Islands on Lake Turkana

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The enchanting islands on Lake Turkana are breeding grounds for hippos and crocodiles. There are national parks on Central Island, South Island, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Islands on the Jade Sea

Lake Turkana slits the northern western edge of Kenya, along the boundary of Turkana and Marsabit counties forming a landmark in the hot and dry region.  It is the largest desert lake in the world, and one of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley lakes.

Lake Turkana is slightly alkaline, but it supports a good population of aquatic life including fish and crocodiles. The Turkana community, and others living around this water body depend on fishing for sustenance.

The lake has three islands that are

  • North Island
  • Central Island
  • South Island

North Island

This island is a crater of an extinct volcano. There has been recent volcanic activity because the island sits on a fault line of the Great Rift Valley.   To the south of the island are hot springs and steam vents.

Central Island

An aerial view of the island shows a mound of earth sitting in the middle of water. Dozens of craters unite to form the island.  Some sections of the mound are submerged creating three large pools of water on the island, known as Crocodile, Flamingo and Tilapia.  Two of these small lakes are deep and wide. The most recent volcanic activity was seen from the mainland in the 1970s.

Central Island is a breeding ground for crocodiles, and that’s why it is also known as Crocodile Island.  On the island is Central Island National Park, managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service.  In addition to the beauty of the island, its small lakes are the other reason for tourists to visit.

There are two airstrips in Sibiloi National Park, which is adjacent to Lake Turkana.  A boat ride from Sibiloi or from Lodwar can get you to the island.

South Island

The South Island National Park, on South Island, protects the abundant population of Nile crocodiles on Lake Turkana. Other species housed there are snakes and hippos. The island is uninhabited, though there is evidence to show there were human settlements there. There are goats roaming the island too. Enjoy a 30km boat ride from Loiyangalani to the island.

Map of Islands on Lake Turkana

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