Nakegere Falls, Mount Silale, Daraja ya Mungu, Kimalel Goat Auction, Tugen Hills, Kabarnet Museum, Kirandich Dam, Morop Hill, Kikojo Falls, Kimng’ochoch Conservancy, Morop Tarambas Conservancy

Attractions in Baringo County

Kapedo or The Nakegere Fall. Image Courtesy of Mayfair Aviation
Kapedo or The Nakegere Fall. Image Courtesy of Mayfair Aviation

20. Nakegere Falls

Rather exceptional in that it is fed by warm water from the Kapedo geysers, the phenomenal 50 ms Nakegere Falls, more proper the Kapedo Falls, is also one of the most scenically-spectacular waterfalls in Kenya, looking out to the stunning Silale Hills. Occurring along River Kapedo, Nakegere (which in the native lingo means crack) has also been a joint meeting site for the juxtaposed communities living around it, and where peace has been maintained for decades despite the differences between the fierce tribes – Turkana and Kalenjin – who rarely see eye-to-eye. A trip to Nakegere Falls is well worth all the trouble of getting there.

21. Mount Silale

The hulking and rocky Mount Silale, or Silale Volcano, within sight of Nakegere Falls, marks the unofficial gatepost to the desiccated Suguta Valley. Silale and Nakengere, whose location according to maps is in Baringo County, is home to the Turkana Community. Sugata River, originating from Silale Hills, is the vital lifeline, for both man and beast. Its potential for geothermal power production has been earmarked for drilling. Silale is situated 70 kms north of Lake Baringo.

22. Daraja ya Mungu

At Sirwo, nearby Kampi ya Samaki, between Lake Baringo and Marigat, drivers can make a quick drop-in at the Daraja la Mungu which is “a natural cave over which the road passes”. It is widely-popular in the rallying circles, having been a publicized check-point a few decades ago, when rally in Kenya was a ‘religion’.

23. Kimalel Goat Auction

Although this is essentially a festival not a destination, the annual Kimalel Goat Auction held in mid-December close to Marigat warrants a mention as one the best places to visit in Baringo. Kimalel annual goat auction, bringing together farmers, politicians and travel enthusiasts to enjoy a rich cultural passage and nyama choma, is also famous for mind-boggling transactions, in record time. In 2018, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, the chief guest, sold 2,590 goats in 15 minutes, with each goat sold at Shs. 10,000, totaling to Shs. 25,900,000. On his part, Ruto bought 1,000 goats worth Shs. 10,000,000. “Apart from goat sale, Kimalel is also flush with fairs and dance, sprucely bringing together over thirty groups from Tugen, Pokot and Ilchamus Tribes from Baringo” – The Star.

A View at the Kimalel Goat Auction. Image Courtesy of Noreb
A View at the Kimalel Goat Auction. Image Courtesy of Noreb

24. Tugen Hills

The traditional travel-loop from Lake Baringo doubles-back to Marigat, through Kabarnet Town, across Kerio Valley, over the heart-stopping scrabble up Elgeyo Escarpment which rises 1,500 ms above the valley, to Iten. From Lake Baringo, the scenically-splendid Tugen Hills predominate the western roadside lookout. Also known as the Kamasia Hills, this faulted, arched and wooded range wholly unfurling about 50 kms from Tenges, in the south, to Kipsaraman, in the north, is the most evocative landmark of Baringo County. It unfurls in the west-half of the county with a north to south strike and flanked by the walls of the Great Rift Valley / Elgeyo Escarpment (west) and Laikipia Escarpment (east). The 47 kms joyride from Marigat turnoff to Kabarnet offers the best opportunity to survey Tugen Hills. The route from Kabarnet to Eldama Ravine also offers great views. The main tribe in the area, the Tugen, also appelated as the Kamasia tribe, hold in high esteem the landscape of Tugen Hills which are aptly the most treasured cultural assets in Baringo. The lesser tribes – Njemps and Pokots – also show a kindred deference for Tugen Hills. One peculiarity of Kabarnet Town, which is located on the eastern flank of the Tugen Hills, are the steep gullies that march down to meet the expansive Kerio Valley. These are best seen near the Ainamoj Village en-route Kerio and Iten. The isolated outcrop at Kimng’ochoch stands higher than most parts. Tugen Hills have a great many sites of gripping interest.

When turning from Lake Baringo to the west, you will go for a roller coaster that takes you through the hot Rift Valley floor to the chilly top of the Tugen Hills, back into Kerio Valley, and then up again to the Elgeyo Escarpment.

25. Kabarnet Museum

Established in 1996, the Kabarnet Museum was principally instituted to exhibit Kenya’s hard-and-fast cultural mix, especially on the communities of the Keiyo, Marakwet, Kipsigis, Samburu, Tugen, Pokot and Nandi who are indigenous to Baringo.  Furthermore, it also exhibits the rich history of Baringo County’s pre-colonial, colonial and its post-independence chapters. Just outside the central museum is a Snake House originally founded by Jonathan Leakey which houses a generation of transfixing snakes and reptiles extant in the region. One of the foundational functions of the snake house is to harvest venom used to produce antibodies that counteract the fatal effects of the toxins dispensed by the spine-tingling collection of reptiles. Jonathan Leakey, over many years, trained snake handlers – including those at the National Museum of Nairobi – to work with pits of venomous snakes. He now operates a Nakuru-based company (Jonathan Leakey Ltd) which supplies East African snake venom and medicinal plants for antivenom manufacturers, medical researchers and pharmaceutical agencies. Kabarnet Museum is located in Kabarnet Town near Baringo County Assembly.

Spatial Location of Kabarnet Museum in Baringo County
Spatial Location of Kabarnet Museum in Baringo County

26. Kirandich Dam

Part of the reason Kirandich Dam does not ring-a-bell with many is because its completion was 30 years in the making, having stalled for the better part of 29 years.  In 2017, Government of Kenya engendered the project to a tune of Kshs. 300 million. Its reservoir, with a catchment of 30 km2, is soused by the surface inflow of four major streams that confluence at Kipkolel Forest – Kinyo, Kaplel, Kong’met and Terambus. Today, Kirandich Dam supplies clean water to about 65,000 residents of Baringo North.  The dam sits beautifully in a gaping valley within Kipkokel Forest, part of which was done away with for its construction. Its emerald-green water has forever transposed this landscape. The jaunt to the dam is avowedly strenuous but, it can be sighted from the Kirandich Treatment Site. It is located just 7 kms from Kabarnet Town, past the Kabarnet Post Office.

27. Morop Hill

Morop Hill, situated about 10 kms west of Kabarnet Town, is the second highest prominence of Tugen Hills, after Saimo Hill, forming a lofty hallmark of these hills, seen along Tarambas-Kipsaraman Road. Rising to 2,720 ms, Morop Hill also enshrines a robust history, as a Catholic Mission hotspot, a bizarre history of slave trade and as a time-honoured cultural shrine. Its cultural chronicles as a forcing-house for spellbinding myths are, perhaps, the most endearing. As it goes, the ‘rain-god’ of Tugen Community lived here, at Kikojo Falls on its foot slope. For adventure-makers, the hiking trails are abounding with lovely views of Lakes Baringo, Bogoria and Kamnarok, Kerio, and the shrouded Kikojo Falls.

28. Kikojo Falls

Justly worth a visit by the intrepid explorer hankering after roads less travelled, Kikojo Falls is a jewel at end the of an unbeaten trail, set at the base of Morop Hill. It’s a rousing adventure. “The hill is surrounded by big tamarind trees and in between is a spring” – Nation Media. Kikojo Falls is agreeably a hauntingly beautiful site. Beneath the falls, there is a 50 ms-long and dark cave, where the legendary Tugen ‘rain god’ used to dwell, before it was evicted by an undaunted hero popularly known as Arap Tarno. “Since the infamous shooting of the rain god, trippers can now enter the cave which has seven compartments. The rain god succumbed to the wounds inflicted, along Kerio Valley in Keiyo. Balefully, it was pregnant by that time and its generation lives on” – Safari ya Baringo. To enter the cave of the mythical rain god, adventure-makers to Kikojo Falls have to brave penetrating the frigid cascading falls. It’s found nearby Koroto Village.

View of the Kikojo Falls within the Morop-Tarambas Conservancy.  Photo Courtesy
View of the Kikojo Falls in Morop-Tarambas Conservancy. Image Courtesy

29. Kimng’ochoch Conservancy

This was founded in 1979 by Former-President Daniel T. Moi alongside Morop-Tarambas Community to conserve indigenous trees, wildlife and the culturally important sites for the communities living round it. The Royal Campsite found at Kimng’ochoch, covering 5-acres not far from Kabarnet Town, is a top-rated spot for camping. Callers to the conservancy may also enjoy hiking and a look-see of the Kerio Valley. The site was traditionally used by the Kalenjin Elders to carry on ritual gatherings and is still upheld as a traditional-shrine. The hilltop contains 3 rumpty sheds (thought to be used by the elders) and a decrepit cross.

30. Morop-Tarambas Community Conservancy

Any skeptic in needs of affirmation that Kenya’s forests are being regenerated, or, any nature-lover in need of inspiration, ought to visit the 265 km2 Morop-Tarambas Conservancy where more than 100,000 trees have been replanted in the last two years. Officially founded in 2010 and encompassing 3,500 homes in the Morop, Tambrass and Kipkolel Forests of Tugen Hills, it is a working model of people harmoniously co-existing with nature. The main driving force of this reform initiative was to restore, regenerate, preserve and perpetuate the zestful forests of Tugen Hills; the most indispensable highland within Baringo County. Currently, there are over 20 active tree nurseries assigned to the four different quarters of the Morop-Tarambas Community Conservancy – Riwo Zone, Sessia Zone, Kasore Zone, and Kapkomoi Zone. What’s more, this is an all-permeating community project. And, one and all – from mothers, children, political leaders and youth – cheerfully take part in the tree planting venture. The local schools have also started outreach programs and tree-planting days. Some of the places not to be missed on a trip here include its tree nurseries, its bamboo project, the fine Kasore Valley, Morop Hill, Kikojo Falls and Kimng’ochoch Royal Campsite.

Entrance into the Morop-Tarambas Community Conservancy
Entrance into the Morop-Tarambas Community Conservancy

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Baringo County Map

Baringo County Map
Baringo County Map