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Central Island National Park

Why Central Island National Park

When one visits the Central Island National Park in Lake Turkana, it feels like the world has stood still. With three active volcanoes and three crater lakes, this is a remote but a very beautiful place.

How to get there

By road

From the capital city Nairobi, the park can be accessed through Maralal and South Hor Marsabit and North Hor. This is a three days journey from the capital. Alternatively one can travel from Nairobi to Kitale and Lowder to Kalokol. Kalokol is on the western shores of Lake Turkana and from Kalokol there are available boat for hire to the Central Island.

By air

There are two all-weather airstrips at the Island. This is the most popular mode of transport as the journey from the capital by road is far and tiring. There is also another airstrip at Loiyangalani.

What to expect

Stunning scenery

The three crater lakes and three active volcanoes that hiss and belch steam and smoke are a spectacular scenery to visitors which is hard to forget. Visitors also get to enjoy the beautiful sight of Lake Turkana luminous waters at they walk on the black lava beach around the lake. Climbing the top of Flamingo crater provides a spectacular view of colored cliffs and the opal colored waters of the lake surrounded by the beautiful flamingoes.

Crocodiles

The crocodiles at Lake Turkana are estimated to be 12000 in number. They are large in size some growing to seven meters in length with a formidable appearance. They are however peaceful coexisting with nature. The crocodiles breeding months are in April to May. It’s amazing to watch and hear the baby crocs squeaking in their eggs while their parents dig up these eggs carrying them to the shallow waters of the lake for safety reasons.

Different bird species

The Island boasts of over 84 species of water birds. The island provides an oasis for these birds in the midst of the hot and dry environment. Other bird species include 34 species of European immigrants birds which rest and breed in the island in the months of March and May.

Reptiles and different fish species

Some of the venomous reptiles in the island include cobra, night and puff adder and saw scaled viper. There also exists many pre historic species of fish such as the puff fish a fish species. Mostly found in salt water lakes indicating that Lake Turkana was indeed prehistorically connected to the Red Sea. Other fish species found in the lake include large Tilapia fish and very huge Nile Perch fish.

Hike sites

The Island is great for hike lovers as it offers great sights for hikers who also get to see different species of butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers. There is also game at the park which include hippos, gazelles, zebras, oryxs and topis.  However, the greatest attraction for most hikers is the top of Flamingo crater. It offers an outstanding view of colored cliffs and the opal colored waters of Flamingo Lake. Visitors also get to watch birds of prey catch the thermals at the visitor’s eye level.

Accommodation

The camp site at the island: There is no accommodation at the island. But nature lovers can stay at the island camp site and get to watch as the sun set and rise over the great beaches of the island.

Eliye springs resort: This is the closest resort to the island found at the mainland. The resort has boma shaped rooms built in the Turkana hut style with grass and reeds. The resort provides organized trips to the islands and fun water sports at the lake.

Why the park is famous

  • It is a UNESCO world heritage site
  • Famous for the three crater lakes; Flamingo lake, Crocodile lake and the Tilapia lake
  • Lake Turkana is the largest permanent desert lake in the globe

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