Lake Baringo sits in the East African Rift Valley and, unlike many of the other lakes situated here, is fresh water. The lack of a river outlet means that water must be flowing out underground. However, something has changed causing the water level in the lake to rise significantly over the past couple of years. Buildings are now flooded and the place we were staying, Robert’s Camp, has little left apart from one cottage and a new area for a camp site; the water is lapping around the bar building and a further rise of even a few centimetres will flood this too. There are a number of suggestions for the water level rise but actual reasons remain unclear.
The water level rise has killed many trees around the lake margins but wildlife largely copes with such changes; any decrease in water quality would be problematic but extra water is not a problem for water birds and the lake’s crocodiles and hippopotamuses.
An early morning boat ride got us out onto the lake with plenty of birds to be seen, a few crocodiles but no hippo. The highlight was probably the feeding of the fish eagles with fish procured from a local fisherman in his unfeasibly tiny and simple boat. The eagles swooped to take the fish: an easy meal for them and a good view for us. Other birds included kingfishers, cormorants and the peculiar nocturnal Senegal thick-knee with its oversized eye that is so out of place in the strong African sun.