Turkana County


It is a county in the former Rift Valley Province. It is the second largest after Marsabit County and the north-western most county in Kenya. It is in the borders the countries of Uganda to the west, South Sudan and Ethiopia to the north and northeast, Lake Turkana to the east.

To the south and east, neighboring counties in Kenya are West Pokot, Baringo and Samburu Counties, while Marsabit County is located on the opposite (i.e. eastern) shore of Lake Turkana.


Turkana county constitutes six constituencies as follows

  • Turkana North Constituency
  • Turkana East Constituency
  • Turkana South Constituency
  • Turkana Central Constituency
  • Loima Constituency
  • Turkana West Constituency

The main physical features


  • Omo River
  • Kerio River
  • Turkwel River


  • Lake.Turkana


  • Mt.Kulal
  • Namurunu
  • Barrier Volcano


  • Loima hills
  • Nabwal Hills
  • Jarigole Hills
  • Kakurotom hills
  • The Ngapoi Hills


  • The Lotakipi Plains
  • Todonyang plains


  • Suguta Valley
  • Turkana Valley

Importance of the physical features

  • They are tourist attraction hence a major source of income to the county.
  • Lake Turkana helps in domestic use.
  • Agriculture is carried out along the rivers banks.
  • Fishing is carried out in the lake.

The main types of natural vegetation

Forest vegetation

  • Woodland vegetation
  • Desert Vegetation
  • Savanah grassland of the Lotikipi Plains

Importance of the vegetation

  • They help in regulating atmospheric temperature
  • The region topography is responsible for the climate of the area.
  • Source of food to their livestock 

Map of distribution of the physical features.

People and population

Language groups

  • The dominant language groups in the county are the Pokot and the Samburu

Areas of high population density

  • Lodwar town is the town with the highest population

Areas of low population density

  • Turkana  east constituency has the least population

Social relations and economic activities

Traditional way of life of the people


  • The solemnly rely on farming and their cattle for food. They are known for drinking cattle


  • The Turkana culture is vivified by a unique wealth of dresses, hairstyles, jewelry, sayings, tales, songs, craftsmanship and knowledge. http://www.visitturkanaland.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Fiebig-Turkana-7687.jpg

Songs and dances

  • Horn shapes are praised and imitated in song and dance. Animals are socialized through manipulation of horns, ears, testicles and hair colour, and ear 'clipping' according to brand, with the exception of kudu horns which are blown on special occasions such as the Eunoto ceremony - there are no instruments at all. The guttural sound of the warriors is mostly internalized, and is a play on vibrations - the vibrations work more on the singer and his immediate neighbors than on a static audience


  • Birth and naming

Naming was done mainly considering seasons. Children born during different seasons had different names. Naming was also considered the family name or the father’s name.

  • Initiation

Like the Luo tribe and the Teso, the Turkana tribe does not practice male circumcision. They also do not hold any special initiation rituals to mark the transition to manhood.


  • Harvest

In the Turkana community the men were responsible for harvest. But also the Turkana woman came to help the men and bringing them wild fruits gathered from the forest. After the harvest they organized a ceremony which could go on with or without the presence of the Turkana women.

  • Music

It was an important tool among the Turkana people .It was used to mark major events like harvest, marriage, birth, and war. They had special

Resources and economic activities


The main cash crops and food crops grown. The following picture shows the Turkana women in the farm.

Major agricultural products are tea, coffee, horticulture, maize, wheat, sugarcane, cotton, sisal, pyre thrum and cashew nuts

The areas where the cash crops are grown

  • Nabwal Hills and Jarigole Hills
  • Lodwar

Types of livestock kept

  • The Turkana are nomadic pastoralists who mainly keep cattle, donkeys, camels and goats. The animals are their main source of food and wealth.


Areas where fishing is practiced 

  • This economic activity is conducted in  Lake Turkana


The major forests

  • Loima Mist Forest

Wildlife and Tourism

The type’s of wildlife

  • Turkana Land is a wide and a wild country, where to the south, especially within the South Turkana National Reserve, elephant, leopard, Oryx antelope, gazelle, warthog as well as an exceptionally high number of Kori bustard roam hundreds of species of birds

The game parks and reserves

  • Turkana National Reserve
  • Central island national park

Major tourist attractions 

  • Eliye Springs Beach
  • Lake Turkana
  • Namarunu


Traditional industries and products 

  • Farming the products mainly were animal product like milk meat and blood


Major trading centers

  • Lodwar town is the main trading center

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