- Kenyans need to shift their sights to other far-flung and unknown locations, explore untapped exotic locations for half the price but with the same experience.
- Lake Turkana is not only the world’s largest permanent alkaline desert lake but also one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see.
The festive season is officially here and the script in Kenya is the same, different cast same script.
Year in year out the script is always the same; Kenyans would drop everything to have another go of ‘Mombasa Raha’ be it during the Easter holiday or Christmas and New Year festivities.
Kenyans seem to be powerless to say no to another umpteenth trip to Mombasa to have fun and enjoy the Sun, Sand, Sea and even Sex.
For a week the Kenyan coast would be populated with ‘watu wa bara’ (Inland residents) who would let everything loose and forget everything in the spirit of ‘Kula Raha Kifo Chaja’ more specifically You Only Live Once (YOLO).
Jackline Cherop, a tour and travel expert, however, argues that the script is starting to get boring and going to Mombasa is getting outdated. She is of the opinion Kenyans need to shift their sights to other far-flung and unknown locations, explore untapped exotic locations for half the price but with the same experience.
Also read: How Kenyans got hooked to the bewitching beauty of Mombasa, mouthwatering pilau, and intoxicating pombe ya mnazi
One such beautiful and exotic place is Turkana.
“I don’t know why people go to Mombasa and they don’t want to go to Turkana and you can find all the nice beaches in Turkana too,” says Cherop who is the founder and the managing director of Densey Tours and Travel company.
Here are all the fun places you can visit in Turkana.
Lake Turkana is not only the world’s largest permanent alkaline desert lake but also one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see.
Known as the Jade Sea, because of the remarkable, almost incandescent, the colour of its waters caused by algae in bloom, this single body of water is over 250 kilometres long- longer than the entire Kenyan coast.
Lake Turkana is a sight to behold and teems with wildlife ranging from flamingo, crocodile to a variety of fish.
The largest population of Nile crocodiles in Kenya reside here in this lake.
Also read: These 6 beautiful lakes found at the floor of Kenya's Rift Valley will blow your mind away and are a must visit before you die
And that’s not even all it has an active crater, what can seriously beat that?
While here you can lose yourself in all manner of fun activities ranging from sports fishing, sailing and Island hopping.
And getting to Turkana is now as easy as ABC.
“Nowadays, there are even daily flights to Turkana and it is even cheaper than flying to Mombasa,” says Cherop.
There are also several national parks in Lake Turkana to visit and tour should you get tired of sunbathing. They include the Central Island National Park and South Island National Park where tourists can see zebras, gazelles and giraffes.
“There are places in Turkana which are untapped and still offering very pocket-friendly rates in terms of accommodation and offerings,” says Cherop.
Dubbed “The Cradle of Mankind”, Sibiloi National Park lies on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana about 800km from Nairobi.
The semi-desert ecosystem was established to protect its petrified cedar forest, wildlife and the unique prehistoric and archaeological sites linked to the origin of man.
Also read: 10 fun and memorable activities you can indulge in at the Kenyan coast
Not far away from Lake Turkana is Loiyangalani Desert Museum which was opened in 2008 to celebrate and treasure the unique cultures of the eight communities living in the area namely; Turkana, El-Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Gabbra, Watta, Boran and Dassanash (Merrille).
Koobi Fora, one of the world’s leading pre-historic sites for the study of human evolution is also found in Turkana.
Perhaps considered one of the most popular tourist attractions found in Turkana is the world-famous Turkana boy.
In 1984, the world-famous Turkana boy was found in Nariokotome, a 1.5-million-year-old, near complete Homo erectus skeleton.
playThe world-famous Turkana boy (ancient.)
A monument and a brass replica of the skeleton was recently erected and can be visited at the Turkana Boy site.
The oldest ever traced stone tools with an estimated age of 3.5 million years, is just another one of the many significant discoveries in Turkana which made it to the international headlines.
Cherop finalizes by saying it’s a shame really Turkana and the larger Northern Kenya has been neglected and overlooked for decades as a viable tourist destination.
“The government and County government also need to market new untapped markets, for years they have only marketed Mombasa and Maasai Mara and people are forgetting we have Lake Turkana beach, Samburu National Park, Taita Taveta which is very cheap and you still get the same experience,”
“Samburu too is another amazing place you can drive to, people always talk about insecurity but security has greatly improved in the area in recent years so it’s no longer an issue so people really need to start exploring these untapped markets, the Turkana’s Samburu’s of Kenya.” says Cherop.