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Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo is, after Lake Turkana, the most northern of the Great Rift Valley lakes of Kenya, with a surface area of about 125 km² and an elevation of about 960 m. The lake is fed by several rivers, El Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel, and has no obvious outlet. The waters are assumed to seep through lake sediments into the faulted volcanic bedrock but a high level of evaporation has also contributed to lower the waterlevel in the lake. It is one of the two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley in Kenya, the other being Lake Naivasha and with an impresseive bird list of more than 450 species, Lake Baringo is a paradise for ornithologists.

Goliath heron at Lake Baringo
Lake Baringo is world known for its prolific birdlife including more than 450 species – one of them, a goliath heron (Ardea Goliath), the world’s largest heron, here seen in front of Central Island also known as “Gibraltar”, on which the world’s biggest stationary Goliath Heronry is located. Photo © Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

Soil erosion from a mix of rivers and huge herds of cattle, coming to quench their thirst on the shores, have given the water a strong brownish color and along the shore there are large swamps with papyrus and a prolific birdlife. Hippos and crocodiles are also to be found in the muddy waters of the lake and one of the big attractions is the African fish eagle (Haliaeetus Vocifer), displaying their advanced fishing techniques for the tourists, almost on demand from the local fishermen.

Bee-eater at Lake Baringo. Photo © Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

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