Central Island National Park Kenya

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Central Island National Park Kenya2019-02-05T06:58:06+00:00

Central Island National Park Kenya, Central Island Safari in Kenya, Wildlife Kenya Safari, Kenya Tour

Central Island National Park is a volcanic Island located in the middle of Lake Turkana in Kenya. The park is also known as crocodile Island which is approximately 5 square kilometers in size but so visually and archaeologically unique and it is also the location of Central Island National park that is governed by the Kenya Wildlife service. The park is composed of more than a dozen craters and cones three of which are filled by small lakes and the two largest lakes partially fill craters up to a kilometer wide and about 80 meters deep with the floors of which are near sea level. The park’s highest point on the dominantly basaltic Island reaches 550meters with about 190meters above the lake surface. The eastern side of the 3-kilometer wide Island is cut by an E-W- trending chain of small explosion craters and several small Islands to the SE represent partially submerged crater rims and other cones with lava plugs lie beneath the lake surface near the Island. The Central Island rises starkly above the emerald waters of Lake Turkana the largest permanent desert lake in the world.
The park is one of the three National parks situated on Lake Turkana and the other two lakes include the Sibiloi National park and the Southern Island National park. Together these three parks provide an incredible store house of archaeological and paleontological sites making Lake Turkana and her Island a treasure trove of fossils and the Central Island provides a major breeding ground for Nile crocodiles and many water bird species.

Attractions within Central Island National Park

Wildlife in Central Island National Park

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The park is a home to different wildlife species which include Nile Crocodiles, hippos, Grevis zebra, topis, grant gazelles, Oryx’s, giraffes and the crocodile population is very high in that it’s a must to move with an armed guide and also the park offers visitors opportunities to view this wildlife.

Crocodile kingdom

Long before mankind the survivors of an epoch, 12,000 crocodiles were estimated in Lake Turkana and have not changed in 130 million years and despite their monstrous size and formidable appearance are generally inoffensive creatures living in perfect harmony with their environment and feeding on the lakes’ prolific fish. Here the world’s crocodile breed on the shores of the Island’s crater lakes between the months of April and May and the baby crocodiles can be heard squeaking in their eggs that are buried deep beneath the sand to escape the predatory attentions of monitor lizards and raptors. These species’ cries bring their parents scurrying to dig them out and carry them down to the water’s edge.

Venous reptiles and prehistoric fish

The park Is a home to some of the world’s most venomous reptiles which includes the night and puff adder, saw scaled and cobra. There are other many species of fish including the large tilapia and huge Nile perch, puffer fish, a group normally found in seawater which indicate Turkana’s prehistoric connection to the Red sea.

Abundant bird life

The Central Islands are a home to a profusion of birdlife and there are over 84 water bird species including 34 species of European migrants most spectacularly viewed as they return home between March and May and 23 species at least breed here and they include the African skimmer and Goliath heron while African open billed stork, Duck and Gulls feed on the shores and the volcanic Island lakes attract lesser flamingos, and birds of prey are also abundant especially swallow tailed kites.

Activities done by tourists

Bird watching in Central Island National Park

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This activity is a great opportunity for birders because the park is a home to many species of bird life including the 84 species of water birds and this population is joined by 34 bird species of European migrants, which are most successfully viewed here during March and May when they return to the Island to rest and breed and some of the species you are likely to see around the fresh water lakes include the Goliath and Grey Herons, African Skimmer, Little and Great white Egrets, Sacred Ibis, Egyptian Geese, Osprey and Swallow – tailed kites among others.

Game viewing in Central Island National Park

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Apart from the Central Island National Park being a small park, it offers visitors opportunities to view wildlife such as hippos, Grevis zebra, topis, crocodiles this having the highest population, grant gazelles, giraffes and Oryx’s.

Boat rides in Central Island National Park

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Through this activity, tourists enjoy boat rides from one of the lakes and this activity starts from kalokol gate and this offers a reward of viewing aquatic animals such as the hippos, crocodiles among others and water birds.

Nature walk in Central Island National Park

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While you hike to the Islands highest elevation, the guided Nature walks are thrilling and have striking views of the magnificent lakes and scenery and the tourists hiking to the top of the flamingo crater will come across many interesting sites on the way and most importantly breathtaking views of the whole park and the dragonflies, butterflies and the insects are also expected.

Fishing in Central Island National Park

This recreational activity is carried out with an help of an experienced fishing guide and expect to see over 60 species of fish recorded.

Camping in Central Island National Park

This camping activity offers an incredible view of the lakes as the moon shines on streaming craters.

Hiking in Central Island National Park

The entire Island offers interesting sights all along the way and the park is great for hikers and a climb to the top of flamingo crater will reward you with one of the most arresting views in Africa.

How to get to Central Island National Park

The park can be accessed by air and there are two all-weather airstrips and also in Loiyangalani.
It can also be accessed by road which is a 3-day drive from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr or Maralal and South Horr. Or you can also travel by road from Nairobi to Kalokol on the lake’s western shores via Kitale and Lodwar and hire a boat to the Central Island from Kalokol.

Map Showing Central Island National Park Kenya

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Map Showing Central Island National Park Kenya

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