African Retreat Tours & Travels Ltd
Windsor House, 5th Flr
Muindi Mbingu St, CBD
P.O. Box 7362-00100, Nairobi - Kenya
At Kenya's far Northern frontier lies one of the natural wonders of the world. Lake Turkana is a massive inland sea, the largest desert lake in the world. This single body of water is over 250 kilometres long- longer than the entire Kenyan coast.
The Turkana are a Nilotic people native to the Turkana District in northwest Kenya, a semi-arid climate region bordering Lake Turkana in the east, Pokot, Rendille and Samburu to the south, Uganda to the west, and South Sudan and Ethiopia to the north. They refer to their land as Turkan.
It is widely known as the Jade Sea, because of the remarkable, almost incandescent, colour of its waters. After a long journey through the sweltering deserts and lava flows of Northern Kenya, the sight of this vast body of bright turquoise water comes as an unearthly, ethereal vision.
The Lake is a source of life for some of Kenya's most remote tribes.
The Turkana, with ancestral ties to Uganda, live a semi-nomadic existence around the Lake. The country's smallest tribe, the El Molo, live a hunter-gatherer existence on the shores, in villages of distinctive rounded reed huts.
Turkana has one of the longest living histories on earth, and recent fossil evidence unearthed at Koobi Fora has led to the Lake being referred to as 'The Cradle of Mankind'. The site lies at the heart of the Sibiloi National Park, a place of stark beauty and prehistoric petrified forests.
The Lake itself is a natural treasure, with the world's single largest crocodile population.
In Turkana these reptiles grow to record size, with some of the largest specimens found on remote windswept Central Island. Lake Turkana is Kenya's most remote destination, but one that repays the intrepid traveller with rich rewards.