Lake Turkana Camping Safari
Are you looking for an amazing magical experience? Well you have landed at the right place. We have crafted an adventurous camping safari to Lake Turkana. The tour package incorporates game viewing, Chalbi desert, rich cultural heritage coupled with a beach experience at Lake Turkana; finally the cherry on the cake ” the famous Masai Mara ” culminating the whole epic safariing venture.
Budget Camping Accommodation
We will accommodate you in tents which will be mounted in the campsite right in the various parks and reserves. however, where applicable we will set you up permanent erected budget camps or hotels. This allows us greater access to remote areas and allows us easy access to the locals in order to socialize and embrace an authentic bush safari.
We will buy fresh produce and other food stuff locally, and to ensure high standards of hygiene; the meals are prepared by our own cook additionally we also cater for special diets [Vegetarian/Vegan meals] on request.
Transport will be facilitated by 4×4 safari vehicles that are customized for the ultimate safariing experience. The vans / jeeps are accessorized with pop up roofs ideal for game viewing, hifi radio communication gadgets and comfortable seats.
In order to compliment your safariing adventure, the services of our experienced driver guides will come in handy. They have enormous knowledge on wildlife as well as different sceneries you will be visiting on your tour.
The thrill of touring various wildlife gems is an adventure that should be on every tourist’s bucket list. Our budget safari to Lake Turkana gives you the opportunity to experience first hand the diversity in terms of culture as you engage with the locals as well as epic game viewing encounters in parks & reserves in this region.
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Fourteen Days Camping Safari To Lake Turkana. [Itinerary]
Day One: Nairobi – Samburu
A representative from Kenya epic safaris will meet you at your hotel or pick you up from the airport and after briefing you he or she will hand you over to your assigned driver guide to facilitate the best camping safari to lake Turkana.
You will be driven to the northern frontier by your driver guide who will keep you entertained and informed on different sceneries as you journey to Samburu; a semi desert and thus very dry most of the year. We shall have lunch en route arriving at Samburu game reserve in the afternoon.
On arrival the camp staff will usher you to your respective tents. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure or interacting with the locals; not long after, head out for the evening game drive.
Game to view includes the Big five, antelopes, gazelles, baisa oryx, grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, gerenuk and abundant bird life. Dinner and overnight at Umoja campsite.
Day Two: Samburu
On this day you will have morning and evening game drives. A visit to the Ewaso Ngiro river is most rewarding because it’s the only source of water that sustains the wildlife in this reserve. Wild animals converge at the river to quench their thirst.
Samburu people and their culture is another attraction and on request the driver guide can take you to the samburu village to experience their culture. All meals and overnight at Umoja campsite.
Day Three: Samburu – Marsabit
After breakfast and hit the road; travel north along the Trans-African highway to Marsabit national park. Upon arrival, lunch will be prepared while you pitch your tent at the campsite. Our afternoon will be spent visiting the park, Lake Paradise and Little Lake.
There is where an indigenous forest and a desert come together to create the most compelling landscape on earth. Elephants and greater kudu abound are among the wildlife we will encounter. The dense forest in the park is also home to a variety of bird species. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.
Day Four: Marsabit – Kalacha
First we shall have an early breakfast and then depart; you will be driven through the scenic landscape of the arid north with views of picturesque hills arriving at Kalacha, a small Gabbra settlement on the edge of the Chalbi Desert in time for lunch.
The Gabbra are an Eastern Cushite people related to the Somali-Rendille in their historical origins in the southern Ethiopian highlands about AD 1000.
The men wear traditional shorts and a blanket-cloak and the women wear a wrap-around and head cloth. They are pastoralists, particularly attached to their camels.
Day Five: Kalacha – Lake Turkana
We will depart early after breakfast and drive across the Chalbi desert to Lake Turkana which is the largest desert lake in the world and extends for 288 kilometers up to the Kenyan-Ethiopian border.
It is surrounded by volcanic rock and desert. We arrive at our semi – permanent beach village where we have our traditional Turkana huts, making it a perfect place to relax, protected from the scorching sun and heat characteristic of the climate of this remote area. Dinner and overnight stay at the village.
Day Six: Lake Turkana
Wake up bright and early as the African sun rises on the horizon, intoxicating our senses as we have breakfast. We shall spend our day relaxing. Alternatively, you may visit the local lodge for a swim or hire a boat to visit the surrounding area.
In addition, we may visit Loiyangalani and the community settled there and in the evening we can visit one of the Turkana Manyattas and indulge in traditional dances at an extra cost.
Lake Turkana, formerly known as Lake Rudolf is now named after one of the tribes who live on its shores and it is in this area that Richard Leakey uncovered the three million year old fossils of ‘Homo Erectus.
This pre historic site is now known as the “Cradle of Mankind”. The Lake is also known as the “Jade Sea” because of its remarkable blue – green color. This is a result of algae particles, which shift with changes of the wind and light, so that the water surface shifts from blue to grey to fabulous jade.
The lake is home to the largest population of Nile crocodiles in the world. If the weather permits we will take a short sunset boat ride to the surrounding areas. Dinner and overnight stay at the village.
Day Seven: Lake Turkana – Maralal
After breakfast, we journey via the Horr valley situated between Mount Nyiro and Ol Doinye Mara viewing the breathtaking scenery as we continue to climb one torturous, rocky hills to Maralal.
Near Maralal is one of the most breath taking scenes in all of Kenya – the Losiolo escarpment, an endless stretch as land drops down to the Suguta valley.
Maralal is the unofficial capital of the Samburu people and has a distinctly frontier feel about it, like something out of a ‘wild west’ movie. It boasts a colorful Samburu market and a game sanctuary that lies just outside of town.
Maralal 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 the corners of the world.
Day Eight: Maralal – Lake Baringo
We embark on our journey after breakfast and head south via Laikipia plains and Nyahururu stopping at the Thomson falls named after Joseph Thomson who walked from Mombasa to Lake Victoria in the early 1880s.
Shaped by the waters of the Ewaso Narok River, the falls plunge over 72m into a rift, spraying the dark forest below. Subsequently after lunch we will travel to Lake Baringo arriving early afternoon.
Lake Baringo is a world famous bird sanctuary and a walk around the lake offers bird lovers a chance to spot different bird species. Evening boat ride to Njemps island, the lake has schools of hippos and crocodiles. Dinner and overnight at Robert’s Camp.
Day Nine: Lake Baringo – Lake Bogoria – Lake Nakuru
Have an early breakfast then hit the road. You will be driven to Lake Bogoria, the nesting ground for flamingos. Flamingos migrate annually from Lake Nakuru to Lake Bogoria to nest due to alkalinity of the lake.
The main attractions are the hot springs and geysers. One unique mammal to encounter in the park is the greater Kudu which can only be found here. Break for lunch and not long after proceed to Lake Nakuru arriving in good time for an evening game drive.
Lake Nakuru is often referred to as a bird’s paradise because of the millions of pink flamingos found here. The lake’s view from the baboon cliff depicts a pink color due to the feather coloring of the flamingos hence the name “Pink Lake”.
The park hosts 450 million different bird species both migratory and terrestrial. The park is a world heritage site and recognized as a wetland of international importance. Lake Nakuru has over 50 mammal species and also serves as Black and white rhino sanctuary.
The park is home to the highest population of black rhino in Kenya along with white rhinos introduced from south Africa. There are no elephants at Lake Nakuru simply because of the size of the park, elephants require a large area with lots of vegetation to feed on. Dinner and overnight at the Chester Hotel.
Day Ten: Lake Nakuru – Lake Naivasha
Depart after breakfast and drive to Lake Naivasha, on arrival your driver guide will organize picnic lunches. Transfer to the hell’s gate national park where you will collect your bikes and in the company of our guide begin cycling amidst wildlife to the rangers post where we will have lunch.
After lunch we will leave the bikes and start a walking safari. Enjoy the spectacular views of the gorge including the central tower. The volcanic activity is very evident from the hot water streaming on the walls of the gorge. The guided gorge walk takes two hours.
The hot springs and a fabulous scenic landscape besides the diverse wildlife are just incredible. Walk back to pick your bikes and cycle back to the park entrance and transfer to Fish Eagle Camp for dinner and overnight.
Day Eleven: Lake Naivasha – Masai Mara
After a scrumptious breakfast transfer to lake Naivasha for a boat ride. The lake is at the highest point of all the lakes within the Rift valley, stands at 1800 meters above sea level and it is a freshwater lake. The lake has schools of hippos and abundant bird life most notably the fish eagle.
Depart and travel to Masai Mara; lunch en route at Narok town. Shortly afterwards continue with your journey; enjoying scenic features on the way. Upon arrival You will be ushered to your respective tents.
Embark on an action filled evening game drive as you explore the most famous wildlife reserve. The world renowned Masai Mara is famed for the millions of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras that cross the Mara river forming the wildebeest migration spectacle. Dinner and overnight at the at a budget tented camp.
Day Twelve & Thirteen: Masai Mara
Spend two days enjoying game drives in the best reserve in Kenya. We will have full day game drive, alternatively we can opt for morning and evening game drives. After waking up we will converge at the dining area for a full breakfast. Your safari guide will liaise with the cook so as to organize for your picnic lunches.
Head out in search of wildlife. Masai Mara has an exceptional population of big cats, herds of elephants, zebras, resident wildebeest, antelopes and gazelles can be encountered among others and bird life is also plentiful. Masai Mara game reserve offers a very high chance of spotting all the big five.
Spend the whole day game viewing which includes a visit to the Mara river where you will find crocodiles lazing around. One has the option to visit the Masai village or go for an early balloon ride at an extra cost. Another option is to return to the camp by four o’clock and after having a cup of coffee or tea head out for an escorted walking safari with a masai warrior. Dinner and overnight at a budget tented camp.
Day Fourteen: Masai Mara – Nairobi
Pre breakfast game drive; depart the camp by 6:30 A.M and this will give you the opportunity to view the African sunrise and you will also get the chance to spot any game species you might have missed on your previous game drives.
Return to the camp where your full breakfast will be served. Bid farewell to the staff and friends. Depart the reserve and you will be driven back to Nairobi; lunch en route arriving in the afternoon. Drop off at a hotel or the airport where the best lake Turkana camping safari ends.
End of Services.
- Transport in a customized safari van with a pop up roof ideal for game viewing .
- Park entrance fees.
- Meals as described in the itinerary.
- Budget accommodation.
- Services of an English speaking driver guide.
- Complimentary Bottled water 1 Litre per person per day.
- All government taxes.
- International airfares.
- All expenditure of personal nature such as telephone calls, hard drinks, soft drinks and laundry.
- Travel Insurance.
Know Your Parks, Reserves & Lakes
Samburu game reserve is the most popular wildlife gem of the northern frontier. The Reserve occupies an area of 165 km2. The driving distance from Nairobi is 350 km. The reserve lies on the northern bank of Uaso Nyiro River, which flows from the Kenyan highlands to Lorian swamp, the river serves as the only source of water that sustains wildlife.
Samburu game reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the lioness, made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie “Born Free”.
Samburu’s topography is composed of river Uaso Nyiro, scattered acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation.
There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several species are considered unique to the region, including its unique dry-country animal life.
All three big cats, lion, cheetah and leopard, can be found here, as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos, Olive baboon, gerenuk, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala, waterbuck, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and over 350 bird species.
The Marsabit National Park is a national park and nature reserve located at Mount Marsabit in northern Kenya, near the town of Marsabit. It is located 560 km north of Nairobi in Marsabit District in Eastern Province and its reserve is noted for its zebra population and bird sanctuary.
On the road south from Mount Marsabit to the rocky plains of Shaba, Michael Palin describes passing extraordinary Strangler figs in the mountain-top forest, a stark contrast to the dusty track below which is lined by low, flat-topped acacias.
The area is home to Sociable Weaver birds, which can be identified by their neater, tidier nests; Sparrow Weavers, with their “scruffier” nests; and white-bellied turacos.
Lake Turkana formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley, with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia. It is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. The climate is hot and very dry.
The rocks of the surrounding area are predominantly volcanic. Central Island is an active volcano, emitting vapors. Outcrops and rocky shores are found on the East and South shores of the lake, while dunes, spits and flats are on the West and North, at a lower elevation.
Due to temperature, aridity and geographic inaccessibility, the lake retains its wild character. Nile crocodiles are found in great abundance on the flats. The rocky shores are home to scorpions and carpet vipers. Although the lake and its environs have been popular for expeditions of every sort under the tutelage of guides, rangers and experienced persons, they certainly must be considered hazardous for unguided tourists.
Lake Turkana National Parks are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Sibiloi National Park lies on the lake’s eastern shore, while Central Island National Park and South Island National Park lie in the lake. Both are known for their crocodiles.
The Lake Turkana area is regarded by many anthropologists as the cradle of humankind due to the abundance of hominid fossils.
Lake Baringo is one of the Rift valley lakes located north of Lake Nakuru, The lake has a surface area of about 130 square kilometers (50 sq miles) and an elevation of about 970 meters (3,180 ft). The lake is fed by several rivers, El Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel, and has no obvious outlet; the waters are assumed to seep through lake sediments into the faulted volcanic bedrock. It is one of the two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley in Kenya, the other being Lake Naivasha.
The acacia woodland has a lot of bird species. The lake also provides an invaluable habitat for seven freshwater fish species including the Nile Tilapia, which is endemic to the lake. Lake fishing is important to local social and economic development. Additionally the area is a habitat for many species of animals including the hippopotamus, crocodile and many other mammals, amphibians, reptiles and the invertebrate.
In addition to bird watching walks and boat trips, with the guidance of a professional ornithologist, the lake offers a range of activities which include fishing, water sports (ski, wind-surfing), camel rides, day trips to the nearby Lake Bogoria National Reserve or visiting a Njemps village, where you can get to sample the local handcrafts and dances.
Lake Bogoria covers an area of 32 square kilometers (12 sq miles) and lies in a trough below the Ngendelel escarpment, a shear wall 600 metres (2,000 ft) high. The lake is geothermically active on the western shore, with geysers and hot springs. The geologist J.W. Gregory described the lake in 1892 as “the most beautiful view in Africa''. Lake Bogoria was formerly known as Lake Hannington.
The lake is dominated by the countless hot springs which pour boiling water into the sterile lake. Sterile, except for the massive flocks of Lesser Flamingos that flood into Bogoria each year. Millions of flamingos have been recorded at peak season; during this period the lake serves as an ideal breeding location.
The lake is alkaline, feeding blue-green algae which in turn feed flamingos. Raptors such as Tawny eagles prey on the flamingos. The reserve has a herd of the relatively uncommon Greater Kudu. Other large mammals include buffalo, zebra, cheetah, baboon, warthog, caracal, spotted hyena, impala and Dik diks.
Lake Nakuru is one of the alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley. The lake is also known as “Pink Lake” or Africa Bird’s Paradise. It is ideally located in central Kenya within Lake Nakuru National park. The park occupies an area of 188 km2 while the lake occupies an area of 62 km2.
The lake is famous for the millions of flamingos that flock the lake although flamingos are unpredictable birds and are not always to be found in such vast numbers. From the baboon cliff the lake looks pink in color due to the flamingos. The topography at Lake Nakuru consists of grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, acacia woodlands and a forest made up of euphorbia trees.
There are two species of flamingos namely lesser flamingo and greater flamingos, they feed on algae, which flourishes due to the warm alkaline waters of the lake. Apart from flamingos other bird species include ducks, pelicans, cormorants, plovers, vultures, eagles, and buzzards.
Lake Nakuru has over 50 mammal species which include hippos, reed bucks, water bucks, rothschild giraffes, baboons, black and white colobus monkey, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, lions, gazelles and impalas among others.
Hell’s gate is famous for its natural hot geysers, eagle and vulture breeding grounds, visitors have the choice of driving, walking, camping, cycling and rock-climbing within the park. Horseback safaris can also be arranged. The landscape has several iconic vistas which include Fischer’s tower, formerly a volcano’s plug, the central tower and Njorowa gorges.
Two extinct volcanoes: Olkaria and Hobley’s are worth a trip. Natural steam vents rise from fissures in the volcanic rock. Obsidian, a striking black glassy rock formed from cooled molten lava is a feature of this landscape. Game to view includes: buffalos, Masai giraffes, elands, coke’s hartebeest, gazelles and antelopes
A haven for ornithologists and rock climbers, the cliffs of hell’s gate are breeding grounds for vultures, verreaux’s eagles, augur buzzards and thousands of swifts; 103 species of bird have been recorded in the Park.
Lake Naivasha is at the highest elevation of all the Kenyan Rift valley lakes standing at 1,890 meters (6,200 ft). The lake is fed by two rivers namely Malewa and Gilgil rivers, and has no visible outlet. The lake covers an area of 140 km² but this varies annually due to the rainfall. The lake has an average depth of 8 meters and it is a freshwater lake.
Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea, known as the yellow fever tree. These forests abound with bird life, and Naivasha is known as a world class birding destination.
The lake has schools of hippos and many bird species are found here. The most common is the fish eagle. A wonderful way to spend the afternoon or morning is to take a boat ride.
The world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve is the best game-viewing reserve in Kenya. It has been voted two years consecutively as the best game reserve in Africa by the world travel awards. This reserve offers you the best chance to view the big five.
The “Big Five” (lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) may be spotted here, and more than a million wildebeests and zebras migrate annually to Masai Mara from the parched Serengeti plains of neighboring Tanzania (The Great Migration). Large numbers of ungulates are also easily visible; they include the wildebeest , thomson gazelles, grant gazelles, buffalo’s, rhinos, impalas, topis, elands, zebras, giraffes and duikers.
They camp at the river bank for weeks just waiting for one of them to have the courage to jump into the river and cross over and they all follow suit. The river is infested with crocodiles where many wildebeest perish and also big cats place themselves strategically so that they can pounce on young and weak wildebeest and make a kill.
The common predators include the lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, jackals and foxes. Masai mara has over 450 identified species. Some common birds include the common ostrich, secretary bird, Kori bustard, hornbills, storks, eagles and vultures.
The masai mara game reserve is owned and run by the county government of Narok which is the richest county council in Kenya due to the revenue collected as park entrance fee. Part of the masai mara which is called the mara triangle is contracted out and privately run. Park fees are paid by the number of nights one spends in the mara conservancy.
- Do not Litter the park/reserve.
- Do not feed the animals, i.e. monkeys or baboons.
- Do give the animals the right of way and do not disturb wildlife.
- Do not take any plant or animals remains, dead or alive.
- Do not start fires or throw cigarettes in the parks/reserve.
- Do stay in your vehicle except at designated viewing points.
- Do not shout, laugh loudly, honk or play loud music as this will keep away the animals.
- Do not provoke any animals; it’s dangerous.