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Koobi Fora

A Guide To Koobi Fora

Koobi Fora in the local language, means a place of the commiphora a source of myrrh, which is a common plant in this hot and arid area. The rich sedimentary rocks have yielded more than 10,000 Vertebrate and Hominid fossils. Most interesting here is a Stone Age burial site.

Koobi Fora refers primarily to a region around Koobi Fora Ridge, located on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana in the territory of the nomadic Gabbra people. According to the National Museums of Kenya, the name comes from the Gabbra language

Koobi Fora

Koobi Fora

“In the language of the Gabbra people who live near the site, the term Koobi Fora means a place of the commiphora and the source of myrrh
The ridge itself is an outcrop of mainly Pliocene/Pleistocene sediments. It is composed of claystones, siltstones, and sandstones that preserve numerous fossils of terrestrial mammals, including early hominin species. Presently, the ridge is being eroded into a badlands terrain by a series of ephemeral rivers that drain into the northeast portion of modern Lake Turkana. In 1968 Richard Leakey established the Koobi Fora Base Camp on a large sandspit projecting into the lake near the ridge, which he called the Koobi Fora Spit.

A subsequent survey and numerous excavations at multiple sites established the region as a source of hominin fossils shedding light on the evolution of man over the previous 4.2 million years. Far exceeding the number of hominin fossils are the non-hominin fossils which give a detailed view of the fauna and flora as far back as the Miocene.

Consequently the government of Kenya in 1973 reserved the region as Sibiloi National Park, establishing a headquarters for the National Museums of Kenya on Koobi Fora Spit. The reserve is well-maintained and is well-guarded by friendly but armed park police. Protection of sites and especially of wildlife are of prime concern. Exploration and excavation continue under the auspices of the Koobi Fora Research Project (KFRP), which collaborates with a number of interested universities and individuals across the world.2]

Formerly the term, Koobi Fora, has been used to mean one or two initial sites, or the sand spit. Today it can mean any or all points in Sibiloi National Park. The term East Turkana also has come into use with the larger meaning

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Koobi Fora contacts

Attraction Type: Historic Sites
Category: Archaeological site
Region: North Rift
City / Town: Lodwar
Road / Street: Kapenguria -Lodwar Road
Telephone: 254 20 374 2131
254 721 308485
Entrance Fee: Yes