top of page

Kenya's Lake Baringo: Surviving hippo and crocodile attacks

Joseph Atuma had fished in Lake Baringo in Kenya since he was 12 and, despite one or two encounters with hippos and crocodiles, none had ever attacked him until one evening in September 2018, when a hippo tore through his canoe, grabbed his left leg, and ripped part of it off.

"It was hiding in the bushes, very near to the shore, a place where I wouldn't expect a hippo to be. And it caught me by surprise," the 42-year-old says.

"It sank its teeth on to the wooden canoe and into my leg. Very little meat was left on my bone, between the knee and the foot," he adds, as he shows the scars that remain.

Lake Baringo, in Kenya's Rift Valley, is one of the country's biggest freshwater lakes. From the main highway in the small town of Marigat, the beautiful golden yellow sun casts its rays on the waters as it rises, making the lake glimmer. The fishermen are already out, their boats dotting the calm gleaming water.


bottom of page