Islands of Turkanaelephant

8 Days Lake Turkana Expedition via Chalbi Desert, Lake Turkana, Lake Turkana & Samburu Safaris

8 Days


Lake Turkana, also known as the Jade Sea, runs for more than 250 kilometers to the Ethiopian border and is known for the extraordinary, almost incandescent color of its waters, which seem startlingly blue and green. The park, which includes Sibiloi National Park, Central Island National Park, and South Island National Parks, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
The finding of fossils at the Koobi Fora site, which is at the heart of the Sibiloi National Park, a location of stunning beauty and petrified prehistoric woods, has confirmed this expanse of water in the Rift Valley in the north-west of the country as one of the ‘cradles of mankind.’

Three main islands, several smaller islets, and reefs dot the park’s emerald seas, which are continuously buffeted by unpredictable winds capable of creating huge waves.
North Island, which is home to deadly snakes, Central Island, and South Island, both of which are National Parks, are the three main islands.
Central Island is known for three active volcanoes that spew smoke and sulfurous steam, as well as three breathtakingly gorgeous lakes: Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake, and Tilapia Lake. Their various colors – blue, green, and brown – are most likely attributable to the water’s depth and chemical makeup.

DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 2 hours before departure
Extensive Game drives Pre-tour itinerary document All meals included while on safari
All applicable Game Park entrance fees Guaranteed window seating with an open-top Safari vehicles carry cold drinks and mineral water
Finest accommodations Round trip transport in 4×4 safari jeep Multi-lingual Professional Safari Guide/ Driver
Communication expenses
Guide gratuity


Day 1: Nairobi – Maralal

Pick up from your hotel as early as 0630am after early breakfast then We depart heading to Maralal via Nyahururu (stop at Thompson falls briefly for lunch. After lunch proceed up north where we step in on the murram road which becomes bumpy as we proceed on the north. The drive normally takes not less than 8-9 hours to get to Maralal, on arrival we will check in Sunbird Hotel which is just within Maralal town for refreshments. Maralal is the unofficial capital of the Samburu people and has a distinctly frontier feel about it. It is also home to the Maralal International Camel Derby that happens once a year between July and October and attracts riders and spectators from all over the world.

Overnight at Sunbird Hotel

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 2: Maralal – Lake Turkana

After breakfast, we start the long journey driving via Baragoi and South Horr to arrive at our semi-permanent beach campsite where we have our traditional Turkana Huts (if still available; if not we pitch a 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. Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world and extends for 288 kilometers up to the Ethiopian-Kenyan border surrounded by volcanic rock and desert.

Overnight at Loiyangalani Bandas

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 3: Lake Turkana

The day is spent relaxing and you may visit the local or hire a boat to visit the surrounding area (at an extra cost). In addition, we may visit Loiyangalani and the community settled there while in the evening visiting one of the Turkana Manyattas [optional] for traditional dances at an extra cost if clients wish. We can even visit the Elmolo tribe which is the smallest tribe in Kenya and have a good time with them. Turkana, formerly L. 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 Erect-us.’  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 take a short sunset boat ride to the surrounding areas.

Overnight at Loiyangalani Bandas

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 4: Lake Turkana – Kalacha

After an early breakfast, we cross the Chalbi desert (if dry) via North horr towards Kalacha. If it has rained, we shall use another route avoiding the desert. Kalacha is a small settlement on the edge of the Chalbi Desert inhabited by the Gabbra people (pluralists particularly attached to their camels). We enjoy an evening sunset, swim at the campsite, or watch a Gabbra performance in the evening (optional cost) (windy night).

Overnight at Kalacha Camp

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 5: Kalacha – Marsabit

Break camp in the early morning as we head south towards Marsabit (meaning place of cold); an astonishingly cool, green, and hilly oasis rising high above the dry heat of the surrounding desert lands. En route, we stop to enjoy views of the massive Gof Redo crater and desert landscape. The area is home to the local Rendille and Samburu people abundant in their bright red outfits, beads, and earrings. This will be a cold night. After setting up camp, we visit the lodge inside the National park and as long as the roads are dry, we drive up to Lake Paradise and Little Lake. Here, an indigenous forest and a desert come together to create the most compelling landscape on earth. Elephants and greater kudu abound. The dense forest in the park is also home to a variety of birds.

Overnight at Marsabit Hotel

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 6: Marsabit – Samburu

Depart early morning along the trans-African highway towards Samburu with lunch en route. Afternoon game drives at Samburu National Reserve. Accommodation is in our semi-permanent campsite, beautifully set under a canopy of trees or we may pitch tents on the edge of Ewaso Nyiro River (meaning Brown in Samburu) if they are occupied. Cold showers are available which are amazingly refreshing in the hot, dusty climate.

Overnight at Samburu Sopa Lodge

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 7: Samburu Full Day

The day is spent game viewing in the park. Samburu is part of a lava plain that includes a diverse landscape of thorn scrub, red dirt, dried river beds, broken volcanic rock, steep hills, and rocky outcroppings, some large enough to be called mesas. The region is home to the uncommon Grevy’s zebra with huge fury ears, gerenuk antelope standing on hind legs to feed, Somali ostriches with distinct blue legs, and the shy Oryx. Elephant and crocodile are guaranteed sightings, excellent bird watching with numerous varieties of weaverbirds and the martial eagle. Leopard sighting is also a special feature here though we have to search for it especially in the morning when hunting for its meals, you either spot it early in the morning or in the afternoon because most of the day, it spends its time under the rocks or trees to shed its self from the hot sun.

Overnight at Samburu Sopa Lodge

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 8: Samburu – Nanyuki – Nairobi

Early Morning game drive as early as 0600am, then return to the camp for the main breakfast, thereafter check out the Camp and proceed back to Nairobi with a stopover for lunch in Nanyuki. After lunch leave for Nairobi arriving late afternoon with a drop off in your hotel or residential house.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch

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