Culture is a way in which people live and every human being has a culture that they identify with whether modern or traditional. Lake Turkana cultural festival is a thrilling adventure to the arid part of northern Kenya along the shore of Lake Turkana in Loiyangalani, Marsabit County.
Lake Turkana Cultural festival 11th edition will be held from 28th to 30st June. Loiyangalani is a native Samburu term meaning a place of many trees which I believe the place was named ironically since the place is almost bear with very few trees. Loiyangalani is the native home of Elmolo an almost extinct tribe due to their assimilation with the Samburu and Turkana. Elmolo is linguistically related to Samburu and they share the same language.
Lake Turkana festival is one of the memorable events in the Kenya tourist calendar and it is organized by the county government of Marsabit, local community festival committee, Kenyan Tourism Board, and National Museum of Kenya and Kenya Wildlife Service. The event aims to promote cultural diversity, peaceful co-existence and boost tourism. This year’s theme will be: “Promoting Tourism, Cultural Diversity, and Social Inclusiveness.”
The event will feature unique performances and cultural traditions of 14 ethnic communities which live in Marsabit County: El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanatch, Gabra, Borana, Konso, Sakuye, Garre, Waata, Burji, and Somali. The El Molo, who live on shores of Lake Turkana, is one of smallest communities in the country and it is threatened with extinction.
Million years old fossils from Koobi Fora national reserve will also be displayed during the festival. Some of the fossils of the first human beings were excavated by Dr. Leakey at Koobi Fora hence naming Marsabit county as the cradle of mankind.
Going to the festival via Marsabit is nothing but a breathtaking adventure that leaves many mouth-opened since its an opportunity to enjoy beautiful sceneries of mount Kenya around Nanyuki down to Samburu lodge through harsh desert to Marsabit national park the home of famous elephant Ahmed that roamed the forest for 56 years before since date in 1998., you won’t miss catching a glimpse of brown African elephant, gazelles, Giraffes, and some bird species. From Marsabit town, you will drive down the slopes through the Chalbi desert to Lake Turkana the largest permanent desert lake in the world. Lake Turkana is known for the large population of Nile crocodile and wild goats that can be spotted on the central island.
For the tourist in search of luxury, flying there would be a few minutes noble alternatives but for those visitors wishing for a road trip adventure via Marsabit or Thomson falls and Samburu plains would be the noblest idea offering you a great test of the serene Kenyan Countryside environment.