I dipped my hand in the tea coloured spray of Lake Baringo, while absent-mindedly scanning the distant hills. I wasn’t really concerned about crocodile – the speed boat was cruising at a steady 15 knots and although capable of surprising bursts of speed in water – up to 35km/per/hour– I knew even the swiftest crocodile wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, when the boat idled momentarily as we neared Longichoro Island on the eastern shores of Lake Baringo, I hastily withdrew my hand. A huge croc basked statue-still, molded to a warm boulder the same mottled shade of colour as itself. While another slipped into the reed beds close by; the ossified scutes of its dinosaur like tail marking a sinuous trail through the water
However, other than crocodile and hippo, I hadn’t seen any wildlife to speak of. I look forward to returning to Lake Baringo in the not too distant future hopefully to see a ‘tower’ of Rothschild giraffe as well as other antelope roaming safely, protected by the scouts recently recruited by the RCWT.
On our way over to visit Longichoro Island, a wire-tailed swallow dipped its wing in the lapis water rippling the surface like a fishnet stocking. (This is the core conservation area made up of Njemps and Pokot land). I had never seen the lake so blue. Damsel flies with transparent wings outlined in green and black danced over the water, a sign that the lake is healthy. Due to exceptionally heavy rains in the Lake Baringo catchment area, the lake has risen more than a meter in the last twelve months; it hasn’t been this high since 1963. Not only does the lake look healthier, heavy rainfall has diluted the build up of sedimentation, and the vegetation around the lake is rejuvenating. Does this also mean that the wildlife will benefit and numbers increase? STORM STANLEY 08