Fast Facts

  • Website: http://baringo.go.ke/
  • Capital: Kabarnet
  • Governor: Benjamin Cheboi
  • Deputy Governor: Mathew Kipyator Tuitoek

Information

Baringo County is located in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It has a moderate climate with temperatures ranging from a minimum of 10 °C to a maximum of 35.0 °C in different parts. Rainfall varies from 1,000 to 1,500mm in the highlands to 600mm per annum in the lowlands. The administrative headquarters of the county is Kabarnet Town. It is served by 4 local authorities; Municipal Council of Kabarnet, County Councils of Baringo and Koibatek, and Town Council of Eldama Ravine.

Baringo borders Turkana County and West Pokot County to the North, Samburu County and Laikipia County to the East, Nakuru County and Kericho County to the South, Uasin Gishu County to the South West and Elgeyo Marakwet County to the West. It covers an area of 11,015 km². The county is named after local Lake Baringo. Baringo central,BaringoSouth, Tiaty, Baringo North, Eldama ravine and Mogotio.

Economic Activities

A major economic activity in Baringo County is the rearing of livestock. Fishing also takes part particularly in Lake Baringo where Catfish and Tilapia provides income for the people who live around the area. The lake is a major tourist attraction site and is home to wildlife such as hippopotamus, crocodiles and an abundant variety of fish and birds (More than 500 species) making the region an ornithologist’s paradise.

The region is home to wide range of wildlife which is a major tourism attraction. The main reserves and sanctuaries are lakes Bogoria, Baringo and Kamnarock with wildlife including Elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos and various birds. Agriculture and dairy farming is practiced around the Tugen Hills, with goat farming and honey at the lower slopes that are drier. There is speculation that the oil might be present in the area following discovery of oil in similar rock formation in the neighbouring Turkana county.

A number of hotels serve to accommodate the many visitors to the area. They offer excellent accommodation. Further investment in the hospitality sector could see a rise in the industry’s capacity. Local features include the Kesubo Swamp to the north and the Siracho Escarpment to the east, both within the National Reserve. The lake is also famous for geysers and hot springs along the bank of the lake and in the lake. In four locations around the lake can be observed at least 10 geysers, which erupt up to 5 m high. Geyser activity is affected by the fluctiations of lake level, which may indundate or expose some geysers.

Archaeological sites

Kipsaramon sites contains fossil finds that are dated to be within 15.8 and 15.5 Ma, and is one of only a few from the middle Miocene within the entirety of Africa. During 2000 the Kenyan Palaeontology Expedition announced the discovery of the remains of what was at the time considered likely a new hominid species, and was stated as the oldest hominid remains found, dated from the surrounding rock as six million years old. The find was named Orrorin tugenensis. Later finds were made in the village of Rondinin in the Tugen Hills. Archaeological remains were recovered from Kipsaramon within the Tugen Hills during 2002.

Chimpanzee fossils reported as the earliest found were found in the Kapthurin formation in 2005.

Other information

Lake Baringo

Surface area 130 km2 (50 sq mi)

Surface elevation 1000 m (3200 ft)

Lake Baringo is, after Lake Turkana, the most northern of the Kenyan Rift Valley lakes, with a surface area of about 130 square kilometres (50 sq mi) and an elevation of about 970 metres (3,180 ft). The lake is fed by several rivers, Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel, and has no obvious outlet; the waters are assumed to seep through lake sediments into the faulted volcanic bedrock. It is one of the two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley in Kenya, the other being Lake Naivasha.

Water flows into the lake from the Mau and Tugen Hills.

Plain south of the lake.

The lake has several small islands, the largest being Ol Kokwe Island. Ol Kokwe, an extinct volcanic centre related to Korosi volcano north of the lake, has several hot springs and fumaroles, some of which have precipitated sulphur deposits. A group of hot springs discharge along the shoreline at Soro near the northeastern corner of the island.

The main town near the lake is Marigat, while smaller settlements include Kampi ya Samaki and Loruk. The area is increasingly visited by tourists and is situated at the southern end of a region of Kenya inhabited largely by pastoralist ethnic groups including Il Chamus, Rendille, Turkana and Kalenjin. Accommodation (hotels, self-catering cottages and camping sites) as well as boating services are available at and near Kampi-Ya-Samaki on the western shore, as well as on several of the islands in the lake.

Lake Bogoria

Primary inflows are Sandai and Emsos rivers and springs.

Lake Bogoria is a saline and a shallow

lake with a depth of about 10M in depth and is about 34 km long by 3.5 km wide with a drainage basin of 700 km².

Language

The principal spoken is Kalenjin, specifically Tugen. The main groups of Kalenjin peoples are the Nandi,Terik,Elgeyo, Keiyo, Elkony,Sabaot,Marakwet and the Kipsigis.

Pottery from the district found through archaeology is recognized as having a distinct style, an occurrence understood as necessitated to strengthen tribal differentiation.

Athletics

Some of Kenya's famous runners come from the county, most notably Paul Tergat. Tergat started the Baringo Half Marathon in the area in 2004, and it has been sponsored by Safaricom and featured athletes such as World Championship medallist Mubarak Hassan Shami.

The Kituro athletics camp is located near Kabarnet in the county.