Turkana or Bust!

On April 19, 2016 by keirobyn
First view of Turkana!
First view of Turkana!

[March 2016] And then there was one, car that is.  People started dropping out of our Turkana expedition almost daily in the week before our trip.  Maybe it was the heat?  (Hot season in the hottest part of Kenya during a heat wave – yikes!).  Maybe it was the distance?  (1500 kms on the border of Ethiopia)  Maybe it was me?  (Not possible – right?)

Anyways, we had originally intended to travel with three cars ‘for safety’ (breakdowns, bandits, etc..).  By the time we left we were two cars.  By the time we got to Turkana we were one car! Todd, along with one car, had to turn back due to Malaria.  Having come so far, we were reluctant to turn around before heading north up the lake to Sibiloi National Park, so Maciej, Mouse, Zoë and myself headed off in my not so ideal car.  Up until south Turkana, the road had been dirt but not so bad.  After we set off, we  could barely find a road at all.  No gas, no water, no track, no people for hours, no one who even spoke Swahili.  We often drove for an hour or two wondering if we were heading in the correct direction.  A break down would have been catastrophic.  I fully expect parent of the year award for this one!

Anyways, we didn’t get lost, and we didn’t break down, and we did have have suitably adventurous trip.  The people around the lake looked straight out of a National Geographic magazine – several different tribes including the Turkana and Samburu with fantastic traditional costumes.  They didn’t like pictures being taken, so I only got one picture, for which I got told off!

It was hot!  I didn’t wear a shirt for about 4 days.  We often woke up at 3am in the morning in a pool of sweat.

Todd got diagnosed with Malaria at a clinic on the way out of Nairobi.  He took the meds and we hoped he would feel better.  We stopped first in Samburu where we saw cheetah, leopards and of course lots of elephants.   Todd, Ryan and Mouse stayed in Samburu to give Todd some rest time. While Maciej, Zoë and I headed to Marsabit National Park, where we were enjoyed the crater lakes and the general remoteness of the place.  From there we met the rest of the group and drove to south Turkana, where Todd and Ryan decided they’d head back to Uganda (I’m glad they made it to the lake!).  The rest of us headed up to Sibiloi – a full day up, two days there and a full day back.

My shocks got completely destroyed on the trip up to Sibiloi and the car sounded like it was going to completely come apart on the 600kms of washboard road to Baringo.  Fortunately for us, it made it, though it spent an expensive week at the mechanic upon our return.

We spent our last couple of days in Baringo where we stayed with Mouse’s dad and had a day fishing on the lake – a pleasant end to our trip.

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