Earth : Africa : East Africa : Kenya : Northern Rift Valley : Lodwar
Flights are available from Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Charter aircraft can be hired in advance for drop-off and pick-up at the landing strip near center of town. Fly-540 and ALS now operates daily flights from Jomo Kenyatta Airport and Wilson Airport respectively. You can book online or at the airport while in nairobi, also note that the two companies have opened their booking offices in lodwar town. The ALS have their offices near or next to the Naipa Supermarket while Fly540 near the Africana Hotel or Eldoret Express bus service booking offices. Be aware that Lodwar only has an airstrip with only one curio shop outside the gate of the airfield, please dont expect any kind of duty free shops. For Cab pick ups from the airfield, please liase with the company's office to organise the service for your convinience since they have contacts of trusted individuals who own cabs for town service. For aircraft owners, please check your KCAA AIPs and Ammendments on the airfield details.
There is no train service at Lodwar.
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 awayby seasonal river or have deteroriated due to neglect. Don't drive to Lodwar unless you have a landcruiser or something close to that. After Kapenguria (a small town) there are very few vilalges and if you car breaks down you will have to wait for days. You'd better use a bus or a flight.
There are no service stations or rest areas once you enter Turkana district at the south until you reach Lodwar. Not recommended to 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 also a refugee camp. Do not travel to Loki unless you have a good reason or if you are part of a NGO.
There are several bus services from Nairobi to Lodwar but the main ones ( and probably safer ) are;
Dayah Bus - From Nairobi ( Eastleigh ) to Lodwar directly charges- 2100ksh (variable with seasons).
You can also connect two buses. One from Nairobi to Kitale at 1000ksh depending on the bus and another one from Kitale to Lodwar at 1000ksh. Dont bother to ask when the bus is leaving, you will be told very soon. It leaves when the bus is full. Nowdays, most of the people from Nairobi will always leave Nairobi at 7am and still catch the bus at around 2pm in Kitale, so if you are travelling without alot of luggage you can opt for this since it saves on accomodation hustle in Kitale. One thing that you cant miss on these public buses is overloading and exhorbitant charges on the luggage, please be prepared on this to avoid disappointment!
There is boat service at L. Turkana, Kalokol (50KM from town) for travels to Sibiloi Game Reserve. Contact Jade Sea Travels for boat hire.
Alot of people always choose to go round the town by foot since its way too small, you can do less than 2 hours going round the whole town this makes it insignificant to look for a transport to take you round the town! For the casse of those who want to get out of town, there are taxi available and boda boda that people use to move from villages to villages since there arent any established estates within the town. You can also opt to get a double cabin car at a an avarage cost of kshs.6000 per day Template:Year 2012. My advice if you are a tourist please just do some foot work and try walking round the town though the temperatures are always high at 35deg.
There are no really 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 office being used currently were used by the first District officer in Turkana by the name white house (citation and correction needed). There is also an history that a plane was downed or crushed in Lodwar (no official information) before 90s and the crew were burried near Lodwar primary School, there was also a propellar head and shaft that is displayed in the District commissioner's office front wall that people claim was that of the ill fated aircraft, the crew were whites as 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 and on your way to Kalokol you can also visit Namortung'a (a Turkana word meaning people made of stone) stone site. Carlifornia market is also an area where one can choose to visit to understand the kind of lifestyle that thrives in this place apart from the Town centre life and lastly the Basket market can be a good place to collect some of souvenir for your trip.
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.
There are alot of education facilities that can be utilized by those who wish to stay long, this can range from baby cares centres, primary schools, secondary schools, polytechnics and a university. There are also two libraries owned and runned by Diocese of Lodwar but under direct supervision of Lodwar Parish. For local language lessons, you can choose to use the natives or visit Lodwar parish headquarters bookshop for more detailed information, atleast they can offer guidance on how to get a teacher.
There are available occasionally depending with Human resource needs of NGOs. Non Govermental Organizations operating in this area include OXFAM-GB, World Vision, Practical Action, SNV, MSF, MERLIN to mention but afew. Most of the inhabitants are self employed in small scale bussinesses.
All basic needs can be found within the town centre from retail shops, grocer shops, super markets or whole sale shops.
natural salted fried fish is in plenty,also ensure you taste a meal locally called federation not forgetting the delicious nyirnyir and the Local fruit called eng'ol. There are alot of eating points and hotels, you can sample them up to suit your choice, the good thing is some of these hotels are operation the whole night.
There is nothing really you can spurge on. Oflate people have been complain of the food and catering coast when they visit Eliye springs, i recommend you get alot of cash before you go visit the place or carry yourself something for your trip.
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.
There is a private developer in progress of setting up several state of the art commercial offices, massionates with swimming pool in the Nawoitorong-kerio road, which will be offering bussiness offices and accomodation to diplomats, high ranking officials, tourist as well as NGOs staff who visit Lodwar and are willing to spend night in town while enjoying the lighting view of the whole town from a distance and it will be a gated community within itself.
for now you can just check some of the lodgings and guest houses within the town, i suggest you ask the locals for direction.
Daily avarage for one person on food stuff kes2000 is enough. a good lodging one can get at less kes 1500 per night and upto as cheap as kes 500 per night. town service taxi cost depends with distance covered. a one bed roomed rental house can range from kes3500 to kes7000 and a two bedroomed at a starting figure of kes10000.
For upto date interaction, look up on other social medias for more information by just searching the name of the town.
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.