Central Island National Park
Central Island National Park is found in the middle of Lake Turkana the largest permanent desert lake in the world which also forms blue green waters in isolic icon formula, on the central island also known as the crocodile island, this island gives the park its name. this park is among Kenya’s list visited National Parks. The world’s largest concentration of crocodiles is Central Park, these Nile Crocodiles breed in the park’s three crater lakes that’s to say Crocodile lake, Flamingo lake, and Tilapia Lake and other empty dozens of craters and cones.
Central Island National Park sits on a very small area of 5 km, small but rewards you with unforgettable memories and adventure of a life time. The park has got three active volcanoes which belch Sulphurous steam and some sometimes, hence you can small it on reaching the national park, like all other Kenya’s national parks Central National Park is managed and protected by Kenya Wildlife Service and its also a UNESCO World Heritage Site making it safe and secure to be visited by tourists and all travelers.
Hike on the island’s highest point which is 550 m and about 190 m about lake Surface, further more the national park site on an altitude of 355 m above the sea level, this park gives one a chance to experience a hot and arid climate in the months of December and March.
Central Island National Park Wildlife
Central Island National Park has got a reasonable population of wildlife species which include Gravis Zebras, Grant gazelles, Crocodiles, Oryx’s, Hippos, Topis, the biggest population of crocodiles in the World.
Central Island National Park Bird Species.
Central Island National Park has got different bird species making it perfect destination for bird lovers, the park has got over 90 water bird species, 34 European migrant species of birds always in the park between months of March and May and Resident bird species like Goliath heron, African Open-billed stork, Duck and Gulls feed on the shores, Flamingos, prey bird swallow tailed kites among other species of birds located in the national park.
Attractions at Central Island National Park
Central Island National Park has the highest concentration of Nile crocodiles, despite their monstrous size and formidable appearances. Over 12000 crocodiles call the Island their home, they feed on the lake’s prolific fish, they live in harmony with their conducive environment and seem not to be offensive creatures.
Venomous Reptiles and prehistoric fish
The park has a number of aquatics lives including some of the world’s Venomous reptiles like Vipers, Puff adders, cobras to mention but a few, over 60 fish species like the huge Nile perch specie, the Puffer fish specie which is normally found in seawaters and show the Prehistoric connection between the waters of Turkana and the Red sea.
Encounter World’s Largest Crocodile Nursery Site
Central island National park boasts for being the home to the highest number of crocodiles in the world and between the months of April and May is when they mostly breed on the shores, sounds of baby crocodiles squeaking from their eggs brings mummy crocodile to bring them out from the sun where they are buried as eggs to protect them from monitor lizards and raptors. On getting they out of the sand they are taken to the shores where they spend the next month learning how to survive in the water and island.
Central Island National Park safari Activities
On visiting the park, you will be amused with the wildlife in it that is situated on the small area of land, just 5 sq km. wildlife that will be spotted include Crocodiles, hippos, Topis, Gravy Zebra, Grant gazelles, Oryx’s and giraffes among others will be gazed at during the game drive tour around the park. Note the park should be toured in absence of an armed guide because the high risks in the park because of the high population of crocodiles.
Central Island national Park is one of the best birding destinations with over 350 bird species of which 34 of them are migrants from Europe best viewed in months of May and March as the depart back to their home, 84 of the bird species are water birds and the rest are residents of the island which include Grey heron, Goliath heron, African skimmers, Egyptian geese, great egrets, less egrets, sacred ibis, osprey to mention but a few. This activity is guided by the park rangers and armed guides because of the high number of crocodiles.
Guided Nature Walks
Despite the high population of crocodiles, the park offers nature walks in the safe areas, this walk must be guided with those that know the trails of the park very well, you will hike up the highest elevation of the island and have magnificent views of the lake and sceneries, also hike up the flamingo crater crossing many interesting sites as you hike. Species like butterflies, dragonflies and insects and other wildlife will be seen during your nature walk.
This activity requires you to have packed lunch and go for a boat cruise on one of the lakes giving you a very rewarding and remarkable views of the aquatic like animals and bird species. At the kalokol gate is where the adventure starts from and spreads to the rest of the parts of the lake.
The park offers camping as an activity, which is the most amazing, stunning and rewarding activity in the park, stand a chance to view the lake as the moon shines on the streaming craters, the beautiful sky filled with shinning stars. Note that visitors are required to carry their own camping equipment’s, the park provides camping site and clean running waters.
Take a boat ride on one of the craters and grab your self a fish, your free to take it for flying/cooking all depends on your preferences, the park has over 60 fish species hence you can’t miss out on a catch, you will be guided a ranger guide and a fishing expert.
Accommodations in Central Island National Park
There are no established lodges and hotels on the park, so visitors wishing for asleep over can host the nights in the park’s camping sites called Central Island Campsites in order to camp carrying enough food and camping gears are a must have. Near by accommodations can be found in the Eliya Springs resort and luxury accommodations can only be got in the main land.
Best time to visit Central Island National Park
The park is open for visiting all year round, the months of June and July it regarded as the best time to visit because the temperatures are cooler and between the months of December and March the climate is very hot and arid hence on your visit in these months your required to carry a lot of drinking water.
How to get to Central Island National Park
By road it is a three days drive from Nairobi the capital of Kenya via Mars bit and North Horr or Maralal and South Horr. You can also opt for Nairobi via Kalokol western shore of the lake through Kitale and Lodwar. Up on arrival at Kalokol boats are available for hire to Central Island.
By Air Transport
The park has got two airstrips; thus, you can access Lake Turkana by flight.