This beautiful, magnificently scenic region lying to the north of Nakuru is a land of surprises.
It is a flat-bottomed valley with a range of high hills to the west. The valley can be called Baringo Valley because Lake Baringo is its most prominent feature. The hills are the Tugen Hills. In the east, sharply separating the valley from the highlands of Central Kenya, are steep escarpment slopes such as the Laikipia Escarpment ---- which are, in fact, the defining eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley; the fault line at which the earth's crust cracked to form the valley many millions of years ago. The Tugen Hills, an example of what geologists call “block mountains”, here, in effect, divide, the Great Rift into two parallel North-South valleys; the Kerio Valley to the west and the Baringo Valley to the east.
Set like jewels on the Baringo Valley floor are Lakes Baringo and Bogoria. They are only a few kilometers apart with Bogoria higher by only 20 m. Some believe they were once linked together. However, presently they are very different indeed in their character and attractions. Baringo is one of only two fresh-water lakes in this region (the other being Naivasha), whereas Bogoria is strongly alkaline.
North of the lakes are the cones of a number of extinct volcanoes. One of them is Silali, from the side of which bubbles a river of almost boiling water — the Suguta River, which flows north, gradually descending, into the infamous Suguta Valley of Turkana, where the warm and highly saline water dissipates into the rocks and arid dust. The northern Suguta is one of the most inhospitable places on earth and is separated from Lake Turkana by only a narrow barrier of solidified lava. This is the lowest point of the Great Rift in Kenya.
In contrast to the Suguta “hell”, the Tugen Hills are a “heaven” of tall trees, green fields, cool breezes and panoramic views.