Hang out with pre-historic fish at the Central Island National Park

Hang out with pre-historic fish at the Central Island National Park

The Central Island National Park is located in Lake Turkana and is home to numerous vulcanic craters. Three big craters are filled with small lakes creating a beautiful sight. Although opinions on the park vary, we thought it was one of the most impressive sights of Kenya. 

This post is part of the ‘This pretty place…‘ series. In this serie we share the most beautiful and unique places with you. 

The park

In and around the lakes you will find all sorts of wildlife such as flamingo’s, crocodiles, pelicans, other birds, snakes and pre-historic fish. The park is governed by the Kenya Wildlife Services and Unesco. The island is about 5sq kilometers and has three scenic lakes to visit: the Crocodile lake, the Flamingo lake and the Tilapia lake. The ranger will show you all three crater lakes (for one you will have to take the boat again) via signposted walking paths. You will also pass the only camping facility at the island. Make sure you wear sunscreen, since there is hardly any shade (accept at the camping facilities).

Armed ranger Central Island National Park
Armed ranger Central Island National Park
Coast of the Central Island. ©Bunch of Backpackers.
Coast of the Central Island. ©Bunch of Backpackers.

How to get to the Central Island National Park?

We arranged a day trip to the lakes via the Eliye Springs resort.

1. arrange a boat via the Eliye Springs Resort for about 8000 Ksh (you may be able to bargain)
2. arrange a boat from Ferguson’s golf for about 8000 Ksh (you may be able to bargain)

When bargaining check if the price include fuel and the park entrance fee (15USD)

Boat Central Island National Park
Boat Central Island National Park
Motor boat to the islands. ©Bunch of Backpackers.
Motorboat to the islands. ©Bunch of Backpackers.

What to keep in mind before visiting the park?

– Pay the entrance fee to the KWS ranger / at the office
– Always make sure an (armed) official KWS ranger comes with you (there are about 14.000 nile crocodiles in the park!)
– Check the weather and consult KWS to see if it’s safe to travel by boat. The conditions of the lake should not be taken lightly. It’s a 10 km trip.
– If necessary take anti-motion sickness tablets beforehand
– Wear good shoes
– Bring enough water
– Bring sunscreen (it can get really hot and there is barely any shade at the island)

Birds Central Island National Park
Birds Central Island National Park
One of the lakes at central Island National Park
One of the lakes at central Island National Park

The Central Island National Park and Lake Turkana are well off the tourist track. However, we recommend all adventurous Kenya travellers to visit this beautiful and extraordinary park!

For more information on the community rights and environment issues check out the ‘Friends of Lake Turkana’ 

Have you been to Central Island? What did you think?
Also visit nearby Eliye Springs!
Read our other Kenya articles!
Meet 'travel mastermind' Manouk: a 29-year-old sassy girl from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. With BoB she inspires you to explore the world, meet the unexpected and follow your dreams. Happy travels!

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