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Lake Baringo AFR-236

Riparian Nation(s) Kenya
Lat. 0°38' N Lng. 36°04' E Alt. 975 m
Surface Area 100 km2 Mean Depth 2.5 m Volume  
Shoreline   Catchment Area 6820 km2 Residence Time  
Frozen Period   Mixing Type   Morphogenesis/Dam  
Related Info/Site Ramsar Site #1159 (2002) 

Description

Lake Baringo is named after the local word "Mparingo", meaning lake. The lake is located in the Eastern Rift Valley in Kenya and is one of the seven inland drainage lakes within the Rift Valley drainage basin. The lake has a surface area of about 100km2 and drains a total area of 6,820 km2. The lake is located in the administrative district of Baringo at an altitude of 1,000 m above sea level, while its basin extends to the neighboring districts of Koibatek, Laikipia and Nakuru.

Several seasonal rivers drain into the lake, including Ol Arabel, Makutan, Tangulbei, Endao and Chemeron. Perkerra and Molo are perennial rivers, although with significantly reduced water discharges during dry seasons. Lake Baringo experiences very high annual evaporation rates of 1,650-2,300 mm, compared to an annual rainfall of 450-900 mm. Thus, its survival depends on the inflows from rivers originating from the humid hillslopes of the drainage basin, where the annual rainfall varies between 1,100 mm and 2,700 mm.

Records indicate that between 1969 and 1972, the average depth of the lake was 8m. The current average depth is 2.5 m, with the deepest end of the lake being 3.5 m. The surface area of the lake has shown a decreasing trend.

Photo of Lake Baringo
Photo: H.Waki (2017)