About Us and History

Aerial view of Island Camp
Aca. Historic bao board in main bar
Ad. Historic Mboa board in main bar dating back thoursands of years
Bonnie with guests going to Island
2016_0320AKk v2

Ol Kokwe Island, Lake Baringo

Aerial view of Island Camp with "Teddy Bear" Island (Paramalok Island) in the background

Aerial view of Island Camp

Aerial view of Island Camp

Historic Mbao board in main bar

Historic Mboa board in main bar dating back thoursands of years

Bonnie with guests going to Island Camp

Nearby "Shirley's" Island

Welcome to Island Camp Resort, Lake Baringo. We hope your “getaway” stay with us will exceed your expectations and that you will join us again in the future. During your visit we will do our best to provide you with a memorable experience and provide you with excursions for some unique photographic opportunities.

We are pleased to offer you this information which we hope will give you a better background of us and our community makes your stay more comfortable in every way.

The Management. Perrie Hennessy, Bonnie Dunbar and Michael Beamish

KARIBU (“Welcome” in Swahili)

0724874661; 0728478638

Now affiliated with Karen Blixen Coffee
Garden Cottages Ltd.
Karen (Nairobi) Kenya


The Island Camp resort, founded from an archeological dig site of the famous Leakey family, is the second oldest tented camp in Kenya (Governor’s Camp being the oldest) and is situated on the southern end of Ol Kokwe Island. This famous island is in the middle of Lake Baringo, which is one of the major lakes in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. The camp was further developed by Jonathan Leakey, Alan Douglas-Dufresne and Willie Roberts in 1972. In 1994, the Lonrho Hotel group assisted the Island Group Ranch in obtaining the land title to the property and they further developed the hotel. When this group gave up its hotel business in Kenya in 1996, Mr. Perrie Hennessy took over ownership and management the camp. In 2012 he was joined by Mr. Michael Beamish and Dr. Bonnie Dunbar (owner and developer of the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages in Karen, Nairobi) and this group completely renovated the camp in 2013, including construction of new large lake view thatched cottages with verandahs with private pools. Because of its long history, the camp has been the location for holidays for many local Kenyans (who learned to swim, water ski and fish in the lake) as well as an escape for many international tourists and celebrities.

The lake is at the threshold of Northern Kenya and is an oasis in the arid plains. It is located at the narrowest part of the Great Rift Valley and is surrounded by the Tugen Hills volcanic range (El Gaylo) on the west and the Lakipia Escarpment. The lake was around 50 square miles in area until the early 2000’s until the dramatic increase in water sinc 2011; so much so, it is now estimated to be over 100 sq. miles. The lake is now well stocked with fish (with restocking by Omega Farms Ltd.), and attracts many Cormorants and Fish Eagles as well as other water birds. The Lake is also well populated with Crocodiles and Hippos.

The lake is fed by several rivers, the two major ones being El Molo and Ol Arabel although it has no obvious outlet. Despite this, it is one of only two freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. Strictly speaking, it is in fact slightly saline, but not enough to bother the crocs, hippos nor indeed the people who swim in it.

Baringo is an ideal stopover on a safari to Northern Kenya. Main road access to Baringo is directly from Nakuru by bus or private transport. The nearest town to the lake is Kampi ya Samaki.


Altitude: 1,000 m (3300
Area: est. 120 sq. miles (as of August 2013).
Location: Baringo County
Wildlife: Crocodile, monitor lizard, hippo, giraffe, impala, ostrich, rock hyrax, dwarf mongoose, a large variety of reptiles, lungfish, tilapia, and catfish
Birds: More than 470 species

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