Iconic geographic spaces come into being because they are unique and offer opportunities for self-challenge and accomplishment. Lake Rudolf (Lake Turkana) in East Africa has been such an iconic space during the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial eras. While a number of early travelers to the lake pursued objectives such as hunting, scientific inquiry, and furthering the aims of colonial powers, they also frequently derived self-satisfaction from having “reached” this iconic geographic space. An examination of some of these travelers' experiences reveals the centrality of the lake's iconic space attraction for them and how it met individual needs for self-fulfillment and accomplishment.

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