We drove from South Horr early not knowing how the road conditions for the day will be. Just outside Samburu camp 2 young boys tried to stop us and when we drove past they got so angry that they threw stones at us. Poor Fanie who was behind us had to duck and dive but luckily no stones hit anyone of us. Lucky for us that they were not “manne with gunne”! The scenery changed from bushveld to scrub desert to volcanic rock from Mt Kulal’s shattered lava fields. The northern part of Kenya, arid, sparsely populated and seldom visited by outsiders, is an uncompromising and time-ravaged land whose expansive horizons and austere volcanic outcrops feel several worlds away from the bustling tourist circuit of the south. Lake Turkana runs through the Rift Valley floor south of the Ethiopian border for almost 300km to form the eleventh-largest lake in the world and the only one of comparable size enclosed by a desert. The people, the Gabbra, Turkana and Samburu are nomadic pastoralists who still adhere to a strictly traditional lifestyle and dress creating the impression of travelling not only through space but also time, to gain a brief glimpse of Africa as it might have been hundreds of years ago. Driving through the Chalbi desert to suddenly get a glimpse of the jade waters hemmed in by an apocalyptic moonscape of extinct volcanoes and naked lava flows, cannot be described in words! Turkana seems positively primordial and as one descends to the lakeshore, the stark vegetation defies believe. A hot fierce wind blows relentlessly from across the water This lake is also home to the world’s largest concentration of Nile crocodile, estimated 20 000 – 25 000. Loyangalani or Turkana City is the only substantial settlement on the eastern shore around a palm-fringed freshwater spring. The Turkana woman’s attire of beaten hides and beaded jewellery, henna-dyed Mohican dreadlocks and goatee-like lower lip plug, are particularly impressive. Reminds one of the Ovahimba woman of Kaokoland in Namibia. The El Molo who is officially the smallest tribe in the world –about 300, are staying on a small island near Loyangalani. We thought to stay 2 nights there but the wind were so bad that we had to pitch our canvas tent at 12 that night because of the possibility of the palm tree above our other tent, breaking and falling on top of us The swarms of flies were also incredibly irritating….so we stayed only 1 night.
Maasai next to the road
We camped at Palm Shades and paid 500KS p.p or R120 per night