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Turkana County to exploit tourism potential

Turkana County is positioning itself as a unique tourist destination and is collaborating with Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), tour operators and social media influencers to market more than 50 unexploited tourism sites.

County Director of Tourism Shemmy Ekuwom said 25 tour operators, social media influencers and officials from KTB have for the last seven days been crisscrossing the county on a familiarisation tour of the region.

Ms Ekuwom said poor marketing had made the region be featured in national and international media only when there is drought and cattle rustling.

“Explore Turkana Tourism Initiative was launched by Governor Josphat Nanok to ensure the visitors independently share interesting scenes he or she samples,” the county official said.

The team drove from Nairobi and visited South Turkana National Reserve on the border of Turkana- West Pokot, oil fields where they saw the Ngamia one oil rig and spend a night at fast growing Lokichar town.

Other attractive tourist sites they visited were beaches along Lake Turkana, Sibiloi National Park, Central Island National Park and the rich archaeological sites where several discoveries have been made.

boy Turkana County to exploit tourism potential

Some of the participants of the Explore Turkana Tourism Initiative at the Turkana Boy monument. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Turkana Senior warden Tom Wambisi said that Central Island National Park adjacent to Northern and Southern Island National Parks is where Kenya Wild Service is preserving three critical lakes that are gazette by Unesco as breeding sites for crocodiles, flamingos and Tilapia.

It takes one a 40 minute boat ride from Lobolo Tented Camp along the shores of the lake to Central Island National Park.

Since the 1986 discovery of Turkana Boy at Nariokotome village by Kamoya Kimeu, members of Richard Leakey led team, fossils tourists as well as researchers have been flocking Turkana for more discoveries.

Turkana Boy is believed to have died at the age of between seven and 18 years and his skeleton said to be between 1.5 million to 1.6 million years old.

culture Turkana County to exploit tourism potential

Sacred Namorutunga site in Turkana County where locals believe ancestors lived and later turned into stones. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Turkana County currently has seven hotels on the shores of the lake up from two, four years ago signifying the development of tourism.

Besides the attraction, the Turkana Community has rich culture.

Director of Trade and Industrialization James Lokwale said marketing Turkana as a tourism destination will also position the region as untapped investment region.

Some of the participants in the expedition included Mara Expeditions, Enjoy Africa Expeditions, Morris Photographic Safaris and Africa Outdoor Safaris.

The county can be accessed by daily flights from Nairobi as it boast of Kapese Airstrip in Lokichar, Lodwar Airstrip and Lokichoggio Airport.

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