Make a journey to the Jade Sea; come home to the place we stemmed from!
Marsabit County is the last frontier in Northern Kenya. On its western side is Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in Africa. The eastern shores of the biggest permanent desert lake offer untamed landscapes of volcanos, deserts, islands, shorelines, and forested mountains inhabited by a multitude of pastoralist peoples of diverse traditions. The cultural diversity of Samburu, Turkana, Rendille, El Molo, Dasanach, Gabbra, and other tribes is hard to find anywhere else. Each tribe has their own traditions, customs, and attires that make it distinct and interesting. But the eastern shores of the lake including Loiyangalani, Elmolo, and Illeret area hold many more attractions – such as the largest collection of rock art in Eastern Africa, the forest covered biosphere of Mount Kulal, Teleki Crater or South Island National Park. The lighthouse attraction of the Treasure is Koobi Fora inside Sibiloi National Park, often named as the Cradle of Mankind for its spectacular archaeological findings of early man.
Cultural Festival: Marsabit – Lake Turkana Cultural Festival 2016
Marsabit County has a rich rock art heritage consisting mainly of rock engravings dating back over 5000 years.
There are three main rock art sites. Sarima located between Loiyangalani and Kargi, Marti located between Loiyangalani and Mt Kulal, and Afgaba located along the northeastern edge of the Chalbi desert.
Most of the rock engravings in the area consist of animals, such as elephants, giraffes, and Kudus and ancient images and symbols that tell us more about the history of the region.
It is believed that at least some of the rock engravings were made by the hunter-gatherer Ndorobo people who were forest-dwelling. When waiting for the animals at the water points where they started hallucinating and would end up drawing arts resembling animals they hunted. Archaeologists have concluded that as little as a thousand years ago large areas of this now arid landscape were still forested, which explains why the art depicts wild animals who do not live in the habitat any longer.
Arok is a very experienced lake Turkana tour guide that has been doing tour guiding activities in Lake Turkana for over 19 years. Arok started tour guiding since he was a young boy in Loiyangalani locality. He has also worked with Kenya national Museums as a tour guide at UNESCO heritage site, Kobi Fora for three years after which he started a tour guide club that helps to boost eco-tourism activities in the region.
How to get there
Getting to Loiyangalani has been made easy by the newly constructed road by the Wind power company (Civicon). The road connects Loiyangalani to the newly tarmac Isiolo-Marsabit Highway at Laisamis 2 kilometers from Laisamis town. The road connects Illaut and Loiyangalani on the border of Samburu and Marsabit counties. Another route is from Maralal town via South Horr to Loiyangalani. The area can also connect by air for chartered planes.