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Lake Turkana, a permanent lake in Kenyan desert

Christian Fernsby |
Lake Turkana, Africa’s most saline lake, is a wonder located in the arid desert region of the Kenyan Rift Valley.

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Also known as Lake Rudolf after European visitors named the lake after a 19th century Austrian prince, and Jade Lake for the verdant color of the water, Lake Turkana is a vast but shallow body of water that stretches over 200 kilometers long and up to 30 kilometers wide.

Lake Turkana is an imperative resource for peoples in the surrounding desert region, migratory birds including flamingos, cormorants, and kingfishers, and local wildlife like the Nile Crocodile, hippos, and fish such as Nile perch, tigerfish, and tilapia.

Lake Turkana and its islands were designated national parks in the 1970s and 80s.

In 1997, Lake Turkana National Parks were collectively made a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the region’s extraordinary biodiversity.

The eastern side of Lake Turkana is slightly more populated, but supply stations are few and it’s suggested that travelers bring extra gas, drinking water, and camping supplies.

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