The Lake Turkana Festival will take place for the 7th consecutive year in Loyangalani town; on the shores of the awe-inspiring Jade Sea in May 2014 (dates yet to be confirmed). It is here where the 10 ethnic groups of the Lake Turkana region; El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanach, Ghabra, Borana, Konso, Wata and Burji demonstrate through song and dance their unique differences and traditions. In this remote and forgotten region; we are also made aware of the challenges faced by these minority tribes which include drought, environmental challenges, poor infrastructure and wrangling amongst each other. Thus whilst we awe at their impressive dress and ornaments and study their artifacts and way of life in the dramatic landscape that makes up the north of Kenya; the underlying goal remains and continues to be the promotion of peace and furthermore the appreciation of these fascinating tribes.
The tour also visits the Samburu Game reserve which is a fascinating park to visit with its peculiar mix of savanna and semi-arid landscape where the Ewaso Nyiro River forms the life line for the parks animals which include lions, numerous elephants, gerenuk, Grevys Zebra and various other species.
Day 1 – Nairobi to Maralal
Depart in the early morning towards Maralal via Nyahururu (stop at Thompson falls briefly). Lunch en route as we arrive in the campsite in the late afternoon to pitch up tents for the night. (Particularly long drive; cold night).
Maralal is the unofficial capital of the Samburu people and has a distinctly frontier feel about it. It is also home of the Maralal International Camel Derby that happens once a year between July and October and attracts riders and spectators from all over the world.
Day 2 – Maralal to Lake Turkana
After breakfast, we start the long journey driving via Baragoi and South Horr to arrive at our semi – permanent beach campsite just outside Loyangalani town on the lake shores. Here we have our traditional Turkana Huts (if still available; if not we pitch tent at an alternative campsite) which make it a perfect place to relax, protected from the scorching sun and heat characteristic of the climate of this remote area. Enjoy a sun downer before dinner and overnight.
Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world and extends for 288 kilometres up to the Ethiopian / Kenyan border surrounded by volcanic rock and desert.
Day 3– Lake Turkana
After a spectacular morning sunrise and breakfast we visit an El Molo and Rendille Village close to Loyanglani.
Afternoon visit to Desert Museum on the shores of Lake Turkana and enjoy a lecture on characteristics of ethnic communities of the region. The rest of the afternoon spent at leisure and you may enjoy a sundowner. In the evening partake in a discussion on Management of Natural Resources and Economic Development at the Festival Site with representatives of private sector, stakeholders, local politicians, local community etc.
Day 4 – Lake Turkana
In the morning enjoy a rock Art Tour, just outside of Loiyangalani and visit the vibrant Local arts & crafts market on the main street.
In the afternoon the official opening of the festival begins with Cultural performances: music and dances by the ten tribes, display of cultural traditions, visit of huts of the participating tribes, display of traditional medicines. Likewise there is a Bao game competition and wrestling contest.
Evening activities include a fashion show of the ethnic communities, a youth Theater Play followed by African Night: music, food and drinks.
Day 5 – Lake Turkana to Marsabit (via Kargi)
Early morning partake in a soccer match of local players and interested visitors. Thereafter watch the boat race on the shores of Lake turkana before departing Loyangalani travelling through Kargi towards the cool forested Marsabit area. We visit a dramatic volcanic crater upon arrival (known as ‘Gofs’) by the local people before setting up camp in Marsabit. Prepare for a cool and misty night.
Day 6 – Marsabit to Samburu
Depart in the early morning along the trans-african highway towards Samburu. Lunch en route and arrive Samburu National reserve in time for an afternoon game drive.
Accommodation is in our semi-permanent campsite, beautifully set under a canopy of trees or we may pitch tents on the edge of Uaso Nyiro River (meaning Brown in Samburu) if they are occupied. Cold showers are available which are amazingly refreshing in the hot, dusty climate.
Day 7 – Samburu to Nairobi (via Nanyuki)
Depart camp after breakfast viewing game as we drive back to Nairobi via Mt. Kenya region. Lunch en route as we make a brief stop at Thompson falls for a great photo opportunity against these rainbow-falls! Arrive Nairobi in the late afternoon.
TOUR PRICE – yet to be advised