A Guide To Sibiloi National Park Kenya
The 1,570sqkm Sibiloi National Park Kenya is on the north eastern shore of Lake Turkana in Marsabit County, about 800km north of Nairobi. It is one of the world’s greatest treasures as the cradle of humankind. It was originally established by the National Museums of Kenya to protect unique pre-historic and archaeological sites.
The key attractions are preserved wildlife fossils, which include the giant Tortoise and the 18-20ft long crocodile. Sites –Koobi Fora. Museum and Research Base and the tempestuous ‘Jade Sea’ — attest that turkana is part of the cradle of man.
Facts About Sibiloi National Park
Altitude: 355 meters above sea level.
Area: 1,575 sq km.
Location: Marsabit District, Eastern Province.
Distance from Nairobi: 960 km north of Nairobi.
Gazetted: Opened August 1973.
Climate: Scorching hot and arid (especially December to March). June and July are the coolest months. May to September very strong winds blow both morning and evening. Rainfall less than 250 mm pa, and in some places and it may not rain for several years at a time.
Vegetation: Grassy plains with yellow spear grass and ragged doum palms.
Fauna: Mammals include zebra (Burchell’s and Grevy’s), gazelle, Beisa oryx, hartebeest, topi, kudu, lion, cheetah, leopard, striped hyena and hippo.
The world’s largest crocodile population breeds on
Lake Turkana’s Central Island and there are 60 recorded species of fish.
Birds: More than 350 recorded species including large flocks of flamingo.
Roads: High-clearance 4WD is essential.
Sibiloi National Park Kenya is waterless except for alkaline waters of the lake. It however, harbours variety of wildlife including the zebra, giraffe, hippo, crocodile and numerous bird species such as flamingos, pelicans and ducks. The world’s largest Nile crocodile population breeds on Lake Turkana’s Central Island.
Sibiloi National Park Kenya can be accessed by air through two all-weather airstrips. By road, 4WD vehicles are preferred and travel in convoy is recommended. It is a three-day drive from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr or Maralal and South Horr
Alternatively, visitors can travel by road from Nairobi to Kalokol on the lake’s western shores through Kitale and Lodwar. From Kalokol, boat hire services are available across the lake to Allia Bay.
Sibiloi National Park Kenya has accommodation at Oasis Lodge and Lobolo Tented Camp. Self-catering services are provided at Allia Bay Guesthouse – three-double bedrooms, solar-generated electricity and furnished indoor sitting, dining and kitchen.
At Koobi Fora Museum is a camp-site. Two public campsites (latrines only no water) are at Turkana and Sunset Strip Camp.
What To See At Sibiloi National Park
- The major attractions include Lake Turkana which is the most saline of the Africa’s large lakes. It is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and world largest alkaline lake. The soda lake owes its lovely nickname to algae particles which shift with changes of wind and light causing Lake Turkana’s color to change from blue to grey to jade.
- The area is also characterized by semi-desert habitat and open plains flanked by volcanic formation including Mount Sibiloi, the site of the remains of a petrified forest possibly 7 Million years ago.
- Turkana is an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities. The park serves as a stopover for migrant waterfowl and is major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes. The park also has other terrestrial wildlife like Zebras, Grant Gazelles, Lions, Leopards, stripped Hyenas, Beisa oryx; Greater kudu, cheetahs and Northern Topi among others. A total of over 350 species of aquatic and terrestrial bird have been recorded in Lake Turkana.
- At Koobi Fora, extensive paleontological finds have been made, including the evidence of the existence of a relatively intelligent hominid 2 million years ago.
- These human fossils include the remains of Australopithecus robustus , Homo habilis , Homo erectus and Homo sapiens . Other findings include a wide diversity of ancestors of modern animal species. There are over 100 archaeological sites.
- Community: The site is surrounded by communities with very rich and unpolluted traditional cultures. i.e. The Turkana, the Gabra and the Dassanach. During extreme dry season nomads such as Samburu and Rendile are found within the surrounding areas.
What to do At Sibiloi National Park
The park has a very good but small museum located near the main research camp. Visitors can enjoy a fly-in tour of Koobi Fora, but to really make the most of the park more days should be spent here as there is a lot to see and experience in the area. From a cultural point of view, interaction with the local tribes is an unforgettable experience and a very worthwhile activity in addition to the park visit.
Accommodation and Hotels in Sibiloi National Park,
KWS Self Catering
- Alia Bay Guest House
Lodges in Sibiloi National Park
- Oasis Lodge
- Lobolo Tented Camp
- National Museums of Kenya, Koobi Fora
- Sunset Strip Camp
- Turkana Campsite
How to get to Sibiloi National Park Kenya
- Distance: from Nairobi is 800km North of Nairobi.
- By air: There are 2 all weather airstrips in the park. Other airstrips are also found in Marsabit, Loiyangalani, Kalokol, North Horr and Lodwar. Commercial flights however only operate on the Lodwar airstrip.
- Gates: There is one main gate (Karsa gate); other gates are Alia bay and Koobi fora
- Road: The roads connecting the park with the major town has both tarmac and murrum sections. Long distances are however rough roads. High clearance 4WD is essential all year round. Travelling in convoy is recommended.
- The park 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 across the lake to Aliabay.
A Map to Sibiloi National Park
Sibiloi National Park Entrance Fees and Charges
Adults KSH: 350
Child KSH: 200
Adults KSH: 600
Child KSH: 350
Non – Resident
Child USD: 15
Sibiloi National Park Contacts
Attraction Type: Wildlife
Category: National Park, Birding Site
City / Town: Marsabit
Road / Street: Marsabit
Telephone: 254 54 21223
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