Fly to Lake Turkana National Parks, Kenya

No. Travellers

International Adults
12+ years

International Children
Under 12 years

Resident Adults
12+ years

Resident Children
Under 12 years

Infants Under 2
International or Resident

No. Travellers

International Adults
12+ years

International Children
Under 12 years

Resident Adults
12+ years

Resident Children
Under 12 years

Infants Under 2
International or Resident


No. Travellers

International Adults
12+ years

International Children
Under 12 years

Resident Adults
12+ years

Resident Children
Under 12 years

Infants Under 2
International or Resident

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Lake Turkana National Parks

Lake Turkana is also known as the ‘Jade Sea’ due to its colour or as ‘Anam Ka’alakol’ meaning 'sea of many fish' by the locals. It is the largest desert lake in the world as well as the world’s biggest alkaline lake.

The Lake Turkana region has a very harsh desert climate, is hot and windy, and has three national parks in the area:

  • Sibiloi NP
  • Central  Island NP
  • South Island NP

Together these national parks are known as the Lake Turkana National Parks. Sibiloi NP is located on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana, and both Central and South Island are located in the lake. The area is most famous for its hominid (human) fossils found here through which the path of human evolution can be traced.

It is quite a mission to get there, but very rewarding to visit any of these national parks.



Main attractions

The harsh and remote Lake Turkana area rewards visitors with a range of sensational off-the-beaten-track destinations.

  • Visit the cradle of mankind, including a small but interesting museum at Koobi Fora to learn more about the origin of mankind.
  • Admire the amazing landscapes and local rock art.
  • Imagine the forest that once stood here and has left petrified trees that are 7 million years old.
  • Immerse yourself in the culture of the different tribes in Kenya, including one of its smallest, El Molo, who live on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana.
  • Try to find the ancient fossils of a predecessor of the elephant, a huge tortoise and an extinct type of crocodile.
  • Exploring the islands of Lake Turkana.

 

Explore the cradle of mankind and the small museum at Koobi Fora

Sibiloi National Park is where they discovered some of the oldest hominid (human) fossils in the world. There is a small museum at Koobi Fora and you can visit some of the sites where ancient animal fossils have been excavated.

Step back in time and enjoy the ancient rock art in the stunning landscapes

The area surrounding Lake Turkana is mostly rocky with splashes of pink when the desert rose is flowering. There are many rocky outcrops and with luck (or a good guide) you can find ancient rock art in several places.

Petrified forest in Sibiloi National Park

It is hard to imagine the forest that once grew on the shores of this enormous lake, but the petrified trees are proof that the climate used to be very different here. The trees are 7 million years old and worth a visit.

Different tribes of northern Kenya

Cultural visits can be organised in the area to gain an understanding of life for the different tribes who live around the lake.

Try to find the ancient animal fossils in situ

In Sibiloi National Park many fossils have been found. The little museum shows copies of the most important finds, which include some of the oldest human fossils in the world. But ancient creatures were also found and those fossils were left in situ. Taking a guide from the museum is necessary to find the fossils as they are located in the middle of nowhere.

Explore the islands of Lake Turkana

Central Island is made up of three active volcanoes with three crater lakes. A walk or boat cruise with different stops around the island is a must to see Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake, and Tilapia Lake, which provide breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile. Small and large crocodiles, as well as turtles, can be seen swimming in the lakes.

South Island is also a breeding ground for crocodiles as well as hippo and several venomous snakes, access is difficult.

Make sure you book a reliable boat for the trip to Central Island and South Island as the lake can get very rough.

 

Information for visitors

Did you know?

  • Once a year the area organises the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival in Loyangalani, where local tribes celebrate their different cultures and tourists are very welcome.
  • You can find 7 million-year-old petrified trees in Sibiloi NP, amazing to see and realise this area used to be a lush forest once.
  • Between March and May, many migrant birds can be found on South Island, some coming here to breed, an excellent time for birdwatchers to visit.
  • Central Island has a campsite and if you stay overnight you can experience the luminous water on the black lava beaches.

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Popular Activities

  1. Camping
  2. Boat cruises to the islands
  3. Safari drives
  4. Visits to the fossil sites and the petrified forest
  5. Bird watching
  6. Picnics
  7. Photography
  8. Fishing
  9. Cultural visits

Depending on where you will be staying in the Lake Turkana National Parks your breakfast, lunch and dinner could be included in the stay at your lodge. Or, if you are camping or staying at one of the bandas, you will need to be totally self-sufficient and all food and water will need to be brought in for the entire trip.

Be aware that the Lake Turkana area is remote and not many facilities can be found here. Accommodation is available in some small villages and some food can be bought locally, however, it is better to be totally self-sufficient as most of the produce sold up here is brought in on trucks for the local community.

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