Following a detailed report on a visit to Lake Baringo in December last year, when the lake levels already stood at near record highs, only once exceeded in living memory in the 1960s, the onslaught of the rising water appears to have continued with a vengeance it seems.
Reports from Baringo speak of camps and resorts now being forced to shut down for the time being, the most affected being the Roberts Camp, which according to a source who just returned from Baringo has been flooded for weeks, while the latest victim is the Lake Baringo Club, where the water has now reached up to the door steps of the buildings. Latest information just received confirms that the Lake Baringo Club has been closed with immediate effect, at least until the water levels recede again to manageable levels, and the company is in the process of rebooking clients already confirmed at the Lake Baringo Club to their Naivasha based Lake Naivasha Country Club. Having carried out major renovations and upgrades in recent months at Lake Baringo Club, this is a major blow to not just the company but also the wider Lake Baringo area, where accommodation is now restricted to the Island Camp and not much more, impacting on tourism receipts and having already led to layoffs of staff.
Lake Baringo and its environs, in particular the tall rock escarpment not far behind the lake shores, are famous for bird watching with more than 450 species of residents and migrants recorded. Across the lake beckon the distant Tugen Hills behind which the sun rises in the morning, making for spectacular light play and picture opportunities for those rising early to appreciate the breaking day.
The gardens of the Lake Baringo Club, now under the management of Sun Africa Hotels, are home to some 36 species of trees, as recorded by renowned Kenyan naturalist Hilary Garland who had spent much of her time in the 1980s at the club as a resident guide when she compiled a listing of all trees, shrubs and flowers she found. And it was also at Lake Baringo Club where the once bird spotting world record holder Terry Stevenson, who for a while was also based at the club as resident ornithologist, wrote his book The Birds of Lake Baringo, now a textbook for birders from around the world when reading up on the Baringo area.
Watch this space for future updates on the situation at Lake Baringo and be sure to read here when the Lake Baringo Club will re-open its doors again.