The Scenic Vistas Around the Truly Stunning Tugen Hills.
Baringo is well-known for Lake Baringo and the Bogoria hot springs, but few have experienced the captivating and breathtaking views of Tugen Hills that run from Tenges Town to Kipsaraman. The heavenly views can be enjoyed through three main roads meandering up the hill. This truly spectacular region is one of Kenya’s best kept secrets. The highlands and escarpment of the North Rift Valley provide some of the country’s most awe-inspiring views, across the broad and beautiful Kerio Valley. On the way, there are spectacular landscapes to be admired: forested crests that invite hikers for scenic walks, and the Kerio Valley gorge with its massive basalt formations.
The scenic vistas around the Elgeyo escarpment are truly stunning, especially from the ‘World’s End’ viewpoint at Nyaru. Waterfalls flow down the face of these escapements, and at Chebloch, on the valley floor water runs through a deep and narrow gorge with sheer rock walls. The highlands are an excellent place to explore, and there is plenty to discover among the many hills and ranges. From the high Tugen Hills, there are excellent views across arid rift valley floor to Lake Baringo. The lush green hills around Kericho are home to Kenya’s tea industry, and the nearby Kisii Community is world renowned for their beautiful soapstone carving.
Unlike most of Kenya’s mountains and ranges, the rolling Cherangani Hills are not volcanic in origin. The hills are centered upon a forested escarpment and surrounded on three sides by sheer cliff faces. They are crisscrossed by walking paths, and ease of direction and undemanding slopes make this excellent country for relaxing hill walking. The paths cross open farmland, pass through sheltered valleys and wind their way up to forested peaks. This is a birding mecca, and whether you are a serious ornithologist or a hobby birder, you should not miss the Cheranganis. There are excellent bird guides available locally.
Most importantly the Tugen hills are of great importance to the geological study of the rift valley for they secrets not found in any other part of the Great Rift Valley. The Tugen Hills sequence within the northern Kenya Rift Valley W of Lake Baringo is unusual in providing sedimentary and faunal information over a relatively long period of time, from 14 Ma to the Pleistocene, and including some periods not yet noted elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. The sediments record changing depositional environments in an evolving rift system, and the enclosed fossils permit the evolutionary lineages of a number of families of animals important in the modern African fauna to be elucidated. We document the history of investigation of sedimentary units belonging to the Tugen Hills succession, and describe their current status. Information is given concerning the general sedimentary character of the units and their age is determined by faunal, isotopic and palaeomagnetic methods. Faunal change through the sequence is summarized.
It is in this area where in 2001, a team of researchers reported they had unearthed more than a dozen hominid fossils in the Tugen Hills of western Kenya. The bones date to 5.8 million to 6.2 million years ago, making them some of the oldest hominid fossils. The team, led by Brigitte Senut of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and Martin Pickford of the Collège de France, determined that they had found a hominid based largely on the species’ thigh, which had telltale features related to walking upright. They named the new species Orrorin tugenensis, meaning “original man in the Tugen region” in the local language. In 2008, an analysis confirmed that the species was indeed capable of walking bipedally. That means Orrorin is in the running for the title of our earliest hominid ancestor. Just it be and today is our day to starting enjoying the beauty for we know it now.