Adventure Nature

10 Hidden Gems in Turkana Every Adventurer Should Explore

hidden gems in turkana
Avatar of Teresa Mwangi
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Harsh climate, hunger, scarcity of water and insecurity are synonymous with Northern Kenya but the hidden gems in Turkana dilute it all. It is without a doubt the largest and remotest Kenyan County but it has its beauty well hidden.

It is home to a treasure trove that is simply waiting to be discovered. Forget its arid nature and enjoy its spoils. They say that even a broken watch is correct twice a day. So is the little thought about Turkana in the sense of adventure, fun, exploration and everything else in between that makes travelling the world a gem.

Which are the Hidden Gems in Turkana?

Culture, adventure and nature form the core of Turkana’s beauty. See Africa Today has curated a list of the most amazing places you should visit in this County.

1. Koobi Fora

hidden gems in turkana

Koobi Fora archaeological site in Turkana. Photo/National Museums of Kenya

Koobi Fora is a fascinating jewel tucked away on the shores of Lake Turkana where you take a trip back in time.  Not only is this untamed terrain breathtaking to look at, but its dry splendour also contains the secret to humanity’s past making it one of the top hidden gems in Turkana. Explore exposed rock faces brimming with fossils, and walk where early ancestors once roamed. The real beauty of Koobi Fora, however, is in its secrets that remain to be discovered.  Every fossil that is discovered adds to the tale that has been developing for millions of years.

2. Lokichar Hills

Turkana is not all about level plains. Lokichar Hills gives you a Mt Kilimanjaro experience in Kenya’s remotest county. With their untamed slopes adorned with colourful plants just waiting to be discovered, these untamed landscape guardians provide a pleasant respite.  Take on a hike as a challenge, and you’ll be rewarded with amazing sweeping views.

Enjoy the fresh breeze on your face as you approach the summit, and take in the quiet that is only disturbed by the strange birds’ sounds.  Lokichar Hills provides an opportunity to re-establish a connection with nature while the expansiveness of the terrain fosters a feeling of calm and serenity.

3. Central Island

hidden gems in turkana

Central Island National Park in Turkana. Photo/Habari Uganda Tours

Its amazing why the Central Island is among the hidden gems in Turkana. Picture this; an oasis of volcanic rock emerging from the biggest desert lake on the planet.  This is Central Island National Park, a location where breathtaking natural beauty and amazing animals coexist.  The stunning skyline of the island is dominated by towering volcanic peaks that are still continuously erupting plumes of steam.

4. Christ The Reedemer in Lodwar

hidden gems in turkana

Christo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) of Rio in Lodwar, Turkana. Photo/Times World Adventure

Take a hike up one of the many hills to get a clear perspective of Lodwar town and the surrounding area. On the hill near the Catholic Mission, there is a massive statue that is Turkana’s interpretation of the Christo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) of Rio, Brazil It has a flight of stairs taking you directly to the summit.

5. Kenyatta House

Kenya’s fight against British imperialism has a lot to do with Kenyatta House in Lodwar. It housed five of the Kapenguria six—Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Ramogi Achieng Oneko, Kung’u Karumba, Paul Ngei, and Fred Kubai. They were serving their sentences at Lokitaung jail which was later named Kenyatta House in honour of Kenya’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

6. Eliye Springs

hidden gems in turkana

Eliye Springs in Turkana. Photo/Bucketlist Adventures

The ideal place to start exploring the hidden gems of Turkana starts with Eliye Springs. Soothing waters of Lake Turkana are perfect for relaxing and swimming. In fact, a common belief is that these warm waters of the fresh water lake have certain healing properties. Wide expanses of lonely sandy beaches surrounded by palm palms and calm lake water make up the springs.

7. The Standing Stones of Namoratunga Standing Stones

Unquestionably, one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in East Africa is the Dancing Stones of Namoratunga, located southwest of Kalokol. A batch of cylinder-shaped stones popularly known as the dancing stones reportedly served as an early form of star observatory.

8. South Turkana National Reserve

Is it even possible that Turkana, as arid as it is has wildlife? Absolutely! Wildlife abounds in the South Turkana National Reserve.  It is home to a variety of wildlife species, including the Kori bustard, whose numbers are higher than the average population countrywide. Other wildlife sightings at the park include elephant, gazelle, warthog, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, leopard, and hyena.

9. Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana is the pearl in the desert, which is why it was nicknamed the “Jade Sea.” It glitters in an unearthly shade of turquoise and green that contrasts sharply with the surrounding sun-baked plains. Fresh-water fish are in plenty and very delicious. Besides, the shoreline abounds with flamingos, whose graceful movements add onto the glamour of hidden gems in Turkana.

10. Kalokol

While it appears like a small town, Kalokol has a reputation as a cultural and business hub in Turkana. The town features a collection of traditional homes with palm thatch that line a long stretch of beach near Lake Turkana.  It has expanded dramatically in recent years due to a thriving fishing sector that provides a large number of jobs. Fresh, dried, or processed fish is marketed and shipped to far-off markets including Rwanda and the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Additionally, boat tours to Central Island depart from the town.


Bordering Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north and Ethiopia to the northeast. there are nine amazing places to visit in Turkana besides the famous Lake Turkana. And they are all waiting for you to hit the road ready for a new adventure.

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About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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