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Kenya Lake Turkana Festival
12 days
Kenya - Trip code KLT

Kenya Lake Turkana Festival

On this adventure we meet the 10 tribes of Northern Kenya as they come together to celebrate their culture at the annual Lake Turkana Festival. We will see amazing dancing, singing, storytelling and learn about their way of life as they promote peace and prosperity in the region. We go in search of lion and elephant in Samburu Game Reserve, spot hippos in Lake Baringo and see majestic rhino and huge numbers of flamingo in Lake Nakuru. We also spend two nights in a lodge run by the Samburu people to go walking with warriors.

Trip highlights

  • Local life - Experience a Kenyan festival featuring 10 tribes from the Lake Turkana area
  • Lake Turkana - Spend time on the shores of this beautiful lake - known as the Jade Sea
  • Safari - in the savannah lands of Samburu National Reserve
  • Samburu people - Stay with the community in their lodge
  • Lake Nakuru - Search for black and white Rhino
  • Kenya - incredible contrasting landscapes from the Rift Valley to desert in the north
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Full on
Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a-block full of new experiences as possible!
Group Size:
8 - 12
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Trip starts in Nairobi

Join trip in Nairobi. Depending on your flight arrival time there may be a chance to explore the city.

Accommodation: Longview Suites(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Drive to Samburu National Reserve, afternoon safari

This morning we leave Nairobi early and drive north for 6-7 hours; skirting the soaring snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya as we make our way to Samburu Game Reserve. We will stop at a scenic spot en route for a picnic style lunch so that as we soon as we enter the reserve we can go on our first game drive. Samburu is in a sandy arid area that is rich in game due to the Ewaso Nyiro river that dissects the reserve and creates a green oasis of acacia trees. On our safari this afternoon we will look out for lion, elephant and leopard, all of which are regular sightings here. Our accommodation this evening is a small tented camp ideally situated in the reserve.

Accommodation: Sentrim Samburu Tented Camp(or similar)

Standard Tented Camp
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 - Morning safari and drive across savannah to Sabache community run lodge

We rise with the sun this morning and head out on a game drive to explore the park whilst the temperature is cool and the wildlife is still active. Samburu is well known for its population of rarer species such as gerenuks, Beisa oryx, imperial zebras, reticulated giraffes and Somali ostriches. Sticking close to the river we are likely to see large numbers of hippos and crocodile and then as we move out to cross the open plains cheetahs are a special sighting. Leaving the reserve we make our way to Sabache, a community owned tented camp located at the base of a sacred mountain. The camp is run by the Samburu people, a semi-nomadic pastoralist society that are related to the Masai and profits from tourism are used to support community led initiatives and conservation projects.

Accommodation: Sabache Community Camp(or similar)

Standard Tented Camp
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 - Walks, birdlife and exploring with the Samburu people

Sabache is set in a private reserve which boasts a vast array of birdlife, ancient cycad forests and many rock art sites, all of which can be explored today with local guides. Other options include a visit to the Singing Wells, where local Samburu sing as they extract water from the wells, and to hike up the sacred mountain of Mount Sabache with Samburu warriors. Today is a day to spend with the Samburu and to learn about their way of life as we discover this peaceful area. Very close to our camp is the Samburu Lion Project, a locally led conservation cooperative that works with local communities to protect lions and depending on the schedule of volunteers we will try and organise a visit to this special place. All activities today are optional and can be organised and paid for locally.

Accommodation: Sabache Community Camp(or similar)

Standard Tented Camp
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 - Drive to Loyangalani to start the Lake Turkana Festival

Heading north we drive for around 4 hours to Lake Turkana to see the start of the festival. For the last decade different ethnic groups of the Turkana region have come together to celebrate their traditions, differences, songs and to promote peace in the region. The tribes in attendance this year are the El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanach, Ghabra, Borana, Konso, Wata and Burji. The different groups all arrive at the festival site today so we will see them setting up and starting their different rituals of preparation.

Accommodation: Malabo Resort(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - Full day at the festival

We spend today at the festival and will have a full day of events where we will see the different tribes competing against each other in boat races, running races, football matches, fashion shows, musical performances and of course lots of dancing. We will be able to try a host of different local foods, as the communities show off their cooking skills and secret recipes passed down from generation to generation. There are also workshops and presentations from local politicians and tribal elders. The highlight for many festival goer is the party this evening, also known as the 'desert disco', your chance to try out some of the dances we have been seeing all day.

Accommodation: Malabo Resort(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - Closing of the festival, free time for activities on the lake

As the festival winds down we will spend the day enjoying the different activities on offer. It is possible to take a boat ride out on Lake Turkana to search for birds and crocodiles, visit a desert museum or take a trip to an El molo village which features shrines where the locals pray for fish, rain, fertility and the strength to kill a hippo! For those wanting to cool off from the heat of the desert our lodge has a swimming pool for a chilled afternoon. There will also be closing celebrations at the festival which we will see and say our goodbyes to the communities that have hosted us during our stay.

Accommodation: Malabo Resort(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - Scenic drive down to Maralal

Leaving Turkana we make our way south for a long but beautiful full day's drive down to Maralal. The terrain is bumpy but the change in scenery during the drive is at times spectacular; as we leave the dusty desert of Turkana behind and start entering the green hills of the Great Rift Valley. Our destination for the night is Maralal, a sleepy town which is used by most travellers as a stopover as they wend their way south.

Accommodation: Samburu Guest House(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 - Morning drive to Lake Baringo, boat trips and nature walk

We continue our journey south this morning to our lodge on the shores of Lake Baringo. Arriving by lunch time, we have the afternoon to explore our beautiful surroundings, refreshingly green after the time spent in the arid north of the country. The lake is a paradise for bird lovers with over 500 species recorded in the area, these can be seen on one of the many walking trails, led a local expert. There is also the option of a special after dark walk to spot the resident nocturnal birdlife including nightjars and owls. For those who fancy a more relaxing afternoon boat rides can be taken to look for hippos and see the hot springs on Ol Kokwa island in the middle of the lake. Though undoubtedly the best way to lower the heart rate is by sitting in our camp this evening with a cold drink watching as the huge African sun disappears behind the western escarpment. All activities this afternoon are optional and can be organised and paid for locally.

Accommodation: Sandai Resort(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10 - Drive to Lake Nakuru National Park; game drives looking for rhino

Driving for a few hours this morning takes us to Lake Nakuru National Park, another of Kenya's Great Rift Valley lakes, probably most famous for the vast number of flamingo that feed here. We will spend the afternoon on safari in the park and apart from the flamingo our main focus here is for rhino, Nakuru has strong population of white rhino and if we are lucky we will glimpse a black rhino too. Rhinos were reintroduced in the 1980s and the park has been a shining light in conservation of these majestic beasts, with a breeding program that has enabled other Kenyan parks to be repopulated. We will climb the escarpment of the park, enabling us to see the lake in full and the green acacia forest that line the shore. Tonight we will stay at a tented lodge outside of the park.

Accommodation: Punda Milias Nakuru Camp(or similar)

Standard Tented Camp
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11 - Travel back to Nairobi, optional safari or tour of Kibera

We make our way back to Nairobi today, stopping at viewpoints over the valley until we reach the capital. The afternoon is free but there is the option of visiting Kibera, a large slum area where life for many is tough. However there are some residents who are focussing on empowering the people of Kibera and we can meet them as they take us out in the town. This tour is about meeting people who have incredible stories and finding out how they live their lives and how they are helping others in the area through empowerment, education and employment. There is also the option of a safari to Nairobi National Park, probably the only reserve in Africa where you can see game against a backdrop of a major city. This evening will be a chance to go out in one of the many restaurants in Nairobi for a final group dinner.

Accommodation: Longview Suites(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 12 - Trip finishes in Nairobi

The trip finishes this morning after breakfast.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Why book this trip

We are the only UK operator offering trips to the Lake Turkana Festival and this really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet isolated tribes from the north of Kenya.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 11
  • Lunch: 10
  • Dinner: 9
Transport
  • Truck
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
Accommodation
  • 7 nights standard hotel
  • 4 nights standard tented camp
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Kenya Holidays & Tours

Climate

Although Kenya lies astride the equator, annual rainfall over most of the country is surprisingly low and varies from year to year. Temperatures over much of Kenya are subtropical or temperate, similar to those in California or southern France in summer. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. Additional information and climate charts can be accessed at http://www.explore.co.uk/weather. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. Up-to-date information on the weather worldwide can be found by following the BBC weather link on this page.

Time difference to GMT

+3

Plugs

3 Pin Flat

Religion

Christian, Protestant, Roman Catholic

Language

Swahili, English

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

Sabache: Mount Ololokwe Trek - 1500Ksh pp; Cultural Tour - 1000Ksh pp; Singing Wells visit 5000Ksh pp; Lion Warriors program 7000Ksh pp. Walking trails and Briding and Wildlife viewing - no extra fee Loyangalani: Lake Turkana Boat Ride - 3000Kshpp; El Molo Village visit - 2000Ksh; Desert Museum - 1000Ksh pp; Oasis Lodge swimmining pool - 1000Ksh pp; Rock Art with guide - 1000Ksh pp; Turkana Village visit - 2000Ksh pp Baringo: Lake Baringo Boat trip - 3000Ksh pp (maximum group size 8); Nature walk - 500Ksh pp; Eco Project walk - 500Ksh pp; Bird Walk - 400Ksh pp; Ruko community Wildlife Trust visit - 500Ksh pp

Clothing

Clothing should be lightweight, however, a warm sweater, a fleece and a wind/water-proof jacket are also advisable for early morning game drives. Please also bring a towel.

Footwear

Light walking boots/comfortable walking shoes, trainers and sandals.

Luggage

15Kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage (a kitbag or soft holdall) plus daypack. Total allowance: 33lb/15kg maximum (due to size & weight restrictions on our truck). Please note that it is important to keep within these restrictions. The limit does not include your camera equipment.

Equipment

A head torch, water bottle, sunhat, high factor sunscreen and baby wipes are recommended. Binoculars are useful as is a telephoto lens.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour. Accordingly you should allow approx. £40 for gratuities for local crew.
Country Information

Kenya Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£10
Dinner price
£13
Beer price
£1.5
Water price
£1
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Kenyan Shilling.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
You should take the majority of your spending money in US Dollars cash. Please be aware that any notes issued before 2002 will not be accepted.
Where To Exchange
Banks or 'Forex' offices in main towns/cities. Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
Cash can be drawn on credit cards from ATMs in Nairobi.
Credit Card Acceptance
Accepted in larger hotels only.
Travellers Cheques
We do not recommend taking travellers cheques

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Truck

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

Kenya: Visas are required for UK, New Zealand, Australian, US and Canadian citizens. Although visas are available on arrival, we recommend obtaining them prior to departure in order to avoid long queues on arrival. For a single entry visa you must apply via the e-visa website: evisa.go.ke. You will need to print a copy of your evisa and present this with your passport at immigration upon your arrival. Must present your evisa letter within 3 months of it being issued and you will be permitted to stay within Kenya for upto 90 days. For any other visa you must apply via your nearest Kenyan Consulate. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Non refundable permits

Kenya Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Following the advice given by the Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we strongly recommend the wearing of long sleeved shirts and the liberal application of insect repellent as a precautionary measure to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. These precautions should be taken at all times as the mosquitoes are also active during daylight hours. Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against yellow fever, malaria, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. . Please note you are required to produce a valid yellow fever certificate on arrival in Kenya if you have spent 10 hours or more transiting through an endemic country.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option

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