Trippin’ on Turkana (Part 2) – [PHOTOS]

What could Part 2 possibly mean? It means there was a Part 1. Starting off beneath the Ndoto Mountains in Samburu County and through to the back shores of Lake Turkana in the shadow of Mount Kulal, the trip back home takes us east through Marsabit County. This is just a quick run-down of the journey home but there’s still loads to see…


Last look at the lake as we head North-West to Kalacha.


You can’t exactly ‘pull over to the side’ on this road.



Oasis at Kalacha Dida. Lots of goats around means lots of guns around, but nothing to fear EXCEPT if you take photos without permission. Guys get testy.


Hundreds of goats and not a BBQ in sight. Shame.


AIC Kalacha guesthouse & campsite.


‘Jomo Kenyatta detention-chic’ accommodation but after bouncing around for hours on end it might as well be a palace. Slept so well.


Basic but clean accommodation and camping also available. There is also a pool but not working when we pass through, same story as The Desert Museum.


Kalacha Spring, pretty boring as an attraction though Marsabit county is building a new hotel here (with a pool thank goodness).



(Top) Kalacha Catholic Church, (Bottom) Church accommodation


One of the most beautiful churches I’ve been in, at least there’s a comic book on the wall if you get bored.


Interior of church with vivid Ethiopian Orthodox murals.


Fuel ‘station’ in Kalacha, also the only place with cold sodas.



You can get lost in the stars in Northern Kenya.


Leaving Maikona after passing the first part of the Chalbi Desert.

Chalbi Desert


Fun in the sun.


No one here drives on the main road, much smoother to drive on the sides.


On the far Eastern edge of the Chalbi Desert. Sand, sand and more sand before rock, rock and more rock on approach to Marsabit.



Horrified by this sea of plastic trash as you enter Marsabit Town. What a shame, strangely the town itself is quite clean.


Marsabit base at Chico Hotel. Nice family run hotel a few minutes out of town in a quiet neighborhood. Breakfast good, for lunch look elsewhere.

Marsabit National Park


A tour of Marsabit National Park to wind up the trip. There are elephants somewhere in this pic looking like rocks because I cant afford a zoom lens.


Brian makes a new friend at Marsabit Lodge.


Good to see locals coming out to enjoy the park.


Coup de grace of the trip. Do you know how lucky you have to be to see a leopard in a forested park? It’s a once in a lifetime event and we were lucky enough to witness it!


I might have done some damage to the The Kenyan Camper brand as I couldn’t stop squealing with delight. What a great highlight to end this insane trip.



Loiyangalani – Gas – North Horr – Kalacha – 150km, 5hrs. From Loiyangalani to Gas road is extremely rocky and in bad condition. Track evens out slightly after. 4WD only.

Kalacha – Maikona – Marsabit – 136km, 4hrs. Sandy tracks for approx 70km from Kalacha, almost impassable if wet. After that very rocky road all the way to Marsabit. 4WD only.

Accommodation & Contacts

AIC Kalacha: Camping Ksh500pp, Room Ksh1000 Sako +254-715-253251

Catholic Church Kalacha: Ksh 1000pp Angela +254725878212

Chico Hotel: Ksh 2000pp +254692102846

Marsabit National Park: I wrote about camping here a few years ago.


Fuel in drums available in Kalacha however availability is not guaranteed. In case of car emergency there is a decent garage at the AIC Church compound.

I cannot stress how remote these areas are with very intermittent cell reception, help is a long way off. Download the offline map 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!


An example of the mapping I did during the trip.

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.

On to the next one!


Lake Paradise.


27 thoughts on “Trippin’ on Turkana (Part 2) – [PHOTOS]

  1. luciet

    Thank you KC for your great blog. Your info was instrumental in inspiring and helping me plan a 4 week Kenyan road trip which sadly ended last Friday! We spend half of our time in the North and loved Nakuprat Gotu….. We didn’t have the time to explore half of the places we wanted to so we’ll be back! Keep up the excellent work

    1. thekenyancamper Post author

      Hi! Thanks for writing in, so glad to hear you got some some inspiration from here. I never get tired about hearing about other peoples trips to some of the same places I have visited. I hope on your next trip you mange to get more done.

  2. Julie Kabinu

    WOW!! What excellent shots of that leopard!! Beautiful. I’ve been up to Lake Turkana once and thought it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Kenya. Who knew about Marsabit National Park. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Biko

    Well done!!!
    Yes I do know how rare it is to see a Leopard in the national park. Having never had the pleasure. Good luck on the next one.

  4. Pingback: Trippin’ on Turkana (Part 1) – [PHOTOS] | The Kenyan Camper

  5. mjmacnair

    Thank you for another excellent post. I am interested to read about Kalacha. I had thought that the camp there had closed down, and it is good to hear about the two other places to stay and/or camp. We met LucieT at Savage Wilderness in December and I told you about them being inspired by your blog. Hi there LucieT and glad to hear you had a good trip.

    Keep on travelling and blogging…

    1. thekenyancamper Post author

      Hi! Yes the camp did close down, all that’s left is the ruins of what once was. The hotel being put up is actually right next to it, but from what I saw it will be the concrete-kenyan-style of building.

      1. mjmacnair

        Thank you, rafiki.

        Concrete at an oasis in the middle of the Chalbi Desert? OMG! Can we not get a Kenyan architect who understands the remote situation – and the environmental concerns – to come up with a sympatheic and relevent design? And what market are the sponsors of this “white elephant” aiming at?

      2. thekenyancamper Post author

        Yet another knee jerk ‘development’ project by a county government. Wouldn’t be surprised if it goes the same way the old one did, only that this time well have to live with the concrete eye-sore ruins for decades to come!

  6. Anonymous

    Simply Amazing ‘KC’..Keep them coming.very inspirational and an eye opener too.Guys always think the north is all bandit country. Great work.

  7. kenyacamping

    Ave had so many times that our Northern part is very beautiful.
    I like camping n have a small campany called kenya
    Ave done camping in the following countries.kenya my Mother Land,Uganda,Tanzania,Malawi,Zambia,Botswana,Namibia Till CapeTown.
    I do it with A Tour van or A tour Land cruiser.
    There is nothing best than Camping !!

    1. thekenyancamper Post author

      You have camped in all those countries and never made it to Northern Kenya? Surely this is is some kind of crime :). Give it a shot one these days, I promise you will fall in love with it. And I agree…camping rocks!

  8. Pingback: Camping in Shaba – Hiding In Plain Sight | The Kenyan Camper

      1. Emily.

        Can you tell me the details of your shot? To be far away from the subject and have low light must mean that your lens is pretty powerful. In your shoes with my equipment, I’m sure i would have captured a lovely blur!

      2. thekenyancamper Post author

        Hi Emily, the photo was taken in a forest with very low light so it was a difficult shot. Settings were (if I remember correctly) 1/100, f/4, ISO 500. I don’t have a zoom lens so I shot at 105mm and really had to crop the photo. A few touch ups in Lightroom for contrast and sharpness and the photo came to life!

  9. Fernando Quevedo

    Hi my friend, I was surfing on the internet when by pure luck come to know your blog. I was Just searching for Mathews Range pics. Very interesting secluded places around Mt. Ololokwe, made me hungry to be back in Kenya again. I though I knew Kenya well, but I can see there’s still some places to visit. In 2005 when I was at Kalacha the swimming pool was a real bonus on the scorching heat of Northern Kenya. Congratulations on your great Blog and by the way your pics are really great indeed, cheers Bro.

    1. thekenyancamper Post author

      Hi you were lucky to have the pool, we could really have used it! Due to the missionaries who were there pulling out I think maintenance and upkeep might have suffered quite a bit. Most travellers come for the wildlife but Kenya is much more than that especially for explorers who are curious to go off the beaten track. Thank you so much for the kind words, I hope you keep reading!

  10. Lucy

    Your blog is just so brilliant! Just a question about Kalacha – do you know whether there is a road straight up from South Horr to Kalacha across the desert, or do you have to go either Kargi or Loyangalani? Would be quicker to cut across…….

    1. thekenyancamper Post author

      Hi Lucy, thanks for the kind words. On my map I can see a a route from South Horr up C77- onto E671-east toward Maikona- then E670 north to Kalacha. I can’t vouch for it’s existence/condition/security so you might need to ask for local knowledge before your trip or as you go along.

  11. Pingback: Trippin’ on Turkana (Part 2) – [PHOTOS] | The Kenyan Camper – Kenya insider

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