AASC02: 8 Days Lake Turkana and Chalbi Desert

8 Days Lake Turkana safari | Aardwolf Africa Safaris

This is a real adventurous expedition in a purposely-built safari truck/ land cruiser organized via Aardwolf Africa that takes you deep into Northern Kenya eventually arriving at the shores of Lake Turkana (Jade Sea). You will experience some of Africa’s worst roads though part of the route now along the Africa Highway to Addis Ababa Ethiopia is now tarmacked; see beautiful mountain forest surrounded on all sides by hot dusty deserts at Marsabit with volcanic calderas. A great diversity of tribes live in this region that include the Samburu, Turkana, Rendille, Gabbra, Daasanach, Hamar Koke, Karo, Nyagatom, Mursi, Surma, and the Molo people.     

High Lights: wildlife, tribes and culture, fantastic scenery and deserts

Day 1 – Maralal:
We depart Nairobi very early in the morning via the Great Rift Valley escarpment, Naivasha, Thompson Falls (Nyahururu) and the Laikipia Plains to Maralal the headquarters of the Samburu County. Here the Samburu abound in their red-ochre. The Samburu people are closely related to the Masai culturally.

 Day 2 – Lake Turkana:
We drive north through a forested area and Baragoi via South Horr (located in between beautiful hills) then down the scenic and rugged Great Rift Valley escarpment to Loiyangalani at Lake Turkana – the Jade Sea. 

Day 3 – Lake Turkana:
We spend the day in Lake Turkana mostly relaxing and visiting the communities here as well as appreciating nature. A visit to the desert museum at Loiyangalani could help in understanding the history and habits of the peoples of this area. Loiyangalani with Mt. Kulal in the background is kind of an oasis where almost all the local tribes are represented; the Samburu, Turkana, Rendile, Gabra and the famous tiny tribe –the Elmoro. At Lake Turkana we enjoy the cool breeze blowing from the lake as we meet the local people and explore a bit of the Jade Sea. Loiyangalani is a good place to relax and cool. A wonderful experience. 

Day 4 – Kalacha:
We plan early departure across the Chalbi desert. Chalbi desert is a dry lake that is very difficult to ‘navigate’ if wet but there are alternative routes around the north and south in use. Chalbi desert is said to be the only true desert in Kenya. We have a scenic drive up the Great Rift Valley escarpment out of the Lake Turkana (Jade Sea).We drive to Kalacha, a small settlement on the edge of the Chalbi Desert. This is nomadic Gabra territory. If not wet we may venture a little into the Chalbi desert hopefully for a sunset. 

Day 5 – Marsabit:
We head south through the desert and lava flows to Marsabit along the Trans-African highway, which is an extinct volcano heavily forested on its upper slopes. We visit a volcanic caldera and Marsabit town. Here are many of the nomadic tribes – the Gabra, Boran, Rendile and Samburu. After setting up camp, we will visit the lodge inside the National Park. You may see elephant, buffalo and kudu as the lodge is situated on the edge of a water-filled crater. As long as the park is dry we drive through thick forest to the famous Lake Paradise. There are some very steep hills which are impassable if wet.

Day 6 – Samburu:
We drive south along the Trans-African Highway to Samburu Game Reserve. We arrive Samburu in the afternoon and view game as we proceed to our campsite/lodge.

Day 7 - Samburu:
Samburu Game Reserve is a semi-arid area with open savanna grassland along the Uaso Nyiro River which supports plenty of wildlife.The day is mainly spent game viewing in the Samburu game park in the morning and in the afternoon. Elephants abound; you may see lion, leopard, cheetah, reticulated giraffe, buffalo, gerenuk, grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, oryx and crocodile.

Day 8 - Nairobi:
We depart for Nairobi in the morning and drive south via the shoulder of Mt Kenya. At Nanyuki we may stop to view the Equator. We pass through the agricultural rich Central Kenya inhabited by the Kikuyu to arrive at Nairobi late afternoon. END OF SAFARI

 Included in the safari price:
    Transport by special safari vehicle
    Services of a professional English speaking driver/guide and safari cook
    All campsite fees
    All camping equipment including use of our three-person tents (each tent shared by 2 people), stools, foam mattresses except sleeping bags
    Three meals a day while on safari whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian prepared by our safari cook
    Activities as indicated in the specified safari itinerary

Not included in the price:
    Game park entrance fees shown separately in US dollars
    Personal travel insurance
    Flying Doctors Service emergency evacuation cover available at US$10 per person.
    Sleeping bags [available for hire in the office]
    Hotel accommodation in Nairobi (Karen area recommended)
    All airport/hotel/airport transfers [but can be arranged at extra cost]
    Entry visa cost
    All personal expenses and toiletries; e.g. mineral water, toilet paper, laundry, beverages, driver guide tips, etc.
    Any other extras not stated as included above

What you need to bring on safari:
    Sleeping bag [available for hire in our office]
    Money for personal spending and tipping
    Only a small case or rucksack, as storage space is limited [maximum 20kgs].
    A pair of long trousers and jersey for the cool mornings and evenings in addition to plenty of light clothes for hot days (do not forget a hat), swim suit, a pillow, comfortable shoes/sandals and snacks
    Torch, sunglasses ,suntan lotion, insect repellent/spray but not mosquito coils
    Mineral water and beverages
    Camera, memory cards, binoculars, maps, guide-books
    Toilet paper, towel, soap and toothbrush/paste
    All personal travel insurance
    Flying Doctors Service emergency evacuation cover.