Trippin’ on Turkana (Part 1) – [PHOTOS]

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.

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Spot the human.

 

Ngurunit

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Day 1: Approach to Ngurunit and the Ndoto Mountains after leaving Laisamis. Couple of years since I was last here, still exciting.

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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.

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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.

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Samir gets down doing dinner. ‘Someone’ brought the wrong gas/stove combination so we’ll cooking with fire for the reminder of the trip.

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Post-dinner fatigue (the day started in Nairobi at 4am!)

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But if you’re travelling with photographers there’s always time for some shooting.

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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.

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I don’t know what Samir is doing on his phone, there’s no network in Ngurunit.

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Finally enough light to to get non-stop clicks going.

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Shooting Mount Poi, morning is always best when the light hits it’s flat face.

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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.

 

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Love this spot, glad I found it on my first visit here.

South Horr

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Just outside Ngurunit with Ol Doinyo Mara in the background, Catrina drives up and down this road for our photographic pleasure.

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The new Wind Farm Road from Laisamis almost to the lake makes this drive so much easier now.

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Approaching the Nyiru Range and Lake Turkana Wind Farm where we stop for some fuel (thanks Angie & Nick).

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We’re in proper volcanic territory now at Kibrot Pass.

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My first look at Lake Turkana, enough to bring a tear to a grown man’s eye.

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 South Island National Park in the background looks like a lost world.

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The road to Loiyangalani winds along the Lake. It’s in horrific condition. 30km takes us almost 1 1/2hrs.

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Western side of Mount Kulal.

Palm Shade Resort

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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.

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Good meals, water, sodas and cold beers are available here.

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Mesh tents; so important when camping in Northern Kenya. You’re likely to boil otherwise.

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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

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Not the most entertaining of museums but in a town with little to do it becomes a highlight.

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The self-catering rooms here have the best view in town. There’s also a pool (not working on my visit).

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Looking North from the museum.

El Molo Village

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Road to El Molo Village, 30min from Loiyangalani

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We take a tour of the village, not really my thing but I do it anyway. Horrifying to see and hear about the impact to the lake by the Gibe dams in Ethiopia.

Lake Turkana

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These friends really penda taking photos of each other. You can find their work on Instagram @samirdave69 and @urbanskript.

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At the KWS Loiyangalani office. We decide a trip to the island is not worth it.

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By the fishing landing site.

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Dried fish from the Western shore ready for transpost 600km away to Kisumu.

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Brian sharing some video footage, my favorite photo of the trip.

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2nd favorite photo of the trip. I’m usually deathly shy of photographing people!

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Best part of any trip; when there’s nothing to do.

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Sundowners…

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…swims…

 

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…and snapshots.

 

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Capturing moods and moments.

 

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Lucky enough to get a shooting star.

Snapshot

Distances:

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 palmshadecamp@gmail.com 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).

Final Words

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…

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11 thoughts on “Trippin’ on Turkana (Part 1) – [PHOTOS]

  1. Michael

    Hi,
    so nice pictures!
    But just two or three days ago they brought on NTV a long story that the direct road (Kitale-Lodwar) is in some parts not passable and that Security is so bad that even in convoys its risky.
    I can see you do the trip alone – is this not to risky or how do you manage security? At least since years i’d like to go there but would like to do without being robbed.
    Great trip!

    Reply
    1. thekenyancamper Post author

      Hi Michael, my trip was to Loiyangalani which is on the eastern side while Lodwar is on the west. However on my trips I am often not too concerned with security, I just don’t believe everything I see on the news! It’s however important to get the most current information while planning your trip.

      Reply
  2. kuikoech

    Wow! the photos took my breath away! …the first photo of Lake Turkana literally made my heart skip a bit. Good Representing!

    Reply
  3. My Travel Stories

    I have read through the blog now for 5th time and its not the last. I believe its time I went back and explored more of those beautiful places you have highlighted because my last visit to Lake Turkana was more like unplanned, but now I think I have a list of the places I need to set foot at.

    Great work you are doing giving information to such places that I call #HiddenKenyanGems

    Reply

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