A trip to the Central Island National Park is highly recommended, and the park warden or one of his rangers will normally accompany you. Make sure, however, that the boat you go in is thoroughly lake-worthy, equipped with life jackets, and that the crew know what they are doing – vicious squalls can blow up fast and it’s more than 9km to the island. This is one of two island national parks in the lake (the other is the less accessible South Island), which, together with Sibiloi National Park on the northeast shore of the lake, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Central Island is a unique triple volcano poking gauntly out of the water. Most of the island is taken up by two crater lakes (a third has dried up) hidden behind its rocky shores. One of the lakes is the only known habitat of an ancient species of tilapia, a reminder of the time when Lake Turkana was connected to the Nile. The island is also the nesting ground for big colonies of water birds but, like some African Galapagos, it really belongs to the reptiles, with crocodiles found here in large numbers. The vegetation is scant, but some of the sheltered lees are overgrown with thick grass and bushes for a short period each year, and the nests are dug beneath this foliage.