At an altitude of 1,815 metres (5,957 feet) Kabarnet is located on the eastern edge of the Kerio Valley, it is approximately 138km north of Nakuru town through nakuru-marigat-kabarnet road and 89km east of Eldoret through eldoret-Iten-Kabarnet road . The view of Tugen Hills is spectacular along the road heading west from Marigat. Views include east over the Rift Valley towards Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria, and west to the Elgeyo escarpment and the Kerio Valley.
The location is named after a missionary from Australia, Albert Edmund Barnett, who was member of the Africa Inland Mission and came first to central Kenya in 1908.  Ka is homestead in the Kalenjin language. The name thus means Barnett's home. Kabarnet is the administrative headquarters for Baringo District since 1907 as the British colonial government made it to seat of the local government. It is also one of the largest constituencies in the country. It became Municipality in 1984. It has a coat of arms since 1993.
Kabarnet is the hometown of Daniel arap Moi, former President of the Republic of Kenya. It is represented in Parliament as part of Baringo Central constituency. His son, Gideon Moi, became the Member of Parliament (MP) from 2003 to 2007, and the only MP in the parliament who went in unopposed in the 2002 general elections that saw the father's 24-year presidential reign and the ruling party's 40-year reign come to an end. Sammy Mwaita was elected in the 2007 general election on an Orange Democratic Movement party ticket, and re-elected in March 2013 through the United Republican Party, a member of the Jubilee coalition that won the concurrent presidential poll.
The former World Marathon record holder, and five times world cross-country champion, Paul Tergat, was born in a small village [Riwa] close to Kabarnet town.
The town has 7 kindergartens, 20 primary schools (with 8 grades), schools for the deaf and handicapped, one Orphanage, three secondary schools (with even the subject German Language) and two polytechnics. Mount Kenya University, Kabarnet Campus and Kisii University, Kabarnet Campus were recently introduced, and also was Kenya Institute of Management. The town also has a government training institute (Kenya School of Government, Baringo) and Kenya Medical Training College, Kabarnet.
It has also the Kabarnet District Hospital, a slaughterhouse and a health centre.
The Kabarnet Museum was created in the former residence of the District Commissioner and has in its displays elements from local culture and traditions, as well as information on Lake Baringo and its environment. The gardens surrounding the Kabarnet Museum are so lush that it has become a small botanical park.
Kabarnet town is the Baringo County headquarters. The Governor's office and the County Assembly offices are located within the town. Kabarnet municipality has six wards (Chebano, Kaprogonya, Kapsoo/Borowonin, Kinyo, Kituro and Seguton). All of them belong to Baringo Central Constituency, which has a total of 25 wards. The remaining 19 are located within Baringo County Council, the rural council of Baringo District.
Since 28 June 1988 Kabarnet is twinned with Hürth near Cologne, Germany. There is an active exchange between the two towns. Some of the students of the local school "Friedrich-Ebert Realschule" have penpals in the school of Kabarnet. Coordinates: