South Island National Park Kenya

South Island National Park Kenya (The Isle of Mystery)

South Island National Park Kenya (The Isle of Mystery) described as The Isle of Mystery is a mysterious Kenya safari destination and one of the three national parks that are The Central National Park, Sibiloi National Park, South Island National Park and North Island. And the beds of 2 (two) graben in the northern side of the Kenyan Great rift valley straddle within Lake Turkana area.

 Lake Turkana described as the jade sea because of its magical color is listed among the 4th largest lakes in Africa, the lake drops down along the rift valley from north to south and its delta extends to Ethiopia with a depth of30 meters and 249 kilometers by 48 kilometers of width.

The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its remarkable iridescent vents that glow at night, these glowing luminous vents are described by the locals as the area of ill omen.

South Island national park is one of the famous Kenya safari destinations located in the northern safari circuit offering some of the unique tour and travel experiences in Kenya. The park was established in 1983 stretching over an area of 6400 square kilometers.

South Island National park is a legally protected Kenya national park by the Kenya Wildlife Act cap 376 and Antiquities and Monument Act cap 215 under Kenya legislation. Because of the rare wildlife species, vegetation, birdlife, marine life, the park is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kenya.

Tourist attractions in South Island National Park

South Island national park is a perfect Kenya safari destination if you are looking most pristine safari destination with numerous tourist attractions including several of animals, birdlife, marine life and vegetation.


South Island national park is a habitat to various species of wildlife including 12000 crocodiles which can be spotted relaxing along the shores of Lake Nakuru, these crocodiles breed mostly on the shoreline of the crater lakes in Island between April and May. Other animal species found in South Island national park include scaled viper, cobra, night and Puff adders.  On dry land, animals such as hyena, caracal, Grevy’s zebra, Grant’s gazelle, baboon, oryx, kudu and a variety of small mammals are in abundance.

South Island National Park Kenya (The Isle of Mystery)
Grevy zebra in South Island National Park Kenya

South Island national park is also a host to several fish species such as the massive Nile perch and tilapia which are sighted around the sea water which is a prehistoric linkage to the Red Sea. There are also large number of hippos found at Lake Turkana which is the incredibly the most ideal breeding ground.


South Island national park is great birding destination for water birds recorded to be over 84 water bird species including 34 European migrant species, the European migrant bird species arrive and present in the park around March – May. Over 23 bird species such as breed Goliath heron, African skimmer whereas African open billed stork, gulls and duck in South Island national park depending on the Lake shores, the volcanic Island lakes in the park attract huge populations of lesser flamingoes. There are also birds of the prey including swallow tailed kite, pelicans and others.

The Kobi Fora

The Kobi Fora in South Island national park features most of geo morphological traits with fossil deposits of sedimentary creations and hundreds of identified archaeological and paleontological sites.

The Kobi Fora is situated in northern Kenya near Lake Turkana, the site consists of well preserved hominin fossils dating from 2.1 and 1.3 million years ago. These fossils include atleast one species of robust australopith and three species of Homo (H.habilis, H.rudolfnesis and African H.erectus.

Volcanic Lava

In South Island national park there are volcanic Lava overflowing within the petrified forests.

South Island National Park Kenya (The Isle of Mystery)
South Island National Park Kenya (The Isle of Mystery)


South Island national park is dominated by several vegetations in the grassy plains, these include yellow spear grasses, acacia Tortilis, acacia species, balanites aegyptiaca and doum palm hyphaene coriacea in scarce gallery woodlands, salvadora persica bush can be seen along Central and South Islands. The muddy bays found on the south Island have extensive submerged beds of potamogton pectinatus which is a home to the most of the spawning fish.


South Island National Park experiences hot and arid climatic conditions from December to March, between June and July are the coolest months in the park and May to September the park receives strong winds.

South Island national park receives an annual rainfall of 250mm each year.


South Island National Park is found in the southern part of Lake Turkana about 2220 kilometers south of Loiyangalani, the park can be reach both air and road.

By road, it is a 3 days drive from Nairobi through Marsabit and the North Horr or Maralala and south Horr. Alternatively you can get you get to the park from Using to Kalolok along the  Lake’s western shoreline through Kitale and Lodwar, from Kalokol boat hire services which are present to central Island.

By air, one can reach the park using domestic and chartered flights from Wilson airport to the nearby airstrips in Loiyangalani, southeastern coast of Lake Turkana.

Best time to visit South Island National park

The climatic conditions experienced in South Island national park mirrors the conditions of its sister national park, the northern section of Kenya is very arid, hot and somehow dry. The best time to visit South Island national park is in the dry month from October to January, in July and August the park experiences cool temperatures. From May – June and September, the wind pickup making the conditions unfavorable for tourists, tourists are recommended to avoid visiting South Island national park

Accommodation in South Island National Park

The available prominent accommodation facilities in South Island national park are found inside the park, this means the tourists on a Kenya tour are to stay inside the park. These accommodation facilities include the South Island campsite, Malabo resort, Lobolo tented camp, Oasis Lodge, National Museum of Kenya, Kobi Fora, Game trackers campsite, Palm shade camp and Sunset strip camp and others

Packing list

When visiting South Island national park, the following should not miss on your packing list.

  • Adequate food
  • drinking water
  • camping equipment
  • medical kit
  • camera
  • binoculars
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • insect repellents
  • guide books
  • hat
  • breakdown equipment and many more.
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