Central Island National Park
Central Island National Park: Central island national park is among Kenya’s safari destinations known as a crocodile island comprised of more than a dozen craters and cones plus other three of which are filled by crater lakes that is crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake, and Tilapia Lake which provides breeding space for the world’s largest population of Nile crocodiles. Furthermore, the largest two lakes partially fill the craters up to the wide kilometers and deeps of about 80 meters long, the floor of the lake are close to sea level. The highest point of this basaltic island measures 550meter about 190 meters above the lake surface. This central island sits in the middle of lake Turkana which is a largest permanent desert lake in the world that forms blue –green waters in isolic icon formula. The volcanic island is made up of three active volcanoes that belch sulphurous steam and smoke. Note that, the national park is safe to be visited, since it is being managed by the Kenya wildlife service ‘’KWS’’ and is under UNESCO world heritage site.
Visitors to central National park can camp along the island in a well-organized campsite in order to enjoy the haunting experience of the lake’s luminous waters wash up onto a black lava beach as well as getting excited to the moon as it rises over the menacingly smoking craters thus having unforgettable life experience on African desert island.
The park lies on altitude rising 355 meters above the sea level and its climate experience both hot and arid, which usually occurs from December to March and in July can be the coolest month. May to September experiences strong winds which commonly blow during morning and evening hours. The area receives less rainfall of about 250 millimeters per annum and in some areas it can take years to rain.
5 Square kilometers: Though it’s a desert island and is among the least visited Kenya national park, it offers awesome experience of huge attractions which can be encountered by the visitors on their stay to the Central Island national park as follows;
Lake Turkana has not changed on its record of inhabiting high concentration of crocodile which estimates 12,000 crocodiles for the last 130 million years. In fact, this is a volcanic island where you can see huge number of crocodiles which have been existing for years. This is generally inoffensive creatures living in perfect cool harmony in their environment while feeding on the lake’s prolific fish.
Venomous reptiles and prehistoric fish
Lake Turkana is also known as a place in the world to protect some of venomous reptiles such as night and puff adder, saw-scaled Viper and Cobra. It is a home to various species of fish like huge Nile perch, and large tilapia. The puffer fish which is a group of fish found in seawater that indicate Turkana’s prehistoric fish to the Red sea.
The world’s largest crocodile nursery site
Crocodiles are in water species but when it comes for breeding, they breed on the shores of the island’s crater lakes between the month of April and May. Then their babies can be heard squeaking in their eggs which can be buried deep beneath the island’s sand just in order to escape the predatory attention of raptors and monitor lizards. After baby crocodile squeaking out of their eggs, they cry the sound that brings their parents scurrying to dig them out and carry them down to the water’s edge for their first month of nursing.
The island is a paradise of birdlife with over 84 water bird species including 34 species of European migrants which are best viewed between March and May. Other 23 species which breed in here include African skimmer, Goliath heron, while African open-billed stork, Duck and Gulls feed on the shores, this volcanic island lake also attracts lesser flamingos. There are also abundant of prey birds such as swallow tailed kites.
Activities done in Central Island National park
They including; Fishing, Game viewing and bird watching.
Despite the place is small in size but it gives a great chance to visitors to view game animals such as hippos, topis, Gravis Zebra, grant gazelles, crocodiles, Oryx’s and you’re advised to go with armed guide because of the high population crocodile on the island for your safe.
The island hosts over 350 bird species ,84 are water species others are residential and migratory which include; Goliath heron, African skimmers, grey heron, Egyptian geese, great egrets, sacred ibis, less egrets, Osprey, swallow tailed kites many more.
Visitors can enjoy boat rides from one of the lake and get rewarded of viewing aquatic animals and water birds.
Guided nature walks
This is thrilling experience done hiking along the island as you will be able to have great views of the magnificent lakes and scenery. Visitors can also hike to the top of the flamingo crater where you can land on interesting sites on the way as you enjoy a breathtaking view of the park.
Getting to the National park is a long driving journey from Nairobi passing via Mars bit and North Horr or South Horr.Another opinion you can travel by road from Nairobi to Kalokol on the lake’s western shores while passing via Kitale and Lodwar. When you reach Kalokol traveler can hire boat services which are available to Central island.
The park has got one gate known as Kalokol Gate.
Traveler can access Lake Turkana by domestic flights since the park has got two weather airstrips.
The park has got safe central island Campsite where visitors to the island can spend their night from as they listen to nature sound and outside the moon and stars are rewarding on steaming craters.
Come visit the un touched wilderness and rewardable experience of its remoteness, famously known as a place of crocodile island.