So it’s done. I finally made it. No more side-eyes from inquiring minds; “Yes I know you’ve traveled a bit around the country, but have you been to Lake Turkana?” All that’s it in the past, I can finally walk with my head held high. Thought I’d do something different for this article and post a photo essay with minimal chat, hope you you enjoy it.
Spot the human.
At camp we’ll be sleeping out in the open on the top platform, sweet. You can just about see the showers at far left.
Mount Poi looking handsome from camp. Even though the lugga is dry, waterholes have been dug into the river bed and it’s quite busy.
Samir gets down doing dinner. ‘Someone’ brought the wrong gas/stove combination so we’ll cooking with fire for the reminder of the trip.
Post-dinner fatigue (the day started in Nairobi at 4am!)
But if you’re travelling with photographers there’s always time for some shooting.
Early 15min walk from camp to catch the sunrise. Photo lightened considerably, it was much darker. At this point Brian realizes he’s forgotten a battery, he has to walk all the way back to get it.
I don’t know what Samir is doing on his phone, there’s no network in Ngurunit.
Finally enough light to to get non-stop clicks going.
Shooting Mount Poi, morning is always best when the light hits it’s flat face.
Only thing I love shooting more than landscapes is landscapes with people in them. I try and do this as often as possible, a common theme in my photography.
Love this spot, glad I found it on my first visit here.
Just outside Ngurunit with Ol Doinyo Mara in the background, Catrina drives up and down this road for our photographic pleasure.
The new Wind Farm Road from Laisamis almost to the lake makes this drive so much easier now.
Approaching the Nyiru Range and Lake Turkana Wind Farm where we stop for some fuel (thanks Angie & Nick).
We’re in proper volcanic territory now at Kibrot Pass.
My first look at Lake Turkana, enough to bring a tear to a grown man’s eye.
South Island National Park in the background looks like a lost world.
The road to Loiyangalani winds along the Lake. It’s in horrific condition. 30km takes us almost 1 1/2hrs.
Western side of Mount Kulal.
Palm Shade Resort
Palm Shade Resort is a welcome oasis in an otherwise bleak landscape. Good shade, nice lawn and clean showers and toilets. Best campsite in this area by a long shot.
Good meals, water, sodas and cold beers are available here.
Mesh tents; so important when camping in Northern Kenya. You’re likely to boil otherwise.
Evenings are for chatting and fresh fish from the lake. Note the odd shape of the tent, the wind here is something else.
Desert Museum Loiyangalani
Not the most entertaining of museums but in a town with little to do it becomes a highlight.
The self-catering rooms here have the best view in town. There’s also a pool (not working on my visit).
Looking North from the museum.
El Molo Village
Road to El Molo Village, 30min from Loiyangalani
These friends really penda taking photos of each other. You can find their work on Instagram @samirdave69 and @urbanskript.
At the KWS Loiyangalani office. We decide a trip to the island is not worth it.
By the fishing landing site.
Dried fish from the Western shore ready for transpost 600km away to Kisumu.
Brian sharing some video footage, my favorite photo of the trip.
2nd favorite photo of the trip. I’m usually deathly shy of photographing people!
Best part of any trip; when there’s nothing to do.
Capturing moods and moments.
Lucky enough to get a shooting star.
Nanyuki to Ngurunit – 94km 3hrs 35 min. From Laisamis road is still well graded. If only going to Ngurunit high – clearance 2WD will maje it in the dry season.
Ngurunit to Loiyangalani – 150km 4hrs. If continuing up this way 4WD only.
Accommodation & Contacts
Ngurunit: See my previous post on Lasamu Camp here.
Loiyangalani: Palm Shade Resort – Telephone: +245-726-714768, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook page here.
Desert Museum Curator – Contact: Andrew +254-727-208642
KWS South Island Warden – Contact: Buru +254-723-755560
Last proper fuel stop is in Isiolo and engine check, FILL THAT TANK. Fuel in drums might be available in Loiyangalani (ask for Muriuki).
I cannot stress how remote these areas are with very intermittent cell reception, help is a long way off. Download the offline map Maps.me to your phone. It can literally be a life saver showing you the nearest settlements, fuel stations, hospitals etc. Plus its great for navigation and finding places of interest!
Items including (but not limited to) 2 spare tyres, fuses, engine oil, basic tools, towrope, compressor, first-aid kit, lots of water should be considered and can make the difference between a great trip and an unpleasant experience. DO NOT assume you will find any supplies along the way, imagine the worst and plan for it.
If you would like to read the long-form article I wrote for Nomad Magazine about this trip you can find the link here. And as always if you have any questions ask away in the comments, I always answer.
The trip isn’t over, Part 2 coming soon…