Lake Turkana – Outstanding Universal Value

Lake Turkana is the Africa’s fourth largest lake. It is also the world’s largest desert lake. The lake represents unique geo-morphological features with fossil deposits on sedimentary formations as well as one hundred identified archaeological and pale ontological sites. There are numerous volcanic overflows with petrified forests. The existing ecological conditions provide habitats for maintaining diverse flora and fauna.

At Kobi Fora to the north of Allia Bay, extensive paleontological finds have been made, starting in 1969, with the discovery of Paranthropus boisei. The discovery of Homo habilis thereafter is evidence of the existence of a relatively intelligent hominid two million years ago and reflect the change in climate from moist forest grassland when the now petrified forest were growing to the present hot desert. The human and pre-human fossils include the remains of five species, Austrolophithecus anamensis, Homo habilis/rudolfensis, Paranthropus boisei, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens all found within one locality.

These discoveries are important for understanding the evolutionary history of the human species. The island parks are the breeding habitats of the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus, hippopotamus amphibious and several snake species. The lake is an important flyway passage and stopover for palaeartic migrant birds.

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