Lake Baringo after Lake Turkana is the most northern of the Kenyan Rift Valley lakes, with a surface area of about 130 square kilometres . The lake is fed by several rivers, Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel and has no obvious outlet. The waters are assumed to seep through lake sediments into the faulted volcanic bedrock. It is one of the two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley in Kenya the other being Lake Naivasha.
The lake is part of the East African Rift system. The Water flows into the lake from the Mau Hills and Tugen Hills. It is a critical habitat and refuge for more than 500 species of birds and fauna, some of the migratory water bird species being significant regionally and globally. The lake also provides an invaluable habitat for seven fresh water fish species. Lake fishing is important to local social and economic development. Additionally the area is a habitat for many species of animals including the hippopotamus, Nile crocodile and many other mammals, amphibians, reptiles and the invertebrate communities.
While stocks of Nile tilapia in the lake are now low, the decline of this species has been mirrored by the success of another, the marbled lungfish which was introduced to the lake in 1974 and which now provides the majority of fish output from the lake. Water levels have been reduced by droughts and over-irrigation. The lake is commonly turbid with sediment partly due to intense soil erosion in the catchment area.
The lake has several small islands and the largest being Ol Kokwe Island which is an extinct volcanic centre.It has several hot springs and fumaroles some of which have precipitated sulfur deposits. A group of hot springs discharge along the shoreline at Soro near the northeastern corner of the island.
The main town near the lake is Marigat. The area is increasingly visited by tourists and is situated at the southern end of a region of Kenya inhabited largely by pastoralist ethnic. Accommodation (hotels, self-catering cottages and camping sites) as well as boating services are available at and near the western shore as well as on several of the islands in the lake.