Situated in the middle of the biggest permanent desert Lake in the world, the Central Island National Park remarkably refuges three most active volcanoes and three Crater Lakes that are worth exploring while on safari in Africa. The Central Island isn’t only known as the crocodile island but also an island that is filled with many hippos. This island lies above Lake Turkana which is credited for its remarkable flamingos, and the exceptional breeding grounds for the tilapia, crocodiles and not to forget several water birds. There are three protected areas that are found along Lake Turkana and they include Central Island National Park, Southern Island National Park and Sibiloi National Park and the most interesting thing is that they offer refuge to archaeological and paleontological sites and this makes Lake Turkana and its Islands a haven of fossils and other deposits.
For adventure lovers, Central Island National Park should be one of a must to visit while safari in Africa. Think about remarkable volcano cones and look not further than this stunning national park. If you are adventure enthusiast, do not miss to hike to the summits of 3 buzzing and fiery active volcanoes as well several smaller volcanic cones. Each of these refuges Crater Lake which makes the park the only spot where visitors can catch a glimpse of Lakes within a Lake. Central Island National Park covers an area of about 5 square kilometers and this also makes it one of the smallest but the most spectacular protected areas in the Magical Kenya. Given its diverse natural wonders, the park is one of the most exceptional UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kenya.
Central Island National Park is accessible by road and tourists can also fly and land in one of the 2 (two) airstrips neighboring Lake Turkana where you can connect to the island by boat.
This park can be best visited in the months of June and July and when the temperatures and the temperatures are moderately cooler. From December to March, the temperatures are a bit warmer and the area is absolutely arid. If you are planning to pay a visit to this park make sure you come along with enough drinking water and energy snacks. As well, do not forget to include a sun screen, hat in your packing list given the nature of weather in this national park.
Tourist activities in Central Island National Park
Central Island National Park is one of the protected areas that are situated in the remotest areas in Kenya making it one of the most sought after destinations with the most authentic African experiences. For visitors on safari in Kenya, the park is best explored on foot. For unforgettable experiences in Central Island National Park, below are some of the most exciting activities for you to include in your travel itinerary.
Central Island National Park is truly a bird watchers paradise. There are countless bird species that are waiting for you to catch a glimpse some of which include more than the, 350 species of birds, 84 water birds that make the island the real oasis in the midst of an arid environment. There are also other endemic species that make up over 34 species of European migrants and they can be sighted around March and May when they usually flock in the island for breeding.
Central Island National Park is undeniably a crocodile island! It refuges the biggest and the most accessible natural crocodile nursery in Africa. Amazingly, these pre historic reptiles have existed for centuries prior even the arrival of man and they have kept on thriving peacefully with nature for more than 30 million years. They are big, long but visitors are escorted by an armed guard while walking along the island. The breeding period for crocodiles in this park is between April and May. While walking along the island, you will have best moments especially when the baby crocodiles are squeaking. The most incredible bird species for you to spot while on birding safari in this park include sacred ibis, Egyptian geese, little and great white egrets, goliath and grey herons, African skimmer. The alkaline Crater Lake that lies within Flamingo Crater lures countless lesser flamingos and not to forget black winged stilts, pelicans and spur wing plovers. Other species include swallow tailed kites and osprey.
Central Island National Park is exceptionally one of the best places for hiking and provides amazing sights while at the summit of Flamingo Crater. You will have a chance to catch a glimpse of the colored cliffs and amazing opal colored water of the Alkaline Lake that is surrounded by the most stunning pink flamingos as well as birds of prey. Besides, there are many insects, butterflies and dragonflies for you to sight as well as wild flowers.
The park is also worth visiting for game viewing and you will have a chance to spot hippos, topis, crocodiles, Oryx’s giraffes, grant gazelles, grevis zebras, bats and many more.
This is another most exciting activity that you shouldn’t miss out while on safari to Central Island National Park. Boat rides begin in either of the Lakes or from Kalokol gate and you will have a chance to spot more aquatic wildlife and water bird species. For visitors who intend to par take this exciting water sport, be aware that the Lake can at times be challenging to cruise through especially during the windy weather and the boat ride lasts for about 1 to 2 hours but this depends on where you will set off from. You are advised to have healthy if you plan to sail on Central Island’s Lake.
Nature guided walks
If you love nature walks, then this is one of the best parks that you shouldn’t miss out in your travel plan. Nature walks through this protected areas rewards travelers with the most excellent experiences and the rarest views of the stunning Lakes and sceneries. Hikers also have opportunity to walk to the summit of the flamingo crater which features several amazing sites along the way and incredible views of butterflies, dragonflies and insects and many more.
You can also engage in fishing that features as one of the most remarkable recreational activities in the park and this is done with the help of the experienced guide. There are about 60 fish species that thrive in the park’s water Lake. If you love camping safaris, this is also one of the most stunning protected areas in Africa that reward visitors with spectacular views of the Lakes.
Accommodation in Central Island National Park
The Central Island National Park has no lodging facilities but there are camp sites for visitors to camp while enjoying their adventures. Camping rewards visitors with amazing views of the sun as it sets and the moon rising over the black volcanic beaches of Central Island. There are also few accommodation facilities on land and Eliye Springs Resort is one of the nearest areas that visitors can spend a night. It features a traditional style room that depicts that authentic Turkana hut fashion, from reeds and grass. Within the resort you will have a chance to engage in most of water sports along the Lake and safaris to Central Island.
In conclusion, Central Island National Park is one of the most stunning protected areas that you shouldn’t miss to pay a visit to while on safari in Kenya. It offers variety of attractions and tourist activities, all of which offer distinct experiences for visitors on safari in Africa.