Baringo County is located in the Rift Valley and its largest town is Kabarnet. Although small and mostly rural, the county has numerous little known attractions and timeless culture. A trip to this county will give you a peek into the lives of minority ethnic groups such as the Pokot, Tugen, Njemps and Nubians. Below are some things to do in this beautiful region.
This is a salt lake famous for its flamingo population and over 200 hot springs and geysers. The latter is as a result of volcanic activities occurring underground. The hot springs can be as hot as 100 degrees which makes the area a natural sauna. The lake has a national park surrounding it where you can see different wildlife including gazelle, antelopes and giraffes.
A freshwater lake with a significant number of hippos, the lake is a scene to behold. It has several islands within it, one rumoured to belong to a man and his 10 wives. Lake Baringo has a large reptile population as well including crocodiles, which can be seen coyly resting on the banks of the lake. Enjoy a boat ride, a nice plate of fish and a nice view of the sunset from the shores of the lake among other things when you visit.
Baringo Reptile Park
As mentioned above, the area is a hub of several reptile species including snakes. The reptile park is a museum of some of these reptiles including the spitting cobra, the boa and the black mamba. Here you will meet a local man who claims to be the snake whisperer, having managed to tame a large python that he swears can never harm him.
Once known as the second-largest oxbow lake and the second largest home of crocodiles, the lake has now shrunk in its glory. The main reason for its decline is human encroachment. However, the government together with local communities have endeavoured to restore this member of Kerio River to flourishing. The Lake is home to some crocodiles that have managed to stay alive. In its peak season, it is also a breeding ground for elephants. There is also an array of wildlife in the surrounding areas including the dikdik and Rothschild giraffe.
This little known place is a haven for bird species. Its green vegetation is a soothing effect from all the dust and thicket that is dominant in Baringo. This swamp is home to over 200 bird species. You can go to the swamp for bird watching, photography or a simple nature trail as you take in the amazing view.
The culture in Baringo County is mainly Nilotic and this can be seen in the Kabarnet Museum. The gallery holds artefacts from the present ethnic groups including the Kipsigis, Samburu, Pokot and Nandi. You get to be part of these communities even if for a short while by going through these cultural trinkets and stories.
Another little known gem, the Ruko Conservancy is an establishment mainly run by locals of two once warring groups; the Rugus and Komolion. The community disputes led to the endangerment of wildlife that was killed as collateral damage leading to the disappearance of the giraffe. However, 8 Rothschild Giraffes were translocated to this conservancy where they are now being reared hoping for an increase in population. Apart from being a Giraffe Haven, this conservancy is a true depiction of human-wildlife co-existence where you are allowed to freely walk among the present animals.
Once you are done with wildlife viewing and cultural exchanges, take a visit to Marigat town. This is a hub of agricultural products fresh from the farm and available at very affordable prices. You can get very juicy and sweet watermelons, pawpaw and best of all, raw and unaltered honey that is a great dietary supplement.