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GTC 2: 7 Nights 8 Days Lake Turkana via Chalbi Desert / Maralal / Kalacha / Marsabit / Samburu / Nanyuki

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Highlights: Views of Mt Kenya on clear days from its foothills, Samburu Game Reserve; home to the Gerenuk and Grevys Zebra endemic to the North, Marsabit National Park; cool, mountainous with the amazing (but windy) Gof Redo crater, The Kaisut and Chalbi deserts; enjoy the dust devils and mirages! Lake Turkana; amazing view of the Jade sea promising fantastic sunsets and dramatic scenery; The Samburu, Gabbra, Borana, El molo, Turkana, Pokot tribes, Thompson falls Nyahururu get your picture taken against the background of the rainbow-falls.

Trip Summary:

This rugged 1,800 km expedition is run in our 4wd land cruiser or expedition trucks. We will traverse along some of Africa's rough roads; see wildlife endemic to the North of Kenya, beautiful mountain forest surrounded o¬n all sides by hot dusty deserts, eventually arriving at shores of the beautiful Jade Sea (Lake Turkana) as well as spectacular scenery it is the people of northern Kenya that make the most lasting impression; nomadic pastoralists such as the Gabbra, Turkana and Samburu whose adherence to a strictly traditional lifestyle and dress is practically unique in modern East Africa.

Day 1: Nairobi – Maralal

We depart early in the morning heading to Maralal via Nyahururu (stop at Thompson falls briefly). Lunch en route as we arrive in the campsite in the late afternoon to pitch up tents for the night. (Particularly long drive; cold night). Maralal is the unofficial capital of the Samburu people and has a distinctly frontier feel about it. It is also home of the Maralal International Camel Derby that happens o¬nce a year between July and October and attracts riders and spectators from all over the world. (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 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 kilometres up to the Ethiopian / Kenyan border surrounded by volcanic rock and desert. (Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner)

Day 3: Lake Turkana

The day is spent relaxing. We visit the El molo tribe. Other optional activities (payable direct) include visiting the Desert museum, enjoying a swim at the nearby lodge, hire a boat to explore the lake and exploring Loyangalani town. Return to the campsite for dinner and overnight. (Breakfast, Picnic 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 (pastoralists 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). (Breakfast, Picnic 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 o¬n earth. Elephants and greater kudu abound. The dense forest in the park is also home to a variety of birds. (Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner)

Day 6: Marsabit – Samburu

Depart early morning along the trans-african highway towards Samburu with lunch en route. Afternoon game drive at Samburu National Reserve. Accommodation is in our semi-permanent campsite, beautifully set under a canopy of trees or we may pitch tents o¬n 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. (Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner)

Day 7: Samburu

The day is spent game viewing in the park. You may also opt to visit the lodge for a swim and cold drink or a nearby Samburu village (payable direct). 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. The region is home to the uncommon Grevy's Zebra, Gerenuk antelope, Somali Ostriches, Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Hyenas, Oryxes, Elephants, Crocodiles and numerous bird life which make excellent sighting. (Breakfast, Picnic lunch & Dinner)

Day 8: Samburu – Nairobi via Nanyuki

Depart camp after breakfast viewing game as we drive back to Nairobi via Mt. Kenya region. Arrive back in the late afternoon. (Breakfast & Picnic lunch)

NB: The above rates are subject to change without notice should necessitating factors dictate. These may be influenced by changes in government policies, intermittent exchange rates among other factors.

Above charges are inclusive of:

  • Return road transport in our customized 4x4 vehicles with pop up roof for game viewing
  • Game drives
  • Basic camping in tents on full board basis as reflected in the itinerary
  • Camping fees & a mattress
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Services of our professional chef and driver guide

Above charges are exclusive of:

  • Visa and any related fees
  • Park entry fees
  • Medical, travel & personal insurance cover
  • Drinks
  • Hire of sleeping bag (charges at KES 300 per sleeping bag per night)
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Any other item not mentioned in the inclusive list
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