Cultural Tours to East Turkana

Colourful Turkana

8 or 12 Days Cultural Tour to Lake Turkana, Loiyangalani, Chalbi Desert and Samburu

Would you like to experience a Kenya of superlatives?

  • Visit the largest Wind Project in Africa?
  • The largest Desert Lake in the world?
  • The largest Salt Desert in East Africa?
  • Meet the smallest ethnic group in Africa?
  • Walk where our ancestors walked, where we all come from, through the Cradle of Mankind?

Then, join TEKWA on one of their exciting, adventurous and scientific tours through East-Turkana (Marsabit County).

Our professional guide, a Swiss historian, offers you insights into the development of the Rift System, the rise of early hominids and humans as well as into the history and traditions of the 14 ethnic groups living in this area.


Download the flyer for more information and departure dates:

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Detailed Itineraries

Itinerary: 8-Days Turkana

​Nairobi – Maralal – South Horr – Loiyangalani – Kalacha – Samburu – Nairobi

Days 1-4

We leave Nairobi on Saturday, spend a first night in Maralal in the most unique and comfortable Ngari Hill Guesthouse. On the second day we stay in South Horr, a cute, little oasis between rough mountains, inhabited by Samburu people. Accommodation will be in simple but clean bandas with communal showers.

From there it is a short but scenic drive to famous Lake Turkana via the brand new and largest Wind Project in East Africa to Loiyangalani where we stay in Malabo Lodge (self-contained rooms; Dan, our cook, will prepare the meals for us). For the next two days we will explore Loi, by now a town with 30,000 inhabitants, visit Rendille, Turkana und El Molo villages, do some good curio shopping and enjoy a very different Kenya.

Day 5

On Wednesday we leave for Kalacha, a sleepy oasis at the border to the Chalbi salt desert. The drive takes us through the rough, hilly and dry land of the Gabbra nomads whom we will meet with their camel herds. In Kalacha we stay either in simple but clean BANDAS or at the Catholic Mission.

Days 6-7

On Thursday morning we proceed to Samburu,-  if the weather allows through part of the Chalbi Desert – on the new tarmac road and enjoy an afternoon game drive from Ashnil, our 5 star LODGE for two nights in Buffalo Springs Reserve.

An Early Morning Game drive will be offered for the game enthusiasts. After breakfast we either go for a full day game drive with Picnic or we enjoy the luxury of the lodge with includes a swimming pool and get ready for an extended afternoon game drive.

Day 8

On Saturday morning we have time for another short game drive on the way out of the Reserve. But then we will have to say goodbye to the North heading towards Nairobi via Isiolo, Nanyuki, Karatina, Thika.

We hope that this brief description of our program has intrigued you so that you want to know more about Northern Kenya and the famous Lake Turkana.

If you are interested in this unique tour, please contact me.

All tours are accompanied by myself.

– Dr. Therese Schaerer, CEO & guide

Itinerary: 12-Days Turkana

Day 1 - Nairobi-Maralal

Depart Nairobi at 7.30 am. Proceed towards Naivasha along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. Enjoy breathtaking views and learn about the origins of this natural phenomenon. Follow the Rift Valley to Gilgil, branch off North towards Nyahururu. Brief stop to admire the famous waterfall. Leaving be-hind the green and fertile highlands we enter semi-arid territory while proceeding towards Rumuruti where the tarmac ends and the adventure starts. Picnic at a water pond. Arrival at Maralal, the unofficial capital of the Samburu people, late afternoon. Accommodation at NGARI HILL ECOLODGE. Dinner at the lodge. Be prepared for a cool night.

Accommodation: Ngari Hill Ecolodge

Day 2 - Maralal-South Horr

Leave Maralal at 8.00 am, follow rocky roads through the beautiful Samburu mountains, enjoy the dramatic views into the Suguta valley, pass various Samburu hamlets and reach South Horr mid-afternoon. Picnic lunch under some acacia trees. At the Samburu Sports Centre we spend the night in simple but clean bandas. An afternoon walk through this lively Samburu village will bring you in touch with the local Samburu people, one of the most important Nilotic groups, living a challenging life between tradition and modernity.

Accommodation: Samburu Sports Club Bandas

Day 3 - South Horr-Loiyangalani

Leave South Horr after breakfast (8.30 am). Follow the fairly good road between various dramatic mountain ridges and plateaus.

Take fantastic pictures of the Jade Lake appearing behind a mountain like a mirage. Picnic at the shores of the lake. Arrival at MALABO LODGE early afternoon. Relax before paying a visit to the Desert Museum. Sundowner and barbecue at the lake.

Accommodation: Malabo Lodge

Day 4 - Loiyangalani

Optional early morning visit to the Marti Rock paintings. After breakfast visit to a Rendille village. Proceed to one of the three El Molo villages left. Pay a visit to their holy shrines situated on a nearby island. Enjoy the impressive views of the lake. Get familiar with traditions and problems of this unique ethnic group fighting successfully extinction. Good curio shopping opportunities. In the afternoon walk through Loiyangalani and later on visit to an oasis up in the mountains for a sundowner. Lunch and dinner at the lodge.

Accommodation: Malabo Lodge

Day 5 - Loiyangalani-Koobi Fora

Leave after breakfast (8.00 am), follow the rough road through an impressive stone desert towards North Horr and branch off North towards Hurran Hurra. Stop at the waterhole of Gajos. Follow the road to the remote entrance to Sibiloi National Park. Lunch en route. Visit the Petrified Forest (20 Mio years old), as well as a petrified crocodile and an tortoise, ancestors of our present species. Arrive at Koobi Fora late afternoon. Accommodation in the NMK Research Station. Supper prepared by our cook.

Accommodation: Bandas (NMK)

Day 6 - Koobi Fora

After breakfast visit to the Koobi Fora Museum.

Information and discussion about development of hominids and homo. Lunch at camp. Afternoon: relaxing walk to Koobi Fora spit (4km sandbank into the lake), enjoy birds, nests of fish and crocodiles, and the unique scenery in the evening sun. Supper prepared by our cook.

Accommodation: Bandas (NMK)

Day 7 - Koobi Fora - Ileret - Koobi Fora

Full day excursion to Ileret, village close to the Ethiopian border, inhabited mainly by Dassanach people. Visit of a Dassanach village. Lunch at the Mission station of Father Florian. Introduction into I.N.E.S., a project with the aim to bring schooling to nomadic children without uprooting them from their traditional lifestyle. After a two hours’ drive back to camp. Supper by our cook.

Accommodation: Bandas (NMK)

Day 8 - Koobi Fora - Kalacha

Leave Koobi Fora after breakfast (7.30 am). Follow the rocky and later sandy tracks to North Horr, another oasis in the midst of nowhere, inhabited mainly by Gabbra people. After a short stop for shopping of drinks, veggies and diesel, and a picnic lunch en route we proceed to Kalacha at the border of the Chalbi desert Accommodation in newly erected bandas. Supper by our cook.

Accommodation: Bandas

Day 9 - Kalacha – Marsabit

Before leaving Kalacha brief stop at the Catholic church to admire the unusual Ethiopian wall paintings. Visit to a nearby oasis. If the rains in Ethiopia allow we drive through the Chalbi desert, a white salt desert, otherwise on a rather bumpy road through a stone desert until we reach the East-African Highway near Marsabit. Picnic lunch. Check-in to our cozy lodge and get ready for a walk through Marsabit, this very lively up-coming Northern town.

Accommodation and dinner: Lodge

Day 10 - Marsabit – Samburu

After breakfast easy ride on the new highway down to Archer’s Post. Slowly we get out of the arid and rocky terrain of the North into friendlier surroundings where agriculture is practiced by settled down pastoralists. Reach Archer’s Post at about noon and proceed to your lodge for lunch. Enjoy the luxury and the comfort of Ashnil Lodge. Afternoon game drive in Buffalo Spring’s Reserve and optional swim in the natural swimming pool.

Accommodation and dinner: Lodge

Day 11 - Samburu

An optional early morning game drive will be offered. Other-wise relax at the lodge and digest the many unforgettable impressions and experiences you have gained during this tour. Lunch at the lodge. Afternoon game drive to Samburu Reserve; good chances to see oryx, gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, elephant, lion and with a bit of luck a leopard. Farewell sundowner at the shores of the Ewaso Nyiro.

Accommodation and dinner: Lodge

Day 12 - Samburu - Nairobi

Departure after breakfast (8.00 am). Game drive on way out. 6 to 7 hours’ drive to Nairobi via Isiolo, Nanyuki, Karatina, Thika on good roads. With some luck you will see Mount Kenya.

Lunch package en route. Arrival in Nairobi at around 4.00 pm.











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 “Just back from a great family tour up north!”

October, 10, 2019

We are just back from another exciting tour up north. This time we took a family with three youngsters (7/9/12) up to Loiyangalani and followed their personal wishes via North Horr, Kalacha and the Chalbi Desert to Samburu.

Especially the kids enjoyed the truck, the camels, the dunes and the game and were mesmerized and impressed by the many different ways of living and surviving, the colourful fashions, the happiness expressed by the children despite of little and drought and the fact that King Football reigns in El Molo and North Horr just as much as at home in Switzerland – and not only among the boys but also among the girls!

Photo Gallery

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We offer tailor-made tours for clients interested in history, anthropology and palaeontology.

All our tours are accompanied by a professional historian specialised in African/Kenyan history.

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