Fast Facts

  • Location: In Great Rift Valley in North West Kenya.
  • Attraction Type: Lake
  • Significance: A UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for fossil findings of earliest Humans
  • Best Time to Visit: March and April
  • Visiting Hours: Daytime
  • How to Reach: By road from Nakuru, preferably by 4-wheel drive vehicle
  • Nearest International Airport: Nakuru Airport

Lake Turkana, with its jade appearance amidst an arid area, is an awesome sight. Windswept and desolate, Lake Turkana in Kenya is amongst the most challenging of African terrains. This UNESCO World Heritage site carries evidence of modern man’s earliest inhabitation and is frequented by researchers and tourists alike. Popularly referred to as the Jade Sea because of its appearance, it was discovered by Lieut. Von Hohnel and Count Teleki in 1888 who named it Lake Rudolf.

Lake Rudolf, renamed as Lake Turkana in 1975, is located in Great Rift Valley in northwest Kenya, caused by volcanic activities. The solidification of lava flows has resulted in alkaline soil formation, which is inept to bear plants. This lake is primarily fed by River Omo, with temporary streams during the rainy season adding to the volume. Stretching for over 300 km in its north-south direction, and 60 km at its widest, this lake has a mean depth of 30m. Hot dry weather coupled with prevailing winds blowing from southeast makes this place almost barren.

Lake Turkana Activities

Driving to Turkana Lake in a car is a fascinating adventure across African wasteland. A stay for a couple of days in an oasis lodge in Loiyangalani feels like heaven in these tough surroundings. The view of Mount Kulal as a backdrop to this lake is truly majestic. You would be surprised to meet members of Gabra, El Molo, Turkana and Rendille tribes who have acclimatized to these treacherous living conditions of this arid region.

Together with Lake Turkana explore Sibiloi National Park, which has a generous habitation of oryx, zebras, gerenuk, and ostrich. The lake has a crocodile population of over 12,000 — the largest single surviving group of these reptiles in Africa. Discover the Koobi Fora fossil site from where fossilized human skull dating back to two million years ago was discovered.

Big game fishing is a popular water sport, and enthusiastic anglers can expect generous catches of tilapia and tigerfish. March and April are the best months to watch migratory birds in Lake Turkana.

Accommodation and Dining

Accommodation and dining are available in Oasis Lodge in Loiyangalani on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana.

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