Book Flights to Lake Turkana

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.

How to get there

Lake Turkana and the national parks are remote and not easy to get to, but those who put in the effort will be rewarded with an amazing experience, stunning landscapes and ancient history.

Fly to the Lake Turkana National Parks

The only scheduled flights close to Lake Turkana are to Lodwar. This, however, puts you on the western side of the lake, and not actually on the lake shore. From Lodwar, you need to organise cars to get to the lake and a boat trip to get to any of the national parks.

There are many other airstrips, but no scheduled flights. You can charter a flight and fly to any of the smaller airstrips and get picked up from there, allowing you to save the time it takes to drive up from towns further away.

Book your cheap flight with Tripindigo to Lodwar today as the start of an adventurous holiday to a remote part of Kenya.

Drive to the Lake Turkana National Parks

Another option is to drive to the Lake Turkana area. From Nairobi, this is at least 12 hours of solid driving. As they are currently building a wind turbine site on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana, the road to the lake is at the moment in good condition.

Best time to visit

The average annual temperature of the Lake Turkana area is one of the highest in the world (nearly 29°C / 84.2°F) and the annual rainfall is only around 186mm (7.32in).

High season

The desert environment means the Lake Turkana National Parks are best visited in the cooler winter months of April to September, but even then the temperatures are high in this desert area. Make sure you come well-prepared for this harsh and remote area.

Low season

The heat of the desert in the Lake Turkana is unrelenting. It is also very windy from May to September.


  • 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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