Category Archives: Campsite

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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Lake Jipe/Tsavo West – An Odyssey’s End

This is the 3rd and final part of our overland adventure hugging the southern border of Kenya, didn’t think I’d manage to get it all written down but here we are. From driving the deserts of Lake Amboseli to swimming the blue waters of Lake Chala all roads have led to the most southerly point of this trip in Tsavo West. The adventure is far from over though, actually it’s almost like it’s just beginning…

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Kalama Conservancy – The Perfect Pit -Stop

How much do I love Kenya’s bit of the Great North Road? I can count the ways for days. Out of the entire 7000+ kms all the way from Cape Town (South Africa) – Cairo (Egypt) Kenya’s infamous 500km section of lunar surface from Isiolo – Moyale put us in the unenviable position of ‘number last’  but that is now all behind us. Who do we give props for this? Was it ex-president Kibaki? Wherever you are mzee please pokea a fist bump. The soon to be completed stretch of the Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale road has created massive potential in the previously marginalized Northern Kenya counties and has already created better tourism opportunities and brought enhanced security to this previously ‘unknown’ region.

As we’ve seen before Kenya is full of surprises so of course there’s a little conservancy just off this highway that’s just begging to be visited.

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Camp Carnelley’s – In Kenya’s Camping Country

Lake Naivasha is the mall where all of Kenya’s cool camping sites like to hang out. This area has long been synonymous with camping and casual weekender’s for as long as anyone can remember. If you live in Nairobi, Nakuru or further afield it’s quite possible one thing or the other has led you here; be it a wedding, a weekend getaway, a drunken bad decision or all of those combined. In Part One of the series on locations for first time campers and family-friendly locations we explored Mount Longonot National Park so lets keep it moving shall we?

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Camping on Mount Longonot – Short & Sweet

For a camping blog I just realized I haven’t written about camping in a while, I won’t be winning any awards for focus that’s for sure. So my next 3 articles will be on trips  I like to call ‘shorts’. These are places that are easy enough to do over a weekend from Nairobi and are also tame enough to do if you’re a first-time or occasional camper, so join me as I seek to lubricate your journey into one of Kenya’s most famous holes.

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Amboseli Bush Camp – Simple Is As Simple Does

In our daily lives sometimes we tend to over complicate things. We make decisions that cause us more stress than necessary, we hang around people who drain our positive energy, we down play our achievements and dwell on our mistakes. Then when we look into inward we can only ask ourselves “Why do things have to be so hard?”.

Sorry, strange way to start a travel article I know, but this next place really did put the thought of how simplicity  can be such a positive force in our lives. Because if there’s a place that personifies the concept of “just enough” its Amboseli Bush Camp.

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Early morning view of Mount Kilimanjaro from camp.

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Camping On Lumo Conservancy – Visit, Experience, Understand

It’s a real treat for me to be able to visit all the places I travel to twice; first when I visit them, and second when I’m writing about them. My visit to Lumo Conservancy was born as many of my trips are, staring at a screen while at work and daydreaming over photos on the internet. So after much planning (and of course saving), I found myself meandering down the Nairobi – Mombasa Highway, what i found there was a prime example of the link between community and conservation.

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Camping On Mount Ololokwe – 12 Years A Slave (Part 2)

If you’re just catching up, i suggest you read Part 1 here first.

I survived the night, pretty obvious huh? For a minute there I didn’t think I’d make it through what I can objectively say was the worst night in a tent in my life (and I’ve had many).

The morning begins with almost no clue of the what transpired the night before, almost as if the mountain means to apologize.

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Camping On Mount Ololokwe – 12 Years A Slave (Part 1)

Its difficult to explain the power of an idea. It dwells in our consciousness; sometimes relegated, sometimes ignored, but never forgotten. Ever present in the back of our minds, dominating our thoughts whenever we we have a moment to day dream.

I first saw a photo of Mount Ololokwe about 12 years ago and my imagination was instantly captured by this massive mountain emerging seemingly out of nowhere from the desert plains. In many of my travels such as during my elephant encounter in Samburu, and a most relaxing trip to Sera Conservancy among many more, she seemed to continually taunt me and was a constant reminder of the promise I once made to myself.

I had to spend a night atop this mountain.

Aerial of Mount Ololokwe, the red circle shows our campsite. Photo Credit : Marcus Harvey  Photo Credit Aerial of Mount Ololokwe, the red circle shows our campsite. Photo Credit : Marcus Harvey  Continue reading

Camping In Mukogodo Forest – A Curiousity Rewarded

According to stats if you do not draw in the reader in the first two lines of an article, then there is a 90% chance they will not read on. I’m willing to take that risk this time around. This article I write for the traveller, not for the reader. For those who the open road is an inspiration to adventure as opposed to a fear of the unknown. For those that look at a map of this great country Kenya and see it as an open invitation to new experiences and possibly a new way of thinking. So if by some stroke of luck you’re still reading allow me to take you to a place that greatly rewards that curiosity.

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