Friday, October 2, 2015

Journey to Lake Baringo

One of our early trips was a camping trip to Lake Baringo.  On the way we stopped at Kerio View, which I have explored in another message, and then went to Lake Bogoria.  It is a beautiful lake without any facilities there.  A classic small Rift Valley lake.

We left  the plateau and made our way down into the Rift Valley.  You can really see that edge of the rift in this shot.  After a beautiful lunch at Kerio View we went down into the valley.  It grew much hotter as we went down.

It is really such an interesting feeling to be going down into this incredible valley.

You can really get a sense of the tectonic processes at work in eastern Africa.

Just another view of this amazing landscape.

There is a small stream that runs through the valley.  It is beautiful water.  It is hard to get a sense from this shot of the depth of the channel, but the stream is cutting deeply into the floor of the valley.  Notice how dry the valley floor is, based on the scrubby vegetation.  And it was HOT.  One of the interesting features of this area is that the story goes that some of the best goat comes from this area, eating the natural vegetation.  It is said to be the sweetest.  I've noted elsewhere that goat is really good.

 Another view of the stream channel.

Evan at the stream channel.

Me, looking a little paunchy, at the stream channel

We then made our way to Lake Bogoria.  It is shallow and in a basin, which helps to form the lake.  The flamingos, as you can see here, love this lake.  This lake is much less visited than some of the other, larger "soda" lakes of the rift, so we had the place basically to ourselves.

Some birds on the lake.

Another picture of the birds.  It was incredibly quiet in this valley.

This is our group, at Lake Bogoria.  It was beautiful, desolate, quite.

Our next stop was Lake Baringo, where we were staying for the night.  We stayed at Robert's Camp, in tents very close to the edge of the lake.  The restaurant there is the Thirsty Goat, and it was some of the best food we had during the first months in Kenya.  The facilities at Robert's Camp were very nice.  Keep in mind that this isn't a resort, and isn't supposed to be, though there are resort hotels on the lake.  Our group of Canadians, Swedes, Danes, and the two Americans (Evan and I) were not interested in resort living....

A view of the lake.

 One of the things that Lake Baringo is known for is the hippo.  This is one in the water right outside the camp.  In the night they came into the camp and rustled around, and we were told to stay in our tents and they wouldn't bother us.  We could hear them in the camp while we were eating dinner at the Thirsty Goat, and one of the camp workers had to lead us back to our tents, banging sticks together to drive off the hippos.  It was quite a scene!

Another thing that the lake is famous for are the fishermen that work the lake.  This is a small gathering place for boats.  You see the motorized tourist boats pulled up on the shore, and the small, one man boat that the fisherman is using.  He has no paddles that I could see, and used his hands to push the very small boat through the water.  Very interesting economic geography on the lake, and it has probably been practiced in some form or fashion for hundreds if not thousand of years on Lake Baringo.

A closer view of one of these very interesting fishermen.

A friend has joined our fisherman, notice that he has a fish in his hand.  I am thinking they sell these to the larger resorts that are found on the lake as well as to the Thirsty Goat.

Another view of our two fishermen.

We went out in two boats to tour the lake.  This is a shot of the other boat.  It was a beautiful day to be on the lake.

The lake is also famous for its bird population, many of which feast on the fish in the lake.

This is an eagle, I think, on the hunt.

This is a pretty large lake, deeper than the soda lakes found in the rift valley.  I didn't take pictures of the resorts along the shore, but they looked pretty nice.  Spectacular views of the lake.

Another shot of a bird along the lake shore.

We left the lake after our tour to head back to Eldoret, but being the annoying foreigners that we were, we saw a steep escarpment that we hadn't noticed in the evening when we arrived at the camp, and we decided that we should climb it, so that we could get a better view of the area.  So, several of us did...

There was another interesting piece of economic activity found at the top of the escarpment, and that was this beehive.  This is used for the local population to get honey.

This is a view of what we were climbing.

This was a fellow that we met on the top of the escarpment.  He was pretty surprised to see us there, to say the least.

This is Evan at the top.

This is me at the top.  You can see the lake in the background.

We were pretty high up, overlooking the lake.

This was the group that hiked up the escarpment.

Lake Baringo was an early trip in our stay at Eldoret, arranged by Moi University.  It was a great time, and a great trip.  This is the sunset from Robert's Camp, very peaceful, very beautiful.

One of the many great places to visit in Kenya.

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