Loiyangalani, Lake Turkana

The dusty and small road winds on, and eventually I find my way to the new wind turbine station built in the high hills surrounding the lake. I’m told this station was built in less than a year, which is a huge achievement given how massive it is. There must be hundreds of individual turbines slowly rotating in the wind.

lake turkana wind project jeep 720x480

Wind turbines dominate the hills on the side of the lake

lake turkana 720x480

The lake on the horizon

When I crest a rise and see the lake for the first time it is an impressive sight – it’s absolutely massive, and is dotted with a few rocky islands. The shoreline is all rock, and extremely barren.

lake turkana shore 720x480

The shoreline is rocky and rugged

jeep lake turkana views 720x480

Loving the lake views

As I drop down to lake level and continue North on the mostly rocky track I’m staggered to see locals living in this extremely harsh environment. They are living in round huts, and fishing appears to be their main food source. The lake is famous for having the highest density of crocodiles anywhere in the world, though the fishermen are not deterred and wade up to their chests retrieving nets.
I wonder how many of them are killed each year.

bfg ko2 rocky 720x480

The BFG KO2 tires continue to take the abuse well

jeep rocky road 720x480

Rocks and more rocks

The town of Loiyangalani is a literal oasis is the desert, built around a warm spring seeping from the rock. Palm trees abound in stark contrast to the intensely hot and dusty rocky surroundings.

loiyangalani camping oasis palm camp 720x480

Camping in the oasis at palm shade camp

In the early afternoon a local walks me around the village, showing locals dressed in traditional clothing. He explains there are three main tribes living here who used to fight a lot, but these days every is peaceful.
The land is so harsh and unforgiving many people die of starvation each year, though helpfully an NGO fixed up the water source from the spring so there is ample clean drinking water to go around.

loiyangalani native ladies 320x480

Traditional clothing

loiyangalani ladies 720x480

A different tribe’s traditional clothing

I believe gas and diesel are available here from drums, though after moving the 13 gallons from the titan into the main Jeep tank which is now full to the brim, I’m confident I have enough to reach my destination.

loiyangalani town 720x480

The town of Loiyangalani

loiyangalani hut 720x480

Hut in the desert

-Dan

6 Responses

  1. Terry Nicol says:

    The terrain is otherworldly!

  2. CB says:

    Spent some time about a decade ago working with the Turkana clans along the Kerio River southeast of Lodwar, thirty (30) or so miles west of Loiyangalani on the west side of Lake Turkana. We constructed drip irrigation systems for the local families. Extremely unforgiving area of Kenya – especially when the rainstorms fill the dry riverbeds, making them uncrossable – even with a 4×4.

    The windpower development project is a huge bonus for Kenya, hopefully some of the power is distributed locally to the northerners, and not just all funneled directly to Nairobi for distribution.

    Good luck and godspeed.

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hey CB,

      Thanks for the interesting background. I passed a survey team who said they will pave the road all the way to Loiyangalani soon.
      I imagine it already looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, and it’s soon to change again!

      -Dan

  3. Jesse says:

    Good Dan..you take is out of this world.really adventurous..
    My I know where did you camp at loiyangalanyi? Love the palm trees would love to visit same place.

Leave a Reply to Terry Nicol Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

My Bolt 6' Cable Lock keeps everything on my rear bumper safe using the Jeep ignition key. From $33.52 on Amazon