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Lodwar

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Lodwar is the capital of the Turkana District in the Northern Rift Valley region of Kenya.

Understand

Get in

By plane

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 operates daily flights from Jomo Kenyatta Airport. You can book online or at the airport. Lodwar only has an airstrip, no airport.

By train

There is no train service at Lodwar.

By car

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 villages and if your​ car breaks down you will have to wait for days. You'd better use a bus or a flight.

Most of the road from Kitale to Lodwar are now (Feb 2018) in pretty good shape after recent repairs. It's only the last 80 km or so that are still mostly washed out.

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 NGOs 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.

By bus

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- Ksh 2100.

You can also connect two buses. One from Nairobi to Kitale at Ksh 1000 depending on the bus and another one from Kitale to Lodwar at Ksh 1000. Don't bother to ask when the bus is leaving, you will be told very soon. It leaves when the bus is full. So you'd rather use a small matatu plying the route if you aren't patient.

By boat

There is boat service at L. Turkana, Kalokol (50 km from town) for travels to Sibiloi Game Reserve. Contact Jade Sea Travels for boat hire.

Get around

Matatu (minibus) in city Ksh 50. Hired taxi available for small fee.

Travel by the local bus-taxis (Matatus) if you've got the guts for it -they're mini-buses that they shove full of people (literally). They're cheap (ask someone at the hotel what the going rate is) don't let them scam you. They are all over and in huge numbers, and they're licensed (stickers on the windshields). Taxis don't have taxi-signs on the roof, but license papers stuck to the windshields.

See

Basket market daily.

Do

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.

Buy

  • Equity Bank. Has a Mastercard/Visa Card ATM.

Eat

Natural salted fried fish is in plenty,also ensure you taste a meal locally called federation not forgetting the delicious nyirnyir

  • eliye springs resort,eliye (50 km of lodwar).

Splurge

Drink

  • Tusker beer
  • Chibuku (Not for the faint at heart.)

Sleep

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 business offices and accommodation to diplomats, high ranking officials, tourists and 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.

Budget

St Teresa Pastoral Centre has great rooms in a lush green setting run by Catholic sisters for Ksh 2500. They also have a very productive produce garden in the back of the compound fed by a borehole which is a bit of a novelty for the area.

Nawoitorong Lodge has clean rooms starting at Ksh 800 per night. It's also called the Womans Lodge by the locals. It located in the outskirts of town, a Ksh 50-100 piki ride from the center. Very friendly staff and quite area.

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Stay safe

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

Go next

Lawrence Wangs, +254720761424, is a very reliable and punctual source for transport in the Lodwar area and beyond. He takes up to 7 people at a time for Ksh 10000 a day plus fuel (Feb 2018). He has a lot of local knowledge and can take you all over the Turkana District in air conditioned comfort.


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