Blogs from Turkana, Rift Valley Province, Kenya, Africa


Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Turkana December 18th 2013

We made our exit early in the morning and quickly reached the place we’d been aiming for, which irritatingly turned out to be just an hour down the road. As we entered the town a cheerful man implausibly carrying an enormous tree trunk over his shoulder greeted us, helpfully offering directions to the police station. We were a little confused by his assumption that we would wish to go there, but decided it might be wise to follow his advice and check with them about the situation on the road ahead. First though we went to have a look at the campsite, which turned out to be surprisingly lovely, situated in a shady spot on a bend in the river. The surrounding hills looked very inviting and the campsite, which seemed to be aimed mostly at ... read more
Niko at the campsite near Marich
Our guide
Spot Sam's feet...

Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Turkana June 20th 2013

Our "West Turkana" drillsite was located in northern Turkana, just off the west shore of the lake near North Island. To get there, we flew from Nairobi to Lodwar. I had been excited about having a window seat on the little plane, but a woman with a baby took it instead (and how could I make her move)? I ended up with someone else's carry-on bag in my foot space, and the baby smelled like poopy nappies for most of the flight. My disappointment at missing out on the views was slightly eased by the fact that it was cloudy for most of the flight. When we disembarked at the Lodwar airstrip, I felt like I'd finally arrived in Africa. The heat, the dust, the clamber of people on the other side of the fence waiting ... read more
Collecting bundles of firewood
Turkana women carrying their famous woven baskents
Traditional woven huts

Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Turkana March 2nd 2010

Lake Turkana ...continued... So the guy on the border was very relaxed and after our previous rather tense night it was good to feel welcome and at ease again. We waited for him to get his pants on and he made room on his little bed for us to sit while he had a quick glance at our passports and radioed something to someone on the ancient looking set stacked in the corner. 10 mins later we were good to go and so off we went, following what could barely be called a track through the low bush and into Kenya. The first stop was to be Ileret, a little village about 80km South and set back from the lake on a small, sandy hill. There we were to check in with the local police and ... read more

Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Turkana October 16th 2009

Turkana, Northern Kenya … “This is Africa!” Not sure if it stems from the residual joy of the recent election of our 44th President or the exotic, challenging allure of Mount Kilimanjaro, but going to Kenya has always been very high on my travel wish list. And now, this wish has come true! As part of my induction at Merlin ("Medical Emergency Relief InterNational"), the NGO that I have recently begun working for, I am spending the next two weeks in Eastern Africa to get a visual appreciation and a general sense of some of our programs on the field - not a bad way to integrate into a new job if you ask me! So, after a short week spent at Merlins headquarters in London, I was off again, crossing the Equator on my way ... read more
Just the basics
Merlins office in Nairobi
Self explanatory

Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Turkana August 19th 2009

Chango was literally beside himself. The old, scarlet-bearded proprietor of the Cold Drink Hotel seemed to be everywhere at once: reassuring the customers, scolding the cooks, greeting the newcomers who came through the curtained doorway. His prayer cap was askew, his myopic eyes squinted into the gathering darkness, where a few chickens scratched at the dust in the yard. The news from the kitchen was grim. First came word that there was no more fish; then the goat meat, too, was finished. “Hakuna samaki,” he said apologetically to a table of frustrated clients. “Hakuna nyama.” Chango, born Mohammed Abdi Karim, tugged at the bright red threads of his beard. He had seen a lot in his time, but the commotion this week was a first. “There has never been anything like this in Loiyangalani,” he said. ... read more
Traditional Turkana huts
A Turkana woman on her way to the airstrip
The Turkana, Samburu, El Molo and Rendille tribes greeting the Prime Minister's plane

Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Turkana November 5th 2008

There are many good reasons to go to Kenya, and normally I would not count playing cricket among them. However, when I received an invitiation from Adrian Radcliff to play in one of his Nomad matches, it was hard to refuse. Like all of the Nomad cricket matches, this one would be special - played on the shore of Lake Turkana, in remote northern Kenya, to raise money for a local school and health clinic. So I jumped at the opportunity. Of course, the best reason to visit anywhere is to meet people you like and admire, and when you return to a place where you have lived for three years, it is a chance to catch up with those people that made your stay in the country special. In Kenya, there are many such people, ... read more
Dawn at Athi River 2
After dinner chat
Livingstone & Stanley

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