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Parks & reserves: Lake Baringo


Birds are the kings and queens of Baringo. More than 400 recorded species make the visit to the lakeside a competition to achieve the highest numbers of species sighted, the world record set at 342 species in 24 hours. The experience is more rewarding during the rainy season, when many birds fly back to Baringo. If you are not an expert ornithologist, you will enjoy it in any case with a good field guide in your backpack and trying to mimic the bird noises you hear.

Gibraltar Isle, at the eastern bank, hosts the largest Goliath heronry in all East Africa, whereas the escarpment next to the west shore is the place for watching, with a bit of luck, Verreaux eagles, Hemprich's hornbills and bristle-crowned starlings. Among the multiple birds nesting on the lakeside acacias, you will find several beautiful species of starlings, as well as grey-headed silverbill, grey-headed bush shrike, curly-crested helmet shrike, silverbird, West Nile red bishop and northern masked weaver.

Apart from the herons, waterbirds are represented by the fish eagles hovering over the fresh fish used as a bait by local fishermen, cormorants, pelicans and even some flamingoes from the nearby salty Lake Bogoria.

Right south of Lake Baringo Club, walking along the road, there is a stretch in which you may find rare species such as the male paradise flycatcher in its white phase, the violet wood hoopoe, the grey-headed bush shrike and several kingfisher species. In this area, it is not infrequent to see hippos grazing.

From Lake Baringo Club you can join bird walks under the guidance of the resident ornithologist. Walks at 7 a.m. are led along an area next to the main road, at the foot of the cliffs populated by baboons and hyrax. Here you will find a variety of hornbills including Hemprich's, maybe a Verreaux eagle, and the huge Hamerkop's nest, a piece of animal engineering made of wooden sticks near the water and with a side entrance. At 5 p.m. there is another walk, this time by the lakeside.


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Lake Baringo
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