Through the Rift Valley to Turkana Land
The drive up the Rift Valley past Nakuru, Lake Bogoria and Lake Baringo offers plenty of attractions and the chance to approach Turkana Land in a slow way.
In a long driving day, you can drive up from Nairobi and arrive in Kapedo before dark. Make sure you restock petrol and other supplies at Marigat and start for Kapedo latest 2pm. Rather stay at Lake Baringo overnight and start early in the morning if you are running late.
Kapedo lies at the southern boundary of Turkana Land which is shared with Baringo County. Its setting is scenic, framed by Silali volcano in the east and the foothills of Tiati Mountain to the west.
Kapedo’s major attraction are two hot waterfalls which merge with Suguta river, creating a huge natural spa with mineral water which is said to cure many skin ailments. A bath in the warm water at night or early in the morning is an absolute delight and an unforgettable treat.
Bathing in the hot water of Silali River is a cure for skin and soul, especially when you come in the early morning and the river resembles a steaming bathing tub. But first, find out about women’s and men’s time slots for bathing!
The banks of Suguta river are overgrown by an amazing dryland vegetation most beautiful of which is the desert rose.
Desert roses grow at the rocky banks of Suguta river near the hot waterfalls of Kapedo.
Accommodation: The mission station in the center offers some basic accommodation. Contacts: Full Gospel Church Kapedo Guest House, Rev. David Elim, 0728-629 758. It is advisable to book rooms in advance and preorder food. Network reception in Kapedo is weak, so better send a text.
Activities: At the mission station you also might be helped finding a friendly local guide who is happy to show you around town or take you to the surrounding hills or up Silali volcano, which takes a long and hot hiking day.
Girls fetching water from the river pass the mission school of Kapedo.
Napetakinyanga – where the crocodiles come out of the water
Further downstream, some 10km out of town, Suguta River forms a pleasant landscape with sandy beaches that attract basking crocodiles. Hence the local name of the place: Napetakinyanga or ‘where the crocodiles come out of the water’.
At Napetakinyanga, Suguta River is forming pools where the waters run still, framed by nice sandy beaches with palm and tooth brush trees, myriads of birds and basking crocodiles.
For the stretch between Kapedo and Lokori you might have to take a guard onboard as what follows behind Kapedo is a partly dusty, partly bumpy drive leading you through lonesome, rough terrain.
A given-up Landie on the barren stretch between Kapedo and Lokori. You might wait a long time for any support if you have a break down or any emergency. So make sure you drive with at least two cars.
After all the dryness in the plains and hills behind, reaching the brown waters of Kerio River offers true comfort. On the other side of the steel bridge the land opens into the northern plains – a country of completely different features but equally dry. Kerio River is the second biggest permanent stream that winds through the County to feed Lake Turkana.
The river banks of Kerio River are seamed by green trees – a true comfort for the eyes in an otherwise dry land.
Lokori Standing Stones
The standing stones of Lokori are found at the edge of Lokwii village, a few kilometres drive from the main road. Dozens of natural rock slabs are meticulously arranged in circles, some still standing, others fallen, which resemble miniature homesteads on a closer look.
According to a myth told by one of the local Turkana elders, the stones indeed are people. Once upon a time in a Turkana village there was a big festival with traditional dances until late in the night. The villagers were informed a man dressed in strange regalia would join. They were warned never to laugh at him or else something bad would happen. But when the strangely dressed man started to dance, his style was so funny that the whole village burst out laughing. Within seconds everything was quite. Everybody had turned to stone. Hence, locally the name Namorutunga of Lokori is used – Namorutunga meaning ‘Stone People’ in Turkana.
Note: Please respect this age old holy place, don’t touch the stone circles or the engravings and take your garbage along.
The Lokori Standing Stones are one of the most impressive prehistoric remnants in TurkanaLand. Several circles of standing stones mark a sacred location of TurkanaLand’s ancestors