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Background


The crocodile infested Lake Turkana has the triple honour of being Kenya's largest lake, the world's largest desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake. It occupies 6,405 sq km, and stretches for 250 km lengthwise. The rivers Omo, Turkwel and Kerio feed it. Except for evaporation Lake Turkana lacks an outlet.
 

Getting There


Northern part of the Rift Valley
 

Key Attractions


Lake TurkanaLake Turkana carries the world's largest Nile crocodile numbers, 60 fish species and over 350 bird species. Its shores are the dwelling place of the Turkana and El Molo people - a people undeterred from their traditional lifestyle by the allures of western civilisation.

On-shore and off-shore winds can be extremely strong as the lake warms and cools more slowly than the land. Sudden, violent storms are frequent. Three rivers (the Omo, Turkwel and Kerio) flow into the lake, but lacking outflow its only water loss is by evaporation. Lake volume and dimensions are variable. For example, its level fell by 10 metres between 1975 and 1993.

The rocky shores are home to scorpions and carpet vipers. Although the lake and its environs have been popular for expeditions of every sort under the tutelage of guides, rangers and experienced persons, they certainly must be considered hazardous for unguided tourists.

Lake Turkana National Park is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sibiloi National Park lies on the lake's eastern shore, while Central Island National Park and South Island National Park lie in the lake.

 

History


A Turkana Woman casts outs a fishing netEarly research at Lake Turkana uncovered the oldest pottery in East Africa as well as large numbers of bone harpoons similar to those found along the Nile Valley and elsewhere in Africa.

The Lake Turkana area remains one of the major building blocks in the interpretation of the later prehistory of Africa as a whole, just as it is a key area for understanding the early phases of human evolution.

 

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