occipitalis, Polemaetus bellicosus, Porzana pusilla, and Rynchops flavirostris.