Samstag, 14. April 2012

Turkana Tour - Trip to the cradle of mankind

To do something different we joined a group of experienced Kenya travelers. One big advantage of this trip was that we got to places we would not have reached by public transport. Another one was that we didn’t have to care about our accommodation and luggage for two weeks. This might sound funny to you but the north of Kenya has not that much decent accommodation to offer and if you share a matatu with 20 people then two big back packs really do a difference. Anyway for the last two weeks this was history.
The group arrived the first of April on Lake Baringo and we celebrated the evening with a sundowner drink, a ceremony we would stick on for the next two weeks. I think I don’t have to explain that Anna and I liked this.
On the next day we travelled from Lake Baringo to Maralal, the place we where one week before and which we did not like at all. This time it was different. We went directly to a very nice Lodge where we saw zebras and some antelopes, we got nice food and cool drinks. The difference could not have been bigger!
Day three - we drove up to South Horr, a small and very nice town within nothing and there is not much to say except we bought some sweets and therefore the local kids where singing for us.
Day for to six, our “Hinterteile” where still painless because of the very nice “Overlander” (Truck redesigned to a bus), we drove up to Loyiangalani. We stayed in the Oasis Lodge and enjoyed the pool. We visited a museum and the el Molo, a Tribe which had only 300 people left some years ago! Nowadays they mix with other tribes and they grow but still they live like they ever did. Unfortunately they wanted an outrageous price to show us their village and we refused to pay that much. Of course they know that they are somehow a “rare species” and they think the “tourists” will pay every price. This time not! And I think the spokesman of the village later on really got big trouble not to accept our price because the kid’s and some women’s followed us to the nearby beach where we stopped to swim and where some of our group bought souvenirs and of course we told them we would have bought so much more if we had come to the village ;-)
Day seven to nine we drove up to east turkana national park, the root of our species! This is the place where they found all the petrified skeletons of all the different homo types and therefore they could conclude the human origin. To give you an idea how remote this area is: There is no Mobile Network, no electricity, it’s dry, windy, full of stones and driving 40 kilometers takes you 2.5 hours. Some (many many) years ago this place must have been a very nice forest with a decent shore, a lot of wildlife and the first homo sapiens sapiens walking around. WOW!
Day ten we drove east to North Horr, laying at the north end of the very quick growing chalbi desert.  It’s a town with 15’000 habitants, the people wear the same clothes as we do, they have Nike shoes and you would not imagine that they have no electricity, no public transport to any other town and water only comes from some drilling holes…
Day eleven we drove to Marsabit, our first stop three weeks ago when we drove down from Moyale (Ethiopian Border). This time it was raining and the whole city was just a mud hole.
Day twelve we drove down to archers post. Last time it took us about 5 hours, this time we had 11 hours because first our truck got stuck in the mud. After pulling it out with a trucker we continued our way but could not pass the road where two other trucks just stuck one beside the other. We also tried to help to get them out but it did not help, they stuck. The only thing we could do was waiting until the muds dried a little bit and try it again. This time it worked out and all the vehicles waiting in both directions also could continue their journey. Late evening we arrived at our very very very nice lodge!
Day thirteen we went for a game drive (Safari) in the nearby Samburu National park and we could not stop taking pictures! Orix, Elephant’s, Lions and even a Leopard! This was a real exceptional game drive and we where more than lucky to see so much game (animals)!
Day fourteen was our last day and we drove (for the others back to, for us towards) Nairobi. The environment got greener every minute, the buildings bigger and bigger and we finally arrived. It was like entering a new world!