Lake Baringo

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Lake Baringo

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    31,469 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    00°32'N 36°05'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Lake Baringo. 10/01/02; Rift Valley Province; 31,469 ha; 00°32'N 036°05'E. National Reserve. Consists of one of the two important freshwater (less alkaline) lakes in the primarily arid Kenyan Rift Valley and its surrounding riparian zones; the central island Ol Kokwe embodies the remains of a small volcano. It is part of the Great Rift Valley system of faults and cliffs and is fed by several freshwater inflows from the Mau and Tugen hills. The lake provides critical habitat and refuge for nearly 500 bird species, and some of the migratory waterbird species are of regional and global conservation significance, with more than 20,000 individuals reported. The lake is an invaluable habitat for seven freshwater fish species, of which one (the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus baringoensis) is endemic to the lake. Local fisheries are particularly important for sustainable development of the local communities, for both economic and sport fishing. In addition, the site is a habitat for many species of animals, such as hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious), crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and a wide range of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrate communities. Four ethnic communities around the lake depend upon it for food, through fishing, and for water supply, and a diversity of traditional religious functions are served by the lake and surrounding escarpments. Longterm overgrazing and deforestation and diversion for irrigation of water from one of the inflowing rivers are seen as potential pressures, as are alien invasive species, such as Pistia (Nile cabbage), and the use of motor boats by water sports, but the site's rich natural and cultural attractions, if well-managed, promise sound ecotourism development. A visitors' centre is in place and a management plan in preparation; a GEF project for biodiversity conservation is under way. Reprint of the RIS. Ramsar site no. 1159. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Administrative region: 
Baringo district

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Reserve - Lake Baringo National Reserve
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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