Sibiloi National Park lies on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana in the northern Kenya. The park was established in 1973 by the government of Kenya for the protection of wildlife and paleontologist sites there, it covers 1,570 km2( 610 sqmi) and is internationally known for its fossils, it was listed as a UNESCO world Heritage site in 1997 as a part of lake Turkana National parks.
Sibiloi National Park is located on the wild and rugged shores of Lake Turkana the cradle of mankind, Sibiloi is ah home to important archaeological sites including Koobi Fora where the fossil remains have contributed more to the understanding of human evolution than any other site in the continent. The area is characterized by semi- desert habitat and open plains flanked by volcanic formations including Mount Sibiloi, where the remains of a petrified forest can be seen while on Kenya Safaris Tours.
Attractions in Sibiloi National Park.
This is alow ridge that extends south consisting of fluvial deposits and flood plain silts, this site is extremely rich and has a diverse archaeological record of earlier hominid activity and large samples of stone artifacts, the escarpment is also known for its excavations of ancient sites.
The site is surrounded by three communities with very rich and unpolluted traditional cultures that is the Turkana, the Gabbra and the Dassanach. During extreme dry season nomads such as the Samburu and Rendile are found within the surrounding areas.
Sibiloi national park are adapted to its environment, and they include the Burchell’s , gravy zebras, grants gazelle, beisa Oryx, topi, lesser kudu, cheetahs, lions and as well crocodiles along Lake Turkana, and central island is one of the major population of flamingos.
Bird species can as well be sighted in Sibiloi national park including the Somali ostrich, Kori and Heuglin’s bustard, northern carmine, Somali bee eater, chestnut bellied sandgrouse, fox kestrel, ducks, pelicans, taita falcon and many more.
This is among the one of the awesome attractions in the park, this attraction consists of numerous tree fossils dating back to prehistoric times, the forest was formed as a result of the scrub land which was once covers by lakes, rivers and the rain forest was submerged into a torrential river which carried the fallen trees into swampland. In the forest the trees absorb large amounts of minerals in the water and overtime became fossils and turned into a stone, Today some of the petrified tree trunks are strewn across a hilly terrain which can be accessed by the trekking up the hill.
This is the Sibiloi national where many of the fossil deposits were found, the site is located north of Alia bay where evidence of humanity was found dating up to about two million years ago as well as remains of the modern animal species, there is a paleontological museum at Koobi for a where these remains can be seen with the tracks leading to and from the archaeological sites. The Koobi Fora has supported intensive research allowing a reconstruction of the lake basin to make way for studied about geology and also human and animal evolution.
This is a closed lake in the middle of which is a volcanic island. The lake shore is mostly rocky and sandy with little aquatic vegetation, the volcanic island found in the middle of Lake Turkana is called a central island which is a breeding place and staging post for a variety of migrant birds. The greenish or the turquoise colour of the water in the Lake Turkana earned it a name the ‘Jade sea’ a way of describing its alluring beauty, the Lake Turkana was formerly known as Lake Rudolf with three volcanic islands of which south and central islands are national parks.
These are excavation site that contains the highest artefact density exhibiting upright columns of basally thought to be stone pillars, this site is also known as a pre iron age burial ground containing archaeological artifacts like broken ceramics such as figurines, lithic artifacts, beads and small quantities on animal tooth fragments and bone and many other remains.
Activities or things to do in Sibiloi National park.
In Sibiloi national park offers the tourists with a range of wildlife which are adapted to the arid conditions such as the spotted hyenas, beisa Oryx, jackals, caracals, cheetahs, leopards, greater kudu, gravy zebra and among others, these wildlife species provide an additional experience for the tourists who wish to see the fossils within the park.
Here the tourists interact with the local people within the park with tribes such as the Gabbra, Turkana and Dassanach. The Turkana practice pastorism and they graze their animals during the dry season when they are allowed in the national park, the Samburu ad Rendille nomads stay within the surrounding areas of the park.
The tourists engage in trekking through the Petrified Forest and along the Koobi Fora spit. The tourists during the nature walks do experience the attractions in the park clearly, also the guides accompany tourists these walks to explain aspects about the different fossils and archaeological findings.
Sibiloi National park is effective for bird watching as the park accommodates various bird species which gives the bird watchers good experience about birds such as the Somali bee eater, pelicans, taita falcon, Somali Ostriches and among many more.
Best time to visit the Sibiloi national park.
The most preferable time to visit the park is between March, during the crocodile breeding and bird’s migration back to Europe. Other than that, the park can be visited during any time of the year, given the climatic conditions are favorable.
Entrance fees of Sibiloi National Park.
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Where to stay in Sibiloi National park.
Sibiloi National park offers accommodation from Budget, Mid- range and the luxury accommodation that includes; Oasis lodge, Lobolo Tented camp, National Museums of Kenya, Koobi Fora, Sunset strip camp, Turkana Campsite, Imperial dale hotel Marsabit, Nomads trail hotel, Jirime resort, Desert Rose lodge and among others.
How to get to Sibiloi National park.
The park can be accessed into two different ways from Nairobi to the park.
By Air transport.
There are 2 airstrips in the park, other airstrips are also found in Marsabit, Loiyangalani, Kalokol, North Horr and Lodwar airstrip. The distance from Nairobi is 800km North of Nairobi.
By Road transport.
The roads connecting the park with the major town has both tarmac and marram sections. Long distances are however rough roads. High clearance 4WD is essential all year round, travelling is convoy is recommended. The park is a three day drive from Nairobi through Marsabit and North Horr, or Maralal and South Horr, alternatively 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 Aliabay.
Sibiloi national park is the most amazing national park located on the wild and rugged shores of Lake Turkana, the park is a home to important archaeological sites like Koobi Fora, the park as well as the precious wildlife.