We all have heard or watched the news on the drowning lakes in Baringo county lately. A sad and happy story. Sad in that people have had to relocate. It is one thing to claim from the government when they demolish a property for road expansion and it is another thing to claim anything when your land is claimed by a natural water body. One day you wake up and your grounds are flooded the next day you have no shelter. LIFE! A happy story in that nature is taking its course and for marine life, it is a win situation. This said Baringo is still a gem. From Lake Bogoria, Lake Baringo to the Bogoria spa resort.
This is about 5 to hrs drive from Nairobi and in our case, we left Nairobi at 9 am and checked in the hotel around 2:17 pm. The sceneries are beautiful and if you travel for food a morning coffee stopover at the viewpoint and a snack before lunch stopover at the Delamere junction will do you good. We had lunch in Nakuru town in one of the malls and immediately left towards the north of Nakuru. The road was not so busy especially with public vehicles making it easier to navigate using google maps. The road is the deal as trees on the roadside form a canopy and you cannot resist taking a photo. After every few kilometers, billboards are telling one exactly how many kilometers to go and the direction to the spa.
Places to stay
To tell you the truth this was my first time past Nakuru town and I can only recommend where we at least stayed this time around. Lake Bogoria Spa Resort. This was my birthday treat which meant a middle-range staycation. The spa is the place to be! Every time I stay in a hotel I pick up a design be it on the interior or exterior and one day when I build my place or an Airbnb I hope to incorporate these ideas. The resort is observing the Covid rules and from the moment you walk in the ‘away from home’ mode checks in. From the chilled ostriches to the spacious reception with wooden décor and a life-sized sculpture of the king of the jungle. The staff members are amazing and William won my heart on this one. Did mention they have a naturally heated pool by the Bogoria geyser activities. The Spa! Perfect for a swim even late in the evening. They also have swings to keep the little ones busy, a pool table for the adults, and a well-stocked bar. Food is amazing and thank goodness it was not a buffet. I hate buffet meals. Queuing while on holiday, not for me. They also do offer camping packages in the same compound and presidential suits facilities. I promise to explore other accommodation options but for now, Lake Bogoria Spa Resort is the place to be. Close to Lake Bogoria.
Things to do
Swim; If you plan on staying in the restaurant and not leaving till your checkout day, swim as much as you can. Lake Bogoria Spa resort gives you two swimming options; in the naturally heated pool or the normal chlorine pools. Jeez sounds terrible when I use chlorine. They have enough floating tubes for we who know not how to swim. And there is a baby pool as well.
Visit Lake Bogoria National Reserve and enjoy views. No words explain the views I will insert images to explain this. This one of the salty water Lakes in Kenya with its algae feeding the flamingoes living in it. I would recommend going with one of the hotel staff members (unless you had paid for this drive and services as a package kindly request this is not part of the resort’s responsibility.) Learn the difference between the lesser and the larger flamingoes as well as their migration story. Carry an egg and boil it at the hot springs which I must say careful with them it’s nothing close to sufuria boiling water. They are above that. Enjoy a game drive as you drive towards the springs, careful o the road not to hit tortoises which are many in numbers, look out for kudus, zebras and antelopes. Give yourself 3 hours at most on the drive to and from as well as to experience the lake.
Visit Lake Baringo
This a short drive from the resort and at some point if feels like going back to Nakuru. Stop at one of the shopping centers and get some snacks if eating lake food is not an option for you. The lake has flooded and the community around the area believes it is water from underground but science seems to claim otherwise. The lake was surrounded by so many restaurants that are now underwater and all there is to see ate the roofs, not even the floors. Life surprises you when you least expected. The lake has 7 islands including; Ol-kokwe island hosting the Masai community, Devil’s island, Lekorosi, Samatian, Lempakany, Island camp, and Longcharo island which hosts the Roths child giraffes which must have been migrated due to the floods on the lake. and is vested with crocodiles and hippos. The community believes the crocodiles are friendly but I beg to differ. While at it enjoy a boat ride, learn about the birds on this lake, any bird watcher this is a gem you ought to explore. Enjoy a fish meal at the local restaurants, photography, and call it a day. My advice though visit the Lake early in the morning before the sun is up to scotch you.
Interact with Locals
If you love culture visit one of the villages around this area and enjoy an evening with the locals. The area has a number of the Pokot members and their traditions are on to date. Support them by buying their beadworks or even honey which is a major product in Baringo.
Snake park visit; Along the shores of Lake Baringo is a snake which focuses on raising awareness to the members of the community on the importance of snakes, how and what to do in case one had a snake bite bearing in mind Baringo county records several snake bite cases in the country. Learn the various species in the park and stay away from snakes.
NB: Accessing Lake Bogoria reserve requires an entry fee, as residents, we paid 300pp and 300 for the vehicle.
Boat rides range from 500pp depending on the number of people in a boat per ride.
Watch out for goats and tortoises on the road. They are the main road users.
Till next time, wash your hands, wear your mask, keep a distance, and travel distances!