This lake at the northern edge of the Kenyan Rift Valley supports an incredible diversity of birdlife. Moreover, a one-hour drive from the lake will put you in two other phenomenal birding locations: Lake Bogoria (flamingos) and the Kerio Valley (Ross Turaco, White Crested Turaco, and more).
Shifting back to Lake Baringo, this freshwater lake support vibrant populations of African Eagles, cormorants, darters, owls, herons (including the giant), kingfishers, and more. The arid scrub brush and acacias surrounding the lake hold weavers, ostrich, the Jackson’s and red billed hornbills, pygmy falcons, cuckoos, thick-knees, corsairs, and more. Along the cliffs you’ll find the range restricted Hemperich Hornbill, rollers, and owls. Though the road is rough, the journey is well worth it. For my money, there is not a better birding location in Kenya for biodiversity. Though it lacks a vibrant turaco, the white-bellied go away bird is a guarantee and the beautiful sunbird is a gorgeous highlight.
I’d highly recommend at least one trip out onto the lake (about $30 for an hour). This might seem a bit steep but it’s worth it for the unrestricted access to the host of aforementioned species. Rest during the heat of the day because it gets really, really, hot. Then head back out in the late afternoon to explore the cliffs, lookouts, and acacia woodlands.
The local guides are good. However, one in particular: Francis is truly special. His encyclopedic knowledge of the species and calls require no field guides. More than that he understands what “makes” a photo and how to position the shooter into the best light whether it be on a boat or on dry land. See the resources section of the website to find his contact information.
Recent flooding due to a significant rising in water levels from deforestation has damaged many lodges and accommodations. So you’ll need to book in advance thanks to the limited rooms available. We usually stay at Robert’s Camp and eat at their restaurant. We do bring a cooler loaded with beverages and snacks but the last thing I feel like doing out here is cooking.