Lake Turkana, which is one of the lakes in the Great Rift Valley situated in Kenya, has its far northern end extended into Ethiopia. This lake was previously known as Lake Rudolf, in honor of Austria’s Crown Prince Rudolf. This lake owns the credit of being the largest permanent desert lake and the largest alkaline lake in the whole world.
Lake Turkana is ranked twenty fourth among all the other lakes of the world. It is the fourth largest salt lakes on the globe. The water is not palatable but potable, supporting a rich wildlife, although the climate in and around the lake is very dry and hot. The Central Island located in the lake is an active volcano that emits vapors. The south and east shores of Lake Turkana are full of rocky shores and outcrops, whereas the north and west shores contain spits, dunes and flats. One of the most saline large lakes of Africa, Turkana is a perfect laboratory for a detailed study of animal and plant communities.
Lake Turkana is in a hot and arid area which experiences an annual rainfall less than 250 mm. Apart from the long rains occurring in March–May period, a sudden downpour is totally unpredictable and erratic. River Omo is the main tributary which comes into the lake from the north and that contributes almost 90% of the total water. There is no outlet for Lake Turkana and so, evaporation is the only process of water loss.
Lake Turkana is a favorable habitat for many living species, which includes Nile crocodiles in great abundance on the flat regions, while carpet wipers and scorpions take refuge in the rocky shores. Predators and grazing animals are seen over dry grasslands. These include different species of zebras, reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx along with lion, elephants, cheetahs and black rhinoceros seen rarely. Bird species found in Lake Turkana include sand piper, little stint, African Skimmer and Greater Flamingo.