West of Lake Turkana Travel Guide

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Richard Bascom

If you want to really explore the attractions west of Lake Turkana, you need your own 4-wheel drive vehicle. You can get a matatu to Lodwar from Kitale, but you’ll miss everything along the way, and you may not be able to get to the shore of the lake from Lodwar.

You can make your way up to Lodwar by going through Kitale, or by making your way through the Cherangani Hills. There are many routes through the hills, most starting from Iten. From Iten, travel north, then veer left across the hills to join up with the main highway to Lodwar around the town of Kapenguria. Bring a good map and ask for directions along the way. There are some spectacular views in the Cherangani Hills, and if you have time you can hike around for a few hours.

About 70 km north of Kapenguria lies the Marich Pass Field Studies Center (# (0321) 31541). It’s a beautiful spot on the Weiwei River where you can get some food, or if you’re taking your time on the way up to Lodwar, to stay the night. You can camp here for KSh 200, get a dorm bed for KSh 250, or stay in a double banda for KSh 400.

Just north of Marich Pass is Turkwel Gorge, the largest hydroelectric project in Kenya. The gorge and dam are impressive for African standards, but nothing too spectacular if you’ve seen it before. You can also get a room at the station, although it’s expensive.

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