Kenya Circuit

Northern Kenya tour circuit

Take a holiday vacation to Lake Turkana Kenya Destination high to know how Kenya is favored in terms of tourism attractions.

Why You shouldn't Miss a Vacation to Turkanaland in Kenya

Kenya’s North is desert country- hot, parched and broken by volcanic activity, where ancient blackened lava flows and endless thorn trees stretch from horizon to horizon. Getting to Turkana overland is no mean feat.

While it is possible to fly to the Lake in a Chartered aircraft we recommend a trip by road to spice up the adventure of the tour. We promise a rigorous tour and so this tour shall not be for the frail and faint-hearted. Experience what you will never forget, the remote Kenya.

A flight will also be quite interesting, taking in wonderful vistas across the Suguta Valley and providing a bird’s eye view of the Lake itself.

Most visitors make the long trip from Nairobi over a 2 or 3-day period, stopping en route at Maralal, Samburu, or Marsabit. The trip winds through some beautiful country and travelers invariably encounter Rendille Carmel trains, and pass by tiny villages and nomadic encampments along the way.

The history and cultures of the North- the Samburu, Pokot, Gabbra, Borana and many more are written upon the soil of this trackless land- and traveling through this area is a great education in itself. Both the East and West shores of the Lake each offer unique areas of interest.

At the South East tip of the Lake, reached via South Horr, the tiny oasis of Loiyangalani (“the place of the trees”) attracts many travelers to its palm groves, where a constant wind offers relief from the searing heat.

There is a well-maintained campsite and basic lodge here. Many safari companies and operators offer truck trips to this area- sometimes combined with camel safari further south.

Loiyangalani is a good base for exploring- either by boat to South Island National Park, or by climbing nearby Mount Kulal- a challenging climb which needs to be undertaken with care.

El Molo Bay is home to Kenya’s smallest tribe, the El Molo whose numbers have dwindled through intermarriage and linguistic and cultural absorption into the Turkana and Samburu communities.

One of the last true hunter-gatherer communities, the El Molo are centered on this small bay, which is also a good place to spot crocodiles and birdlife.

Outside influence has been slow to reach this distant frontier, and the El Molo, Turkana and other communities along the Lakeshores still live lives dictated by tradition, myth and custom. In many places here, life continues unchanged as it has for centuries.

From culture and history, we move on to beautiful national parks, the emblem of Kenya’s wildlife. Staring here in the north with the Laikipia National Park

Increasingly acknowledged as one of the most important areas for biodiversity in Kenya, wildlife population densities in the Laikipia region and Ewaso eco-system now rank second to the internationally renowned Masai Mara ecosystem, whilst the diversity of large mammals is higher than in any other part of Kenya.

The Ewaso eco-system is home to the second largest population of elephant in Kenya (5,400) and the area hosts the highest populations of endangered species in the country.

Laikipia supports seven heavily protected rhino sanctuaries, which together hold over half of Kenya’s black rhino population. Laikipia has a unique combination of dry and cool weather, climatic gradients being influenced by the presence of Mount Kenya (5,199 metres) and the Aberdare highlands (3,999 metres). There is great variation in rainfall from year to year.

Location - Laikipia

Laikipia District is a vast plateau to the north west of snow-capped Mount Kenya, straddling the equator at the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley Province. The Laikipia plains stretch from the Great Rift Valley to magnificent escarpments that descend into the Northern Frontier District.

Distance from Nairobi - 190km to Nanyuki (Laikipia boundary)


Covers total area of over 9,500 square km, and forms part of the 40,000 square km Ewaso ecosystem.

Climatic conditions

Mean annual rainfall varies from 400mm in the north-east to 900mm in the south-west. On average over 80 per cent of days are rain-free. The long rains from March to May are followed less rain between July and September, with cooler temperatures and high winds. The warmest months are December and January, which also have the least rainfall.


The diversity of large mammals is higher than any other area with elephant, rhino, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Lelwelhartebeest, wild dog and large numbers of other large predators.


Road: access by road from Nairobi, Samburu, Nakuru. Air: Nanyuki airfield is the hub for scheduled and charter flights linking Laikipia with destinations such as Samburu and the Masai Mara. Most tourism facilities in the region have private airfields for charter flights.

Best time

All months except April, May and November, during the rainy season


Wildlife related activities (day and night), walking, hiking,fishing, mountain climbing, mountain biking, camel and horse riding and fly camping.

For the more adventurous, the long road North leads to Sibiloi,a 1600 square km National Park recently accorded World Heritage Status.

Distance from Nairobi - 800 km north of Nairobi

Size - 1,570 square km

Climatic conditions - Hot and arid

Major attractions

Origins of Man: Koobi Fora Museum & Research Base; thousands of fossils including giant tortoises; Behemoth, 45ft longCrocodile; Lake Turkana Scenery; shoreline; game viewing.


Birdwatching: More than 350 recorded species including flamingo, pelican and duck. Hippo, crocodile, zebra, Grant’s gazelle, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, topi, greater kudu, lion, cheetah, leopard among other species. The world’s largest Nile crocodile population breeds on Lake Turkana’s Central Island.


Road: The lake is a three day drive from Nairobi via Marsabit and North Horr, or Maralal and South Horr. Alternatively travelby road from Nairobi to Kalokol on the lake’s western shores, viaKitale and Lodwar. From Kalokol boat hire services are availableacross the lake to Allia Bay. Air: There are two all- weatherairstrips.


Game viewing, bird watching and camping.

This park is a real surprise after a long desert journey- there is plenty of open green, grassland- and plenty of game. Zebra, Topi,Giraffe, Ostrich, Hippo and the occasional Lion and Cheetah have all been sighted in the park.

Sibiloi also incorporates Koobi Fora a very important site for Hominid Fossils, famous internationally since Richard Leakey’s discovery of ‘1470’ a 2 million year old skull of Homo Habilis.

After this, we find the Nasonolot National park, Home to many interesting tour activities.


West Pokot District, Rift Valley Province

Distance from Nairobi - 528 km north-west of Nairobi

Size - 92 square km

Climatic conditions - Hot and arid

Major Attractions

Rocky out crop at the periphery of the reserve called NasolotHill; game viewing.


Elephant, lesser kudu, bushbuck, duiker, lion, leopard, Kirk’s dik-dik, spotted hyena, jackal, impala, Sykes’ monkey,beisa and fringe-eared oryx, waterbuck, olive baboon, buffalo,gazelle and hippo.


Road: The reserve is 146 kmnorth of Kitale to the west of the A1 Kitale-Lodwar road. Thereserve’s gate lies 6.2 km off the A1 main road.

Air: There are air strips at Turkwelldam and Kaputirr


Game viewing, bird watching, sport fishing and boating at Turkwell dam, nature walks, camping.

We also have the Marsabit National Park.

Marsabit National Reserve covers an area of 1,500 square km and consists of a forested mountain that rises like an oasis in the middle of the desert wilderness and is the only source of permanent surface water in the region.

The reserve has three spectacular crater lakes that provide habitat for a variety of birdlife.

One of the lakes, Lake Paradise, is most scenic and famous from early films and writings of Martin Johnson and Vivien de Wattville.

Marsabit reserve is also well known because of large elephants like the famous Ahmed, an elephant that was provided with a 24 hour protection by a presidential order.

Ahmed, who boasted some of the biggest tusks ever recorded, died at age 55, and his body was preserved and is now on display in Nairobi National Museum.

Location of Marsabit - Marsabit District, Eastern Province

Distance from Nairobi - 560 km north of Nairobi

Size - 360 square km

Climatic conditions Marsabit

January to March is hot and dry, April to June is hot andwet, July to October is warm and dry, and November and December are warm and wet.


Pristine forest, scenic landscape and wilderness, crater lakes, diverse local cultures


Elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, greater kudu, hyena, aardwolf,caracal, klipspringer, Grant’s gazelle, oryx, and reticulated giraffe. Diverse birdlife.


By Road: 560 km north of Nairobi, 263 km north of Isiolo.By Air: The Park is located two and half hours by air fromNairobi and is served by a tarmac airstrip located 1 km from Marsabit town centre.

Accommodation in Marsabit

Lodges: Marsabit Lodge

Activities - Game viewing, bird watching

Western Turkana is more accessible, via the road North from Kitale to Lodwar and onward to Ferguson’s Gulf and the village of Kalokol.

There is a basic lodge here- originally a fishing lodge for those looking to catch prized Nile Perch. About 60 kms further north is beautiful Eliye Springs, home to spring fed oases, large crocodile populations, and many small Turkana villages. There are a few simple lodgings available here.

Just a little further North, the all new Lobolo Camp treads the fine line between roughing it and the more comfortable” easy” tented camps in Kenya’s more accessible Parks and Reserves.

The first permanent tented camp in Turkana, Lobolo is nestled among 100acres of lush forest, watered by a series of fresh water springs.

The camp is owned and managed by Dutchman Halewjin and his Kenyan wife Joyce, who have been running safaris into this region for more than decade- and have developed a zealous passion for providing efficiency and service in this remote area.

The camp has 6 spacious, spotless tents with spring water showers and specially raised beds to take advantage of cool breezes, and provide views of the sunset over the Lake.

Central mess tent serves up remarkably first class meals, with flame grilled brochettes, fresh salad, and excellent local Nile Perch.

With excellent boats and guides- trips around the Lake, specialized fishing trips for Nile Perch and many others are possible.

Lobolo caters for those who still want to enjoy the adventure of travelling to this wild frontier, but still appreciate the value of a comfortable bed, a cool shower in the evening, and the occasional unexpected luxury- such as delicious hot samosas with soy sauce served by the campfire.

Overnight fly camps on Central Island National Park can also be arranged. The island is a great place to spend a day exploring. Although only five square kilometers in area, the hills neatly conceal three separate volcanic crater lakes.

A hike around the crater rims is an ideal way to spend the morning or afternoon. Each lake has its own unique ecology- and flamingo, crocodiles and plenty of water birds can be seen as you follow the narrow ridges across the islands spine.

One of these small lakes is home to an ancient species of Tilapia- a small freshwater fish- whose existence suggests that the Lake may have once been fed byte Nile.

The outer slopes of this up thrust volcanic cone rebreeding colonies for many water birds, and a slow drift in a canoe around the island makes for great bird watching- with plenty of nesting pelican, cormorant, heron and gulls- and hunting raptors including African Fish Eagles, Osprey and even Marsh Harriers, and local rarities such as Skimmers.

The delicate ecological balance of this regions threatened by increasing human population pressure, but the development of tourism- and its economic benefit- may just be the vital ingredient for the preservation for future generations of intrepid travelers.

For those who reach these outer limits today, there’s no better way to spend a night than stretched out by a campfire on Central Island, listening to the soft lap of water on the shore as the sunset gives way to a stunning stars cape overhead.

Given the terrain, we shall design the tour directly north through Samburu, Maralal to the Lake, then proceed to the Sibiloi National Park. We then shall return through the west, via Kitale, the bread basket of Kenya. Here agritourism is the in-thing.

We are likely to enjoy a view the Kapenguria site where the famous Kapenguria six were detained by our colonizers in the years preceding Kenya’s independence.

If one does not like the hard road, we shall take a chartered flight to the north, landing at Lake Turkana, enjoy all the beautiful views and hustle via road back through Kitale.

To fully enjoy what awaits YOU in the north of Kenya, plan for a two-week vacation. This is more than a tour, it is an adventure; a mixture of cultural tourism, wildlife showcase and the terrain view.

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