Island in Lake Turkana where DP Ruto's pilot, four Americans visited before helicopter crash

DP William Ruto's pilot Captain Mario Magonga who perished in the Turkana chopper crash.
DP William Ruto's pilot Captain Mario Magonga and four Americans died on Sunday evening when their helicopter crashed in a remote island in Lake Turkana in a national park in northwest Kenya.

The four were visiting Lobolo Camp, a popular tourist area when their chopper came down at Lobolo in Central Island National Park at 8 pm.

Following the crash, attention has been drawn to the remote island.

On a map, Central Island National Park, which is situated on the western shore of Lake Turkana, looks like any other idyllic spot in Kenya.

Aerial View Central Island

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According to the Kenya Wildlife Service’s (KWS) website, Central Island is made up of three active volcanoes that belch sulphurous smoke and steam.

The Central Island National Park has three crater lakes; Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake and Tilapia Lake that provide breeding grounds for the world’s largest concentration of Nile crocodiles. 

Breeding grounds for the world’s largest concentration of Nile crocodiles.
The island is also home to hippo and bats.

It provides an ideal camp from where tourists experience the unique Turkana culture.

The island has a forest and natural springs whose waters have given rise to a lush oasis of foliage and distinct animal and birdlife. 

Camp on Central Island [Picture Courtesy]

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Access to Central Island National Park requires a helicopter. There are two all-weather airstrips that visitors use.

By road, it takes three days from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr or Maralal and South Horr.

The crash comes less than a month after three other Americans died in a plane crash in Londiani in Kipkelion East constituency.

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Lake TurkanaCaptain Mario Magonga