Lodwar

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Lodwar is the capital of the Turkana District which lies within the Northern Rift Valley region of Kenya.


Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Fly-540 and ALS now operate daily flights Wilson Airport. You can book online or at the airport while in Nairobi. Also the two companies have opened booking offices in Lodwar town. The ALS have their offices near or next to the Naipa Supermarket while Fly540 is near the Africana Hotel or Eldoret Express bus service booking offices. Charter aircraft can also be hired in advance for drop-off and pick-up at the landing strip near the center of town. Lodwar only has an airstrip with only one curio shop outside the gate of the airfield. Please don't expect any kind of duty free shops. Organise cab pick ups from the airfield with the company's offices as they have contacts of trusted individuals who own cabs for town service. For aircraft owners, please check your KCAA AIPs and Amendments on the airfield details.

By train[edit]

There is no train service at Lodwar.

By car[edit]

From Nairobi to Kitale (which is the transit point to Lodwar) is about 6 to 8 hours and the road conditions are not bad. From Kitale to Lodwar, most of the tarmac roads have either been swept away by seasonal rivers or have deteriorated due to neglect. Don't drive to Lodwar unless you have a Land Cruiser or something similar. After Kapenguria (a small town) there are very few villages and if you car breaks down you will have to wait for days. You'd better use a bus or fly.

There are no service stations or rest areas once you enter Turkana district from the south until you reach Lodwar. Do not travel by night, and beware of bandits.

The road to Lokichokio is in excellent condition (which is interesting, since roads south are very poor). This road is in reasonable condition because of the number of NGO's in Loki. Lokichokio was the base for the aid and relief effort for Sudan and Ethiopia. Near Loki is a refugee camp. Do not travel to Loki unless you have a good reason or if you are part of a NGO.

By bus[edit]

There are several bus services from Nairobi to Lodwar but the main, and probably safer, ones are;

Dayah Bus - From Nairobi ( Eastleigh ) to Lodwar directly charges- 2100ksh (variable with seasons).

If you are not going direct you can connect in Kitale. Nairobi to Kitale is around 1000ksh depending on the bus and Kitale to Lodwar is also about 1000ksh. Don't bother to ask when the bus is leaving, you will be told 'very soon'. It leaves when the bus is full. Nowadays, most travelers from Nairobi will leave Nairobi at 7am and still catch the bus at around 2pm in Kitale, so if you are travelling without a lot of luggage you can opt for this since it saves on accommodation hustle in Kitale. One thing that you can't avoid on these public buses is overloading and exorbitant luggage charges, please be prepared for this to avoid disappointment!

By boat[edit]

There is a boat service at Kalokol on Lake Turkana, 50KM from town, for travel to Sibiloi Game Reserve. Contact Jade Sea Travels for boat hire.

Get around[edit]

A lot of people choose to go around town by foot, since it's quite small. You can spend under 2 hours going round the whole town. This makes it unnecessary to look for transport to take you around the town! For those who want to get out of town, there are taxis available and boda boda to move from village to village since there aren't any established suburban areas within the town. You can also opt to get a double cabin car at a an average cost of kshs.6000 per day Template:Year 2012. My advice if you are a tourist is to just try walking around the town (though the temperatures are always high [~35deg.]).

See[edit][add listing]

There are no real designated tourists sites within Lodwar town but one can choose to visit one of the detention houses that was used for imprisonment of the First President of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his fellow freedom fighters during the British Colonial era. The current sitting of the District Commisioner offices also is a visitable site. The offices currently being used were used by the first District officer in Turkana and was the named 'White House' at the time (citation and correction needed). There is also a history that a plane was downed or crashed in Lodwar (no official information) before the 90s and the crew were burried near Lodwar Primary School. A propeller head and shaft displayed on the District commissioner's office front wall people claim was that of the ill-fated aircraft. The crew were white, it is said. Outside town, you can also choose to hike the highest hill, Mlima Lodwar as the locals call it, for some photo shoots of the town. On your way to Kalokol you can also visit Namortung'a (a Turkana word meaning people made of stone) stone site. California market is also an area where one can visit to understand the kind of lifestyle that thrives in this place apart from the town centre life. The basket market can also be a good place to collect souvenirs of your trip.

Do[edit][add listing]

Browse the basket market in town. Turkana district is known for intricately woven baskets ranging in size from minute to 100L (25 gallon) size. Women at the market hawk wares such as brooms, baskets, makekas (woven sleeping mats), beads, and tire sandals.

Learn[edit]

There are a lot of education facilities that can be utilized by those who wish to stay longer, ranging from baby care centres, primary schools, secondary schools, polytechnics and a university. There are also two libraries owned and run by the Diocese of Lodwar though under direct supervision of Lodwar Parish. For local language lessons, you can choose to talk with the locals or visit Lodwar parish headquarters bookshop for more detailed information where they can offer guidance on how to get a teacher.

Work[edit]

Opportunities arise occasionally depending on the needs of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in the area, including OXFAM-GB, World Vision, Practical Action, SNV, MSF, MERLIN. Most of the inhabitants are self employed in small scale businesses.

Buy[edit][add listing]

All basic needs can be found within the town centre from retail shops, grocer shops, supermarkets or whole sale shops.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Natural salted fried fish is plentiful, also ensure you taste a local meal called federation, the delicious nyirnyir and the Local fruit called eng'ol. There are many eating places and hotels, you can sample them to suit your choice, the good thing is some of these hotels are open the whole night.

Daily budget for one person on food: kes2000 is enough.

  • Eliye Springs Resort,,Eliye, (50kms of lodwar), [1].  edit

Splurge[edit]

There is nothing really you can splurge on. Lately people have complained of the food and catering cost when they visit Eliye springs. I recommend you gtake plenty of cash when you visit the place or take something with yourself your trip.

Drink[edit][add listing]

All types of drinks can be easily found, there are some local restaurants and resort clubs as well as liquor stores which offer all types of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks at a lower rate.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

A private developer is in the process of setting up a gated community with several state of the art commercial offices and maisonettes with a swimming pool on the Nawoitorong-kerio road, offering business offices and accommodation to diplomats, high ranking officials, tourists and NGO staff who visit Lodwar and who would like to stay in town while enjoying the night view of the whole town from a distance.

For now you can just stay at one of the lodgings or guest houses in town. I suggest you ask the locals for direction.

Budget[edit]

Good lodging can be found for less than kes1500 per night and sometimes as cheap as kes500 per night. Town service taxi cost depends on the distance covered. a one bedroom rental house can range from kes3500 to kes7000 and a two bedroom house starts at around kes10000.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Contact[edit]

For up to date interaction, look up on other social media for more information by just searching the name of the town.

Stay safe[edit]

Don't walk the streets at night, as this will invite unwanted attention. It is best to hire a guide if you intend to do any exploring within the city. This city is not really a tourist mecca, and thus, does not have any real tourist infrastructure.

Cope[edit]

Get out[edit]

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