This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest permanent desert lake in the world. Lake Turkana is located in Kenya along the border with Ethiopia. Sometimes called the Jade Sea, this salt lake surrounds an active volcano on Central Island.
Lake Turkana is a salt lake, but it’s not nearly as salty as the Dead Sea, and animals like fish, crocodiles and birds thrive there. In addition to the crocs, large numbers of scorpions and poisonous snakes make it a dangerous place for tourists to travel unguided. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t go, only that you this park is best visited as part of an organized tour with a reputable tour group.
The Lake Turkana World Heritage Site consists of 3 protected national parks: Sibiloi National Park, Central Island National Park and South Island National Park. It was added to UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. UNESCO says, “The Lake Turkana ecosystem with its diverse bird life and desert environment offers an exceptional laboratory for studies of plant and animal communities.”
For non-scientists, that translates to excellent wildlife watching. In addition to the crocodiles that live in the lake and the migratory birds that make it a temporary home, herds of zebras, giraffe and antelopes roam the shore, hunted by prides of lion and by cheetahs.
When visiting this particular World Heritage Site, do be careful! The State Department released a travel warning regarding Kenya in December 2010 – read the full text here so that you know what the hazards are and how to protect yourself.
Despite the risks, Lake Turkana is a sight worth seeing. If you want to go, you’ll need a passport and a Kenyan visa. Check your passport before you leave: if it’s not good for at least 6 months past the date you plan to enter Kenya, you’ll need to get it renewed first.
Getting a Kenyan visa at the airport is possible for US citizens but only if you don’t mind being delayed. It’s a better idea to get it ahead of time so you can get through customs more quickly. For more information about how to get the visa, see Kenyan Visa Requirements for Tourists.
RushMyTravelVisa can help you get a Kenyan visa quickly and easily. Our visa specialists will walk you through the paperwork, then expedite your visa for the fastest possible processing.
Apply for your Kenyan visa today!