Kenya safari: expedition to Lake Turkana

A real journey with the Financial Times to the far north of Kenya

Where
Kenya
When
June to August
How long
10 nights
How much
From £5,390 PP
why
A REAL ADVENTURE; OFF THE BEATEN TRACK; PROPER WILDERNESS
staying in
WILDERNESS CAMPS; FLY-CAMPING UNDER THE STARS

There is arguably nowhere in Africa where you can undertake as authentic and expeditionary a safari as here in Northern Kenya.

Travelling with the Financial Times, Rod put together this proper journey - away from any crowds and into areas of extreme natural beauty.

Head up to the far desert north and the near-mythical Lake Turkana – only discovered in 1888 despite being Africa’s 5th largest lake and having a shoreline longer than Kenya’s coast – home of millions of crocodiles, monstrous Nile Perch and varied wildlife, both fossilized and present. Driving off the fertile Laikipia Plateau everything becomes an increasingly parched and it takes a mind-shift to imagine anything survives in this otherworldly moonscape sustained by a jade sea. But survive it does with both the familiar (zebra, buffalo, gazelles, hyena) and esoteric (Tiang, Heuglin’s Bustard) eking out a living.

Running an expedition such as this requires a particular skill set and a fair amount of kit – other vehicles encountered are few and far between so self-reliance is essential. The camps themselves are stripped-down affairs – camp beds, dome tents and a basic drop loo and bucket shower – the focus here is very much the journey and much of the time spent gazing out over the ever-changing landscapes interspersed with surprising revelations, tens of thousands of sandgrouse alighting out of a clear blue sky to drink from a desert oasis, encounters with minute yet proud tribes or fossicking for meteorites.

A journey to Turkana is something else altogether, a glimpse of where we came from and where we may be going, no longer overlords but subjects of creation, careful with water and other species, knit closer to each other under the burning sky.”

- FINANCIAL TIMES

REQUEST A DETAILED ITINERARY

LAIKIPIA PLATEAU

TIME IN THE WILDERNESS

Part one of the expedition delivers you into the expert hands of, Steve and Annabelle Carey, owners of Laikipia Wilderness Camp and experts in this type of safari. Walking is the camp speciality where you can arrange anything from a half-day jaunt out of camp to a full multi-day mobile safari. Walking safaris in Kenya and especially in this area are sublime - being on private land you can do whatever you host permits including walking, swimming and fishing. The feeling of freedom is palpable. 

The wildlife in this part of Kenya is stunning with appearances from many of the star attractions; lion, leopard, elephant, wild dog and buffalo. 

LAIKIPIA PLATEAU

STRIKE OUT & SLEEP OUT

During the three nights staying at Laikipia Wilderness Camp you will have the opportunity to walk out of camp to a beautiful spot where you'll find everything you'll need for a night sleeping out under the stars. Excellent preparation for the nights to come. 

LAIKIPIA PLATEAU

DESERT SPECIALISTS

An endangered Grévy's zebra - a desert specialist surviving on the semi-arid grasslands in Northern Kenya with isolated populations also in Ethiopia. 

Current estimates are not more than 2,700 are left in the wild, 120 in Ethiopia and the remainder in Northern Kenya - by contrast there are approximately twice as many critically endangered Black rhino in Africa. 

Grévy's zebra are the largest living wild equid and can survive five days without water. 

Lake Turkana

CAMPING UNDER THE STARS

After driving north to Loinginlani and setting up camp on the shores of Lake Turkana. Pictured you'll see the camp and the "safe" swimming area - inexplicably, yet reliably, free from crocodiles.  

LAKE TURKANA

SUNSET OVER CAMP

"As the stars brightened, we lined up camp beds on the beach and wriggled into our covers." 

Financial Times

LAKE TURKANA

COOL WATERS

On arrival in camp, we headed straight for the cool, jade waters of Lake Turkana, all the children shreiking with excitement after our journey from Laikipia. Local fisherman watched on. 

Sibiloi National Park

THE CRADLE OF MANKIND

At the entrance to Sibiloi National Park, there is a sign that says "Welcome to the Cradle of Mankind" and in the absence of any people, there is a real sense of wild obscurity. The landscape is characterised as semi desert and is the home to archaeological sites that have contributed more to the understanding of human evolution than any other site on the continent. 

Chalbi Desert

Oasis in the desert

The two expedition vehicles traversing the Chalbi desert, East Africa’s only true desert - the sandy floor of an ancient mega-lake. Chalbi means Salt in the local Gabra dialect and much it is covered with a thin white salt crust.

As the journey went on the four boys had become expert riders of the 4x4 and knew better than to ask if we were nearly there yet.   

Marsabit National Park

GREEN WITH GREAT GAME & BIRDS

Marsabit Crater Lake – the black specs on the far side are a herd of buffalo. Although rarely visited Marsabit National Park is very beautiful and, did you know... was the location of Africa’s first ever wildlife documentary,  shot by Osa & Martin Johnson between 1924 and 1927. 

Marsabit National Park

BUFFALO FROM THE SKY

This area is beautifully green and the lush grass attracts large herds of elephant and buffalo. Photographed from the sky, you'll see this large herd grazing on the shores of Marsabit Crater Lake. 

DEPARTURE

CHASE THE HORIZON

"Our travelling had changed us all; we were fit from walking, quick to notice, unbothered by bugs and intrigued by the bush, not fearful of it. Taking turns on the shaded side of the vehicle and sleeping out were natural now. We were accustomed to the gulfs of the night, to the yelps of jackals and the yodels of hyenas, to the day rising in crimson and silver, to exchanging night stories around the morning fire."

Financial Times 

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+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Rod Tether
Rod Tether

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

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Anonymous

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"We are repeat customers and NH never fail to deliver an exceptional trip. They understand exactly what we want to experience and tailor the adventure using accommodation that suits us and fabulous guides. The advice is sound and backup there if necessary."

Ruth Maxwell AH

Enjoyed EVERY second of an action- packed two weeks in Kenya. Asante Sana👏

"This was my fourth safari booked with Natural High and, as previously, it surpassed my expectations. Vanessa’s Itinerary was spot on - the three camps were very different but all were spectacular with food to die for, wonderful staff, friendly, knowledgeable and great driver/guides. I could go on and on - it was perfect, and the icing on the whole trip was tracking, and finding a pack of Wild Dogs - the reason for going😃
Already saving for a 5th trip and will DEFINITELY book with Natural High - they are the Best!"

Julie Baxter VJ

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"They picked out good places to stay that fitted the criteria. Very thoughtful and attentive. They called back and they sent emails with suggestions."

Anonymous

Morroco was a pleasant surprise

"This was certainly not our first trip with natural high.
As any other trip, organization was great, ie pick up, vehicles, local guides, food, all well done.
I now have a different opinion of the country and people."

Don and Bernice Willoughby RT

 

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