Past Travels
Travel Pictures



 This eight days round trip is highly recommended to travelers who do not want to restrict themselves to game tracking and do not have an all-weather vehicle. In view of the fact that there is no public transportation and that the area is off the beaten track, it is not adviseable to do it on your own. In some areas it is essential to have enough food supplies and to know the tribal languages. Our trip was done in the opposite direction, because there was another  travel group and some camps do not offer enough space and facilities. Afterwards, we all were of the opinion that it was much better the way we did it because this saved us the highlight of the whole trip, Samburu National Reserve, for the final days. One more thing: everybody has to participate in the daily works, unloading and loading the truck, erecting and dismantling the tents, preparing food, dish washing. Within our group this worked out perfect.

1. Day: from Nairobi to Maralal

We all met in the morning for the first time in the office of the tour operator Gametrackers, downtown Nairobi. Nine travelers from different countries, a guide, a cook, and a driver. Our vehicle was a thirty years old discarded French troop carrier – briefly spoken, we did not have any breakdown. After we had left the town we drove towards Thomson Falls were we did not spend too much time. Our first overnight stay was in Maralal.

Our vehicle

Looking down into Rift Valley

Thomson's Falls

2. and 3. Day: Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf)

Today’s destination was already Lake Turkana (previously Lake Rudolph, 6405 skm) in the North of Kenya. The closer we came to the lake the more scarce the vegetation became. We took first sight of camel herds and of other typical steppe animals: austriches, zebras, and antelopes. We had a longer stop in South Horr and strolled around. From here onwards it was advisable to keep the camera in the pocket because some tribes would get very aggressive about it. Late afternoon, after passing through lava desert barren of vegetation, we arrived at our camp on the shore of Lake Turkana. We would spend the next two nights in straw huts. The lake is populated by nile perch weighing over 100kg - unfortunately they are not endemic, and responsible for the fact that other fishes have been eliminated (because eaten by them). And it is also territory of thousands of crocodiles. Despite the hot weather it was better not to take a bath but to restrict oneself to cooling hot feet at the lakeshore. The soda-containing water supplied our open air shower cabins but it was a little bit hard to get used to. Because of its ingredients, there was always the impression that the skin was still soaped.

Lava desert at lake Turkana

Lake Turkana

Our hut campsite

In the morning we visited the El Molo, a fishing tribe who had seeked refuge on a small island several months ago. A Gabbar tribe coming from Ethiopia had attacked them and killed lots of their members. They were now waiting for protection which was assured to them by the Kenyan government. In the afternoon we drove to the biggest village in this region, Lojangalani, which is dominantly inhabited by Turkana people and where we later had a chance to take a bath in the pool of an abandoned package tourist hotel. In the evening we had arranged for a dance show by Turkana people. I am usually not a fan of something like this, but this event was different from what I had seen before: it seemed to me that a whole village had arrived on the scene, and that they did not take any notice of us while dancing. It appeared to be very authentic.  

Bald eagle


El Molo fisherman

In the El Molo village

Fish slicing for drying

The village Lojangalani

Turkana boy

Our escort in Lojangalani

Turkana dance

4. Day: Kalacha

We went further towards the Ethiopian border and had a stopover in North Horr. In the center the village elders were sitting under a tree which did not provide much shade. They more or less ignored us, others kept distance and examined us with suspicion. I would have liked to stay here longer, this dusty place was very athmospheric. How interesting it would be to speak their language and to surmount this barrier. In Kalacha camp there was a small pool which was obviously owed to the presence of some missioners. I went for a walk with Njambi, a Kenyan woman and tour participant.

With Fata Morgana

Huts in Kalacha

Landscape around Kalacha

5. Day: Marsabit

Passage through Chalbi desert: sandy with oasis, and eventually salty. We spent the afternoon at a lodge in the national park and from a distance we observed elephants, buffaloes and the ever-present baboons. In the evening, masses of baboons appeared in our camp and climbed up into the trees however, some of them tried very aggressively to grab something to eat.

Salt desert

Austrich, Zebras, Antelopes

Old crater

Observing animals in Marsabit National Park

6. and 7. Day: Samburu National Reserve

Today we headed to Samburu National Reserve where we would spend the last two nights but on the way we were forced to have a stopover at a police station. Another car which came from the opposite direction warned us about a suspicious road block made of thick tree branches severeal kilometers further. Banditry is not rare in this area, so it was wise to have the current situation checked first. After we were assured that everything was fine we continued our journey with higher speed and without foto stops. Finally, we also passed the road block safely. Not far from the national reserve we visited a Samburu village (seemingly very familiar with tourists), and finally we arrived. It normally was about a thirty minutes drive to our camp but as we drove along we were favored by fortune and we had the chance to see a lion (female of course) chasing an Impalla antelope. So time passed by and we arrived at the camp shortly before darkness. The campsite was ideally placed. Directly at the shore of a river, we enjoyed observing crocodiles, marabus, elephants, and hornbills.

Near the road barrier

Samburu board game

With plastic flowers

Samburu woman

Samburu village

First sight of game in Samburu National Reserve

Impala Antelope

Crocodile and Marabu

A lion starts hunting

Impala Antilope, supposedly the victim

Cautiously drawing closer


Proceeding to attack

The young bull didn't like us

Young bulls at their showdown

Evening mood in the Camp

The next day we went through the park and saw the whole diversity of wildlife. In the evening while we gathered together at the campfire I heard some deep grumble. Since no one else showed any reaction, I did not think anything of it. Minutes later I heard this again and finally it startled up our guide. It doubtlessly was the solitary old bull elephant, whom we had seen on the other side of the river earlier this evening. Our camp was obviously situated on his trail however, he preferred to walk around us. Sometime in the night I had to go to the toilet which was erected amidst some bushes, with a small path running through to it. I thought what might happen if the old boy was suddenly standing in front of me. He then really came at 5 am on his way back and walked through our camp with a grumble. He was not the only one though, a lion also went through. No good times for early birds.

Our camp

Small antelope

Water buck



Giraffe antelope

Many camouflage nets


Nile crocodile




Old elephant bull, still on the opposite side



8. Day: back to Nairobi

On the last day there was not anything thrilling happening. Our truck got tormented on the way up the steep roads to the highlands. Unfortunately Mt. Kenya, 5200 m high, was covered in clouds, so there was not much to see except for some rock face and snow fields. On a market we had a good opportunity to buy souvenirs other than industry made. Bags which were produced on site were very much appreciated.

Actually, we were a very heterogeneous troop. It must be mentioned however, that contact was always friendly, considerate and helpful. I developed a very good relationship to Njambi who currently lives in Bangkok. We spent much time together, and I plan to visit her in the near future.


After I had said Goodbye to my friends who live in Nairobi, I flew to Zanzibar and spent there another week. The first few days I stayed in Stonetown, and had three days left for the beaches in the north of the island. You can see some pictures here.


Back to:          Preface           1. Day          2. and 3. Day          4.Day          5. Day          6. and 7. Day                   

Stand: 26.08.09