Lake Turkana is one of the Kenya Great Rift Valley Lakes (Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria, Lake Logipi, Lake Elementaita and Lake Magadi). It is located in Turkana County northern Kenya to the Ethiopian border.
It is the world largest desert and alkaline lake. In terms of volume, it is the 4th largest salt lake in the world. It is 6,405 km2 in terms of surface area and an average of 30 m in depth.
The lake is fed by three perennial rivers namely; Omo, Turkwel and Kerio Rivers. Omo River source is from Ethiopia, Turkwel River from Mount Elgon, and Kerio River rises from Amasya Hills. It has no outlet and water is lost through evaporation only.
The rocks surrounding Lake Turkana are predominantly volcanic with the Central Island being an active volcano. Rocky shores and outcrops are found on the east and south shores of the lake while splits, dunes and flats are found on the north and west of the lake.
The climate here is hot and very dry. Sudden and violent storms are common. On-shore and off-shore winds can be extremely strong due to the difference in cooling and warming of the lake and sea.
This lake is home to one of the largest Nile crocodile populations and also credited for abundant hominid fossils discovered in the areas surrounding the lake.
There are three national parks located around the lake. They are known as the Lake Turkana National Parks namely; Sibiloi National Park which lies on the lake’s eastern shore while Central Island National Park and the South Island National Park lie in the Lake.
Lake Turkana Animals
The lake has over 50 species of fish where 12 are endemics. The non-endemics include Nile tilapia, bichirs, elephant fish, African arowana, Nile perch, knifefish and many others.
This lake has huge populations of Nile crocodiles with significant crocodile nurseries. Other reptiles include a huge population of water turtles and mud turtle which is endemic.
Over the grasslands ranges a wide variety of herbivores and predators. They include; zebra, oryx, Grant’s gazelle, topi, giraffe, lion, cheetah and many others.
Close Tourist attractions near Lake Turkana
Koobi Fora popularly known as the Cradle of mankind and has one of the longest living histories on earth
Things to do in Lake Turkana
- Game viewing
Lake Turkana Weather & Climate
Lake Turkana is in an arid area and hence is scorching hot especially between December and March. June and July are the coolest months while May to September has very strong winds.
Average annual rainfall is below 250 mm and it may take years to rain in some places.
Best Time to Visit
Most preferable time is between March and March during crocodile bleeding and birds migration back to Europe.
Otherwise, you can visit all year round given the climatic conditions of this area.
How to get there
By Road-It takes three days to get to Lake Turkana from Nairobi through Marsabit and North Horr or Maralal and South Horr.
You can also use Nairobi to Kalokol route via Kitale and Lodwar
By Air-You can also use air from Nairobi to get to Lake Turkana-there are airstrips there
Lake Turkana Hotels & Lodges
- Sanfields Lodwar Camp
- Eliye Springs Resort
- Proland Inn Ltd
- Desert Rose Kenya
- Palm Shade Resort
- Malobo Resort