Discovering Northern Kenya; 10 Best places To Visit in Turkana County.

Discovering Northern Kenya; 10 Best places To Visit in Turkana County.

Turkana County in Kenya offers a plethora of attractions that cater to diverse interests, from natural wonders to cultural heritage sites. Here are some must-visit places in Turkana

Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana, Africa’s fourth-largest lake, holds the distinction of being the most saline lake in East Africa and the world’s largest desert lake. Spanning an impressive 249 kilometers from north to south and reaching 44 kilometers at its widest point, this extraordinary lake is ensconced within an arid landscape that often appears devoid of life. Reverently referred to as the Jade Sea due to its stunning color, Lake Turkana’s long and captivating body stretches along the Rift Valley from the Ethiopian border. Its unique combination of size, salinity, and mesmerizing scenery makes it an awe-inspiring natural wonder in the East African region.

Southern Turkana National Reserve

The Southern Turkana National Reserve, situated along Kitale_Lodwar highway, is a vast expanse of untamed wilderness teeming with unique wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. This reserve is a crucial habitat for a diverse array of flora and fauna, adapted to the semi-arid conditions of the region. The reserve is renowned for its population of iconic African species such as elephants, zebras, giraffes, and various antelope species. It’s also home to rare and endangered species like the Grevy’s zebra and the reticulated giraffe. Visitors can immerse themselves in the raw beauty of nature, exploring its rugged terrain, ancient rock formations, and the majestic waters of Lake Turkana, all while experiencing the rich cultural heritage of the Turkana people who call this land home.

Desert Museum Loiyangalani 

Focusing on the vibrant lives of the area’s eight communities—Turkana, El-Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Gabra, Watta, Borana, and Dassanach—the museum embodies a commitment to preserving Kenya’s rich cultural and natural heritage. Loiyangalani, meaning “a place of many trees”, thrives as a small town nestled on the lake’s southeast coast, serving as an oasis in the desert and home to the nearly extinct El Molos community. Recognizing its unique cultural and environmental significance, the town is fast becoming a tourist hotspot, boasting amenities such as an airstrip, post office, fishing station, campsites, and lodges. Each year, the National Museums of Kenya, alongside other partners, host the Lake Turkana Festival in Loiyangalani—a vibrant celebration of the region’s culture, fostering both local pride and international tourism. The entry fees are ksh.100 for adults and ksh.50 for those below 16 years while non_residents pay ksh.500 and ksh.250 respectively.

Namorutunga Standing Stones

Unexpectedly along the road from Lodwar to Kalokol lies Namorutunga, offering a mystical encounter amidst the ordinary. Local elders share tales of the “people of stone,” believed to be petrified dancers cursed by an enraged sorcerer. While archaeologists question this legend, suspecting Namorutunga to be a sacred. Regardless of its origins, the site’s towering basalt pillars evoke a sense of reverence and intrigue, inviting visitors to ponder its enigmatic past. Namorutunga stands as a testament to the intersection of myth and history, captivating all who venture into its ancient embrace.

Lokichar Hills

The Lokichar Hills, located at Katilu on the banks of River Turkwell, are a striking geological feature that adds to the region’s natural beauty and allure. Rising majestically from the surrounding plains, these hills are characterized by their rugged terrain, rocky outcrops, and stunning vistas. The Hills hold significant cultural and historical importance for the local Turkana community, who have lived in harmony with the land for generations. Beyond their cultural significance, the hills are also home to a diverse array of flora and fauna adapted to the semi-arid conditions of the area. Visitors to the can embark on scenic hikes, witness breathtaking sunsets, and immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Turkana culture against the backdrop of this land.

Ferguson Gulf

Located south of Kalokol, lies a magnificent natural wonder: a vast bay brimming with shallow water. Enclosed by a sandy ridge adorned with lush palm trees, this bay is a breathtaking sight to behold. Here, amidst the tranquil waters and serene landscape, thousands of flamingos, pelicans, and yellow-billed storks gracefully roam, painting the sky with their vibrant hues. Amidst this avian paradise, local fishermen ply their trade, casting their nets into the rich waters. For nature enthusiasts and anglers alike, this bay offers an unparalleled experience, inviting visitors to partake in birdwatching and fishing activities while basking in the natural splendor of Lake Turkana.

Central Island

This is a designated national park renowned for its stunning volcanic landscape and vibrant birdlife. Home to hundreds of indigenous bird species and a vital rest stop for migratory birds from distant lands, the island’s rich ecosystem is sustained by the abundant plankton in its surrounding waters. Marvel at the sight of nesting egrets, storks, and cormorants, and witness tens of thousands of flamingos adorning the crater lake shores. Accessible by a scenic 2-hour boat ride from Kalokol beach, Central Island boasts three distinct crater lakes, each with its own unique charm. Explore the island’s walking trails and ascend to its highest point for panoramic views of the crater lakes and majestic Lake Turkana below. Prepare to be captivated by the natural wonders of Central Island, a true gem of Kenya’s wilderness.

Lodwar Hills

Lodwar Hills stand as a geological marvel, characterized by their rugged beauty and unique formations. Situated southeast of the town of Lodwar, these hills emerge amidst the semi-arid landscape, offering a stark contrast against the flat plains of the region. Composed of ancient sedimentary rocks, the hills bear witness to millions of years of geological history, attracting geologists, nature enthusiasts, and adventurers alike. Their strategic location provides panoramic views of the surrounding terrain, while their rocky outcrops serve as habitats for diverse flora and fauna, adding to the allure of this remote and captivating destination.

Eliye Springs

Eliye Springs, 50km east of Lodwar is a hidden gem renowned for its tranquil beauty and cultural significance. Named after a nearby rocky outcrop, Eliye Springs boasts pristine sandy beaches lapped by the turquoise waters of Lake Turkana, Africa’s largest desert lake. The area is rich in biodiversity, with unique bird species and aquatic life thriving in its waters. Eliye Springs also holds cultural significance for the Turkana people, who have inhabited the region for centuries, preserving their traditional way of life amidst the stunning landscapes of this lakeside paradise.

Kapedo Hot Waterfall

Upon reaching Kapedo, the border town bridging Baringo and Turkana County, travelers are greeted by a surreal sight that defies expectation: two cascading waterfalls of scalding hot water, cascading over a modest escarpment before mingling with the Suguta River. The spectacle is nothing short of mesmerizing. Kapedo itself is a quaint village adorned with traditional grass-thatched huts, exuding a timeless charm. Surrounding the village, the landscape is equally captivating, with the imposing Silali Volcano to the east and the scenic Tiati Hills to the west, offering enticing opportunities for adventurous hikes. After a day of exploration, weary limbs find solace in the warm embrace of Mother Nature’s bath: the Suguta River. Whether you seek the invigorating heat of the boiling streams or the soothing embrace of lukewarm waters, Kapedo offers an unforgettable immersion in the wonders of nature.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or cultural experiences, Turkana County has something for everyone to explore and enjoy.

10 Best Places to Visit in Bringo County.

10 Best Places to Visit in Laikipia County.

10 Best Places to Visit in Kisii County.

10 Best Places to Visit in Nyamira County

10 Best Places to Visit in Marsabit County.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *