Kabarnet Museum

Established in 1995, the Museum occupies what used to be the District Commissioner's residential house during the colonial and post colonial era. There is a record of 50 DCs having lived there.

The museum exhibits objects of ethnographic interest in two galleries. The exhibitions show how the Tugen, Ilchamus and Pokot have lived, thought, interacted and changed in the many years they have occupied the region.

The archeological/palaeontological work which has been undertaken in the region since 1980 by the Baringo Paleontological Research Project (BPRP), mainly in Chesomanju, Kipsaraman and Tabarin areas, is the source of an interesting exhibition on the Evolution of Man.
Another exhibition on the geology and palaeontology of Tugen Hills and the Baringo Basin is currently being developed.
Outside the museum building is a Reptile Park and a display of traditional homesteads.

Lake Baringo

The main hotels for visitors to Lake Baringo are located half-way up the western shore. Get there by driving 17 km north of Marigat to Kampi ya Samaki.

Lake Baringo (168 km2) is 30% larger than Lake Bogoria and of very different character; most significantly it is only very slightly alkaline and supports a freshwater fauna, including a variety of fish species, hippos and large crocodiles. But, just how is it possible for this lake to be essentially fresh water? Like its close neighbour to the south, it is fed by a number of rivers (Perkera, El Molo, and Ol Arabel, flowing down from the forests of Marmarnet and Timboroa) but has no visible outlets. Why is it not highly alkaline like its neighbour? Scientists believe the answer is sub-surface drainage; they believe water flows out through faults in the strata underlying the lake. These ‘underground rivers’ could be the source of hot springs such as that of Silali which generates the Suguta River.

Baringo is a RAMSAR site, because of its vital importance as a wetland. It is a bird-watcher’s paradise: over 460 species have been recorded at the lake and within the hot, dry habitats immediately around it. Some of the larger include Hemprich’s Hornbill, Verreaux’s Eagle, the Madagascar Squacco Heron and the Goliath Heron. The latter congregate and breed on a small, rocky, lake island, Gibraltar Island, which is said to be the biggest heronry of this species in East Africa.
To visit the heronry, or any of the other 8 islands in the lake, you may hire a boat at the main hotels or negotiate for one from the local community. Make sure you pick a good one provided with sufficient life-jackets.
The largest and most-visited island is Kokwo Island. It is the location of a tourist resort called “Island Camp”. Another island with tourist-class accommodation is Samatian --- which requires a much longer boat ride to get to.
When out on the lake, you may visit the hippo area, glide along scanning the shoreline for crocs or try your hand at fishing. If it is the fishing you go for, you are unlikely to be as successful as the Il Chamus fishermen and their methods which have little changed for over 200 years.
Out on the lake, you may meet a lone fisherman balanced precariously on a one-man raft. The rafts are so very characteristic of Baringo; they are made from “ambatch” ---- a light reed with a density similar to balsa wood. Your boatman might borrow a fish from the fisherman and then whistle-up a Fish Eagle from the top of a distant tree. The take off, the approach, the turn, the swoop and the grab of the eagle, as it zeroes in on the bait, will be the memory of a life time. Other memories will certainly be the spectacular sunrises and the warm, languid, Baringo days.

Lake Bogoria

BogoriaBogoria lake is long and narrow (33 km by 4 km) with an average depth of only 10m. Since 1973 it has been protected within an area gazetted as the Lake Bogoria National Reserve. It is a RAMSAR site and is on the “Tentative List” of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The animals to be found here include the Greater Kudu, zebra, impala, gazelle, dikdik, Klipsringer, baboon, warthog, jackal, hyena, foxes, monkeys, African Hunting Dogs and the elusive leopard. Currently there is a single, lonely lion. The kudu population is currently 380; a great success story, because only a few years ago it was 10.

Greater KuduUndoubtedly, Bogoria is most well known for hot springs, geysers and flamingoes. They are related phenomena. The lake is fed by two rivers (Emsos and Sandai) and more than 180 alkaline hot springs, but has no surface outlet ---- so its alkalinity increases due to evaporation. In the warm, alkaline shallows near the shoreline blue-green algae flourish (giving the water a greenish colour) and this is the food for the flamingos, which often come in their hundreds of thousands to feed.
Strangely, the Lesser Flamingo, though happy to feed, will never breed in Bogoria and scientists are still not sure why.

Bogoria has the highest concentration of true geysers in Africa --- at least 18 have been active in the last 30 years. It is these jets of steam and boiling water, and the masses of pink flamingos at the fringes of the lake, that leave the most lasting impression on visitors.

Bogoria is accessed by turning off the Nakuru – Marigat road (B4) 2 km before Marigat. It is then a drive of 20 km to the Loboi gate to the Reserve. The B4/Bogoria road junction is only just over 1 km from the B4/Kabarnet road junction. Total driving distance from Kabarnet is about 60 km; from Nakuru 125 km.
Accommodation is available at the Lake Bogoria Spa Resort. Campsites are available at or near all the gates to the Reserve: Loboi; Netbon; Emsos.
If you did not bring the tent and you really need budget accommodation, try Zakayos which has 4 self-contained rooms with mosquito nets --- and not much else. It is a short distance from the Liboi Gate.