Discovering the natural beauty of Maji Moto geysers in Baringo

Eggs boiling in the natural hot springs at Lake Bogoria. Photo | Pool

What you need to know:

Get ready to experience hot springs, flamingos and breathtaking landscapes at Lake Bogoria National Reserve 

Kenya is a country with vast landscapes, gorgeous wildlife, beaches, and a vibrant culture. Whether it's a well-known beach resort, an opulent lodge in the Maasai Mara, or an eccentric hidden gem in the middle of nowhere like we did in Baringo County, there's always something new to discover.

Beautiful views of the Rift Valley escarpment and Lake Bogoria. Photo | Pool

Our journey from Nairobi started at around 9 am with a brief stopover at the recently opened Safari Center in Naivasha for a quick breakfast before proceeding to Nakuru city. From Nakuru, we had about 90km to cover to get to our final destination which was Netbon Kudu camp. The road leading from the main highway was passable although a little bumpy and edged by extensive sisal estates. Google Maps played a major role in making our journey easy and in about an hour we arrived at our destination to a warm welcome from Jeremiah Kiprotich– our host.

Netbon Kudu Camp is a small camp with a rich history deepening into World War I and II whereby it was used as a recruitment site for soldiers even before it had permanent structures. The recruitment used to happen under a huge historical Mugumo tree which still exists to date. The camp has been home to many explorers including Karen Blixen and Bishop James Hannington after whom Lake Bogoria was originally named.

One of the traditional 3-bed bandas at Netbon Kudus Camp, Baringo County. Photo | Pool

It was established fully as a camp in 2006 and they have since built bandas with a pillar in the middle - a model borrowed from the Endorois tribe who are a sub-tribe of the Kalenjin community. Each banda costs Sh1,200 per person sharing per night. They also have camping grounds and gear for anyone that would be interested in camping. The camp is neat and tidy well-kept, equipped with electricity, a cooking area, showers, and running water. It is well-secluded, yet not too distant from the village of Maji Moto's small shopping centre.

We were eager to finally visit the Maji Moto hidden gem, which is only a minute away from the camp. The hot water found there is what gives the place its name. The hot springs form natural pools that are heated by geothermal activity and the water is blue! It is jaw-dropping, so we couldn't help but plunge in for a swim. 

Hot water squeezes through looming gorges to create a series of chest-high rock pools, which are best enjoyed floating in rather than diving into. The experience felt utterly fantastic. According to Jeremiah, Maji Moto is a natural Jacuzzi with some hidden therapeutic benefits. Additionally, the sand from the pool is used as a natural body scrub. After swimming for the rest of the evening, we fixed dinner and finished the night by the bonfire.

Our next morning began with a revitalizing swim before we set out on a quick journey to the nearby Lake Bogoria National Reserve, which is only six kilometers away. We paid an entrance fee of Sh1,600 for four people. We saw a few wild animals, including dik-diks, impalas, gazelles, and caracal zebras, along the road that skirts the base of the lake and offers stunning views of the majestic Rift Valley escarpments. As we got closer to the lake, we saw a fascinating sight: as thousands of flamingos flew in a "V" formation, others relaxed quietly on the shallow lake, giving it an intense pink hue. 

The warm blue waters at Maji Moto natural springs at Netbon Kudus Camp. Photo | Pool

The scene let me comprehend the value of birdwatching. Flamingoes thrive in the alkaline lake and during the good months, about three-quarters of the world's flamingo population can be found here. When they reach maturity, they move from Lake Natron to Lake Bogoria. Although there were other kinds of birds in the region, the flamingos were the show-stoppers.

Without boiling eggs in the hot springs, how would a trip to Lake Bogoria come to an end? Since I hadn't been to Lake Bogoria since a primary school trip more than 12 years prior, I wanted to reassess my childhood memories. We were fortunate to come across some locals who sold us eggs so we could take advantage of the phenomenal opportunity. We were also able to see geysers whose plumes rise to five meters high before resuming our journey back to Nairobi.

The trip to Maji Moto and the Lake Bogoria National Reserve was, in totality, a special and unforgettable adventure. 

Consider staying at Netbon Kudu Camp if you're thinking about visiting Baringo County. For any questions, contact Jeremiah at [email protected] or +254723362546.