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places to visit in Kenya

Sibiloi National Park

‘Cradle of Mankind’

Discover Sibiloi National Park in Kenya

Nestled along the northeastern shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, Sibiloi National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind.’ This park is of paramount importance due to its significant contributions to our understanding of human evolution and prehistoric life.

Key Features of Sibiloi National Park

Fossil Treasures

Sibiloi National Park is famously associated with the discovery of the Homo habilis fossil, known as ‘Skull 1470’. Unearthed by Dr. Richard Leakey in 1972, this find has provided profound insights into the evolutionary history of humans.

The Koobi Fora Museum

Located north of Allia Bay, the Koobi Fora area is notable for its wealth of paleontological findings since 1969. The museum showcases an array of human and pre-human fossils that reflect significant evolutionary stages.

Elephant and Giant Tortoise Fossils

Among the remarkable finds in Sibiloi are the fossils of an elephant dated back 1.7 million years and a 1.6 million year old giant tortoise, adding to the park’s allure as a prehistoric site.

Lake Turkana – The ‘Jade Sea’

Lake Turkana, often referred to as the Jade Sea due to its mercurial blue-green waters, is home to an impressive variety of birdlife and an estimated 12,000 crocodiles, descendants of ancient lineages.

Petrified Forests

The park also features expansive areas of petrified wood, remnants of ancient forests that once thrived along the lake’s shores.

Prolific Birdlife

Bird enthusiasts can enjoy sightings of species such as the Somali ostrich, Kori bustard, and various European migrants that visit the park seasonally.

Sibiloi National Park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and archaeological significance, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in the origins of humanity and the richness of African wildlife.

‘Skull 1470’, Homo habilis

Known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ Sibiloi National Park was created to protect the sites of the many remarkable hominid fossils finds revealed by its searing winds. The park yielded its most striking treasure in 1972 when a 2 million year old fossilized skull was discovered by eminent paleontologist Dr Richard Leaky and his team. The almost complete skull (labeled ‘1470’ by the National Museum of Kenya) confirmed the existence of a sophisticated evolutionary hominid named Homo habilis, the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens. Evidence of Homo erectus was also unearthed along with some 160 additional finds relating to the early hominids.

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