Sibiloi National Park
A visit to the Northern part of Kenya’s Rift Valley is one worth a consideration for its attractive Rift valley sites and other plant and animal species. One such site is the Sibiloi National Park. The Sibiloi National Park is located on the shores of the blue-green waters of Lake Turkana. Since this part of Kenya located within a harshly beautiful desert landscape, the climate is hot and dry and visits can be made anytime all the year round. When it comes to the theory of human evolution, the Sibiloi National Park harbors the Koobi Fora a paleontological site which hold three million year old world’s greatest treasures.
The discovery of the Sibiloi National Park region was first made by the paleontologist by the name of Richard Leakey in the company of a team of others. This discovery of the Sibiloi National Park region was done in the year 1972 and today, the world recognizes Sibiloi National Park as the Cradle of mankind. The Sibiloi National Park site is also associated with being the Garden of Aden as is defined by the bible.
From the sea level, the Sibiloi area is around 355 meters in altitude and covering an extensive area of about 1,575 square kilometers. The Sibiloi National Park is located in Marsabit district in the Eastern province and is as far as 960 kilometers North of Nairobi. The first Gazettement of Sibiloi National Park occurred in the year 1973 august. Tourists can decide on which time of the year is suitable to visit the park since December to March each year the Sibiloi region is very hot and arid, June - July consists the coolest months while May to September months are characterized by strongly blowing winds in both the mornings and in the evenings.
Main fauna in Sibiloi National Park include mammals like the zebra, Beisa Oryx, topi, hartebeest, lion, leopard, cheetah, striped hyena and the leopard among others. There is also over 350 known flamingo species in the area with the world’s largest crocodile breeding being experienced in the area. Since the conditions of the roads to the park are not well off, tourists are recommended to use high clearance 4WD.
The major intention in establishing the Sibiloi National Park is the protection of the paleontological sites that consists of remarkable fossils associated with hominid which is why the area is called the Cradle of Mankind. One such fossil was discovered by Dr. Richard Leakey in 1972 and which dated back to as early as two millions old. This treasure in the form of an almost complete human skull was a confirmation of the evolutionary of Homo habilis which was then the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens. In the site was also evidence for Homo erectus together with other findings that related to the early hominids.
Apart from the human fossils, the Sibiloi National Park is also home to petrified forests with large areas of petrified wood that was at one time a great cedar forest that covered the shores of Lake Turkana some millions of years ago. In addition, there is an isolated choro-carbonate alkaline permanent giant desert lake covering about 6,400 sq km hence being the world’s largest lake in the desert. The reference ‘Jade Sea’ is due to the fact that the water takes up mercurial blue-green color. The Sibiloi National Park is also home to a kingdom of crocodiles that feed on the lake’s prolific fish and a home to prolific birds like the Somali ostrich, Heuglin’s bustard, and Kori.