The Tugumoi Ridge Flyway Observatory Site, the first of its kind in Kenya, offers vantage points for observing migratory birds as they make their way across the Kerio Valley. A flyway is a flight path used by birds during migration. Flyways generally span continents and often oceans. In the Rift Valley, the flyway becomes tunnel-like and birds use it to fly towards the Mau Escarpment and Lake Nakuru. Among the birds that sail on the flyway are Lesser Kestrels, European Honey Buzzards, Common (Steppe) Buzzards, Steppe Eagles, White Storks and Woolly-necked Storks.
The launch of the observatory site took place on November 9 at Tugumoi Ridge in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County, organized by the Baringo and Kerio County governments. Baringo County Chief Warden William Kimosop said the two County governments were committed to protecting the flyway and promoting bird watching in the area. A team from Nature Kenya, led by Rodah Owako – Membership Manager – witnessed the launch. Representatives from BirdLife International and bird experts also graced the event.
Tugumoi village is about 35km west of Eldama Ravine off the Ravine-Nyaru Road through sections of the Lembus Forest. The village stands at about 2500 metres above sea level, with the surrounding area marking the beginning of the Kerio Valley as well as the Tugen Hills and the Keiyo/Marakwet Escarpment. Riding the valley’s thermals, migratory birds flying in from the north exit from this section, making it a vantage point to watch them fly past.