8 Days Lake Turkana, Chalbi Desert and Samburu Camping Safari
Tour Code: TAS 78

At a glance

The northern frontier part of Kenya is a wild and rugged area that is described as the "True Wilderness Frontier". Home to the nomadic Samburu nomadic group, the expansive Chalbi Desert, a highly scenic paradise for photographic enthusiasts and a region with colorful cultural nomadic people and experiences.

Experience the very best of the True African Wilderness! and the exclusive Northern "Big Five" - being the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx.

Detailed trip itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi to Maralal

Depart in the early morning stopping at the viewpoint just outside of Nairobi. Depending on weather conditions; you will be able to spot Mt Longonot and Suswa in the far distance rising from the Rift valley floor. We continue northwards and make a brief stop at Nyahururu (option to visit Thompson falls briefly). Approaching Maralal; we drive alongside the Mugie conservancy where you may spot elephants, zebra, gazelles and giraffe from the roadside.

We arrive in the campsite in the late afternoon to pitch up tents for the night at the Maralal safari lodge camp grounds. (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.

Main activity: - scenery, animal “spotting”. Pitch up camp; basic dome-tent with shared washroom.

Optional activities: - entry fee into Thomson falls viewing platform. In Maralal: - guided nature walks with trained and experienced guides in the sanctuary

Days 2: Maralal to Lake Turkana

After breakfast, we begin a long but scenic drive towards the “Jade Sea.” Just outside of Maralal we make a brief stop at Malasso viewpoint on Losiolo Escarpment; to enjoy the stunning scenery. Etched with gorges, peaks and plains, a barren sun-bleached patch in the horizon is the valley of Suguta and beyond that is the very faint blue of Lake Turkana. We continue towards South Horr and Baragoi to arrive at a campsite in Loiyangalani in the late afternoon. Pitch tents; a perfect place to relax, protected from the scorching sun and heat characteristic of the climate of this remote area.

Main activity: - scenery, Pitch up camp; basic dome-tent with shared washroom.

There is the option to upgrade (at an additional cost) to cool traditional “bandas” complete with beds/ private washrooms.

Days 3: Lake Turkana

The day is spent relaxing and exploring the 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.

Main activity: - scenery, cultural experience, pitch up camp; basic dome-tent with shared washroom.

Optional activities (payable direct) include: - visiting the Desert museum, enjoying a swim at the nearby lodge, hire a boat to explore the lake in search of crocodiles visit to el Molo/Turkana villages and exploring Loyangalani town. Return to the campsite for dinner and overnight.

Boat ride to South Island national park or Nabuyatom Crater. The journey to South Island National park is approx. 1 hours ride each way. Please note that boat rides are subject to wind and lake conditions on the day.

Days 4: 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).

Main activity: - scenery, sundowner sunset over the desert, cultural experience.
Overnight in basic “banda” accommodation; shared washrooms.

Optional activity: - visit a Gabbra Village in the evening. Guided tour to view rock paintings and carvings can be found in a canyon near waterhole. Pitch up camp; basic dome-tent with shared washroom.

Days 5: Marsabit National Reserve

Break up 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. This will be a cold night.

After setting up camp and as long as the roads are dry we drive up to Lake Paradise and Little Lake (seasonal). Here, an indigenous forest and a desert come together to create the most compelling landscape o¬n earth. The dense forest in the reserve is also home to elephants, kudu, water buck and a variety of birds.

Main activity: - Scenery, culture. Pitch up camp; basic dome-tent with shared washroom. Optional activity: - Walk around Marsabit town; market day is particularly vibrant.

Days 6: Samburu National Reserve

Depart in the early morning along the Trans-African highway towards Samburu. Lunch en route and arrive Samburu National reserve in time for an afternoon game drive.

Accommodation in a campsite, beautifully set under a canopy of trees or we may pitch tents o¬n the edge of Uaso Nyiro River (meaning Brown in Samburu) if they are occupied. Cold showers are available which are amazingly refreshing in the hot, dusty climate.

Main activity: - Scenery, Game drives in Samburu National Reserve

Days 7: Samburu National Reserve

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). The more adventurous can enjoy a swim in the natural hot spring in nearby Buffalo springs (depending on road conditions).

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 and Oryx. Elephant, crocodile and numerous bird make excellent sighting.

Main activity: - Game drives
Optional activity: - visit a Samburu village; local lodge for a swim/ cool drink

Days 8: Nairobi via Nanyuki

Depart camp after breakfast viewing game as we drive back to Nairobi via the Central highlands. We make a short stop at Nanyuki town for you to buy some refreshments and just after the town stop at the equator sign for a photo opportunity just before crossing back into the southern frontier. Depending on the weather; look out for views of Mount Kenya.

Arrive Nairobi in the late afternoon. Drop off at your hotel. End of services

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions

Tour Inclusions

  • Transport and exclusive use of fueled safari vehicle (4x4 land cruiser)
  • Services of an English speaking driver/ guide and cook (2 crew)
  • All campsite fees
  • All camping equipment including use of our three-person tents (each tent shared by 2 people), stools, foam mattresses
  • Three meals a day while on safari whether vegetarian or non-veg
  • Game drives and activities as specified in itinerary
  • Flying doctors’ emergency evacuation cover (please provide full names & passport numbers)
  • Bottled mineral water on duration of the tour

Tour Exclusions

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities to staff (recommended)
  • Sleeping bags / blankets/ pillows
  • Optional activities e.g. visits to cultural villages [can be arranged with the guide & payable direct], activities at Lake Turkana etc
  • Hotel accommodation in Nairobi [can be arranged on request]
  • All airport/hotel/airport transfers [but can be arranged at extra cost]
  • All airport taxes and visas
  • All personal expenses and toiletries; e.g. additional mineral water, toilet paper, laundry, beverages, portage, etc.
  • Any other extras not stated as included above

Easter & Christmas Surcharges
A surcharge would be charged per person per night on Good Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Easter Monday and on 24th 25th, 26th, 31st December and 1st January. The Surcharge would be confirmed at the time of booking for clarity purposes.

For optimal enjoyment of your safari, we urge you to carry the following:
All weather firm shoe pair, short and dress to use during the day, trouser for use in the evenings with long sleeved shirt, sweater or jacket, hat, swimming costume, sunglass, camera, binocular, sun protection cream and insect repellent spray or cream.

Work with Top Africa Safaris

We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

24 hours turn around time that guarantees quick quotations and their respective itineraries

Value for money! We got a good rapport with service providers thus ensuring competetive pricing for all our products.