Tag Archives: Camping

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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Lake Chala via Amboseli – A Hard Day’s Night

It’s 9am, I’ve slept fitfully on our our first night out and but we’ve had a great time on the Olgulului Group Ranch exploring Lake Amboseli . A great start to this ambitious trip of 900kms along Kenya’s Southern border and it’s time to crank out a few more miles and at this point I’m blissfully unaware that this will be one of the longest days imaginable.

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Camping on Lake Amboseli – Dreamers & Deserts

Three years ago I met a group of young Kenyan adventurers with fire in their eyes and and the determination to create a travel show for Kenyans, by Kenyans. It was during this first meeting that it was suggested “We should do a trip together”. However just like the very familiar “We should do coffee sometime”, it would take some time for us all to pull our respective knickers up and get planning. So finally here we are 3 years later, myself and the  Routes Adventure crew, bonded by a common dream to shout as loudly as we can about our amazing country. This time with an idea to drive 900km over 5 days along the southern border of Kenya and Tanzania.

This is Part 1 of this epic adventure…

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Photo: Routes, Edit: TKC

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Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site – Dark Star Safari

It’s easy to discount the familiar; thats why those who live near Mount Kenya have never climbed it and why not everyone at the coast goes to the beach on a daily. I say this because just as I have never written an article on how to camp neither have I written about Olorgesailie. This is strange because I visit here so often I guess it became too familiar to me hence the laxity in writing about it. However I thought I’d share my special spot and made a call out for any Instagramers who wanted to head out for a night and get their astrophotography on and this lit the fire that finally led to this article getting done.

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Mount Olorgesailie. Photo: Irungu

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Namunyak Conservancy – A De Brazza Baraza

Some of you with more time on your hands than you know what to do with might stay up nights wondering how some of my travel ideas come about. Sure, sometimes it takes months of planning but sometimes things unfold in the simplest way possible; like this email I received…

Mr. T: Hi, I took a quick trip up into Namunyak last week and visited a really cool little campsite which is being developed by Museums of Kenya.  The really cool part though was their research work on the rare De Brazza monkeys which they have been studying there for a number of years. I am hoping to plan a trip up that way later this year to explore more around the Mathews/Namunyak region. It is big though so will need to give it a few days… are you keen?

KC: Yes! A thousand times yes!

I know, I really should play a bit hard to get sometimes, if I was a lady of the night I wouldn’t make enough cheese to feed a mouse. So thats how 9 explorers, 3 cars, 2 dogs and a mountain of supplies find themselves in this part of Kenya to expose sample its many secrets.

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Sera Conservancy – Walking With Rhinos

Do not wear any bright colours otherwise they will spot us. Always remain behind a ranger and follow my instructions. Speak in whispers and tread very carefully so as to maintain silence. Be aware of your surroundings and always look out for the largest tree around you should the animal become agitated for any reason.

I know right? How can you not be excited when listening to a brief like that? My hands are clammy and my heart is tripping like an EDM track at what seems like 100 beats per minute. I’m nervous and excited about one of the most unique wildlife experiences you can have in Kenya  I’m going to be tracking one of the most endangered species in the the world, the black rhino…on foot.

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Westgate Conservancy – A Conservation Conversation

Conservation can be a really boring subject. Depending on how it’s presented on a scale of 1-10 some might rate it ‘watching Olympic golf’. Now most of us like the idea of conservation just as long as not too much is asked of us; liking a photo of a cute elephant on Facebook? That we can do. But actually understanding what impact we have on our environment and working to reduce it? Not so much fun. So there are reasons why conservation can be boring to some, but there are also ways to make it interesting as I find out for myself….

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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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