Lake Turkana was formerly known as Lake Rudolf after Count Teleki named it after the Crown Prince of Austria in 1888 It was not until 1975 that it was changed back to Lake Turkana after the people living on its shores.
Lake Turkana, also known as Jade Sea as a result of its fiery colours due to the heat, is the largest desert lake in the world.
The lake is fed by three rivers - Turkwell, Omo and Kerio. Nevertheless, there's no outflow and the only water loss is incurred by evaporation.
The lake which is 250km long making it longer than Kenya's coast, holds the largest population of Nile crocodile. Consequently, swimming in the waters is strongly discouraged.
Lake Turkana has a significant population of large water turtles.
There are 50 fish species, 12 of which are endemic, which is relatively low for such a big lake.
The migratory birds stopover at Lake Turkana to feed on the fish and plankton. There are also bird species native to Lake Turkana such as African Skimmer, the Greater Flamingo and Heuglin's bustard.
The Lake Turkana National Parks were enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. The Parks consist of:
The closest airstrip is in Loiyangalani where flights from Nairobi's Wilson Airport land.
By road: The Lake is a three day drive from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr, or Maralal and South Horr. Alternatively travel by road from Nairobi to Kalokol on the lake’s western shores, via Kitale and Lodwar. From Kalokol boat hire services are available to Central Island.