1st -5th May
After faffing around trying to find the way into Sibioli Park we were directed by the Ileret locals out of the town and to take a right at about 10km from town. We saw a sign and entered the park through no actual gate or obvious track. We picked up a track and followed it and as long as the track was going south with the Lake to our right then that was the right way for us.
It is the end of the wet season and low season for malaria which is good but as we enter the park is certainly looks like a storm is brewing on the west side of the lake and we just prayed it didn’t come our way, thankfully it didn’t! We crossed numerous dry river crosses and areas of potential flash floods.
The park itself appears very quiet with no other tourists, the buildings are closed and the Koobi Fora is derelict with old broken down land rovers just standing around. Nic chuckles at all these landrovers and will no doubt rub this in again with our friend Dirk who has a defender. Priscilla and I were secretly hoping there would be a bar and restaurant at Koobi Fora but sadly not. We camped at the old museum that evening, which was also closed but had a nice view over the lake.
The next morning was stormy so we quickly packed the tent after making pancakes for Lily. It took us a while to find the track south from the museum and eventually we started seeing sign post and for the rest of the park. We eventually came across a big river crossing near the Sibioli head quarters and the river was flowing quickly and full so we didn’t cross and decided to set up camp in the heat at 3.30pm.
Our food supplies were running low which isn’t a problem right now but less enjoyable and it is funny to see Nic get his catapult out trying to kill a guinea foul for dinner and the night before pigeons. Sadly to no avail. Nic loves meat so a diet of potatoes for him isn’t at all satisfying at all.
Nic and his dad walked back to the same river two hours later and saw it had receded and we could crossed. I didn’t fancy this but we were crossing and Nic made me do the crossing! I was a bit scared as my heart was pounding in my chest. Sib went first and nearly got stuck on the other side as he was trying to get out of the river bed. I followed and decided not to make his mistake and managed to keep the revs up and crossed with no problems. What a relief!!!
Today for me was tough as Lily was moaning a lot and wanted a lot of attention from mummy as well as more food. I am also tired as the nights are stinking hot as we approach the equator and Lily is waking a lot, not surprising as it is very uncomfortable in the roof tent with hardly any ventilation with the thick mosquito nets up.
That evening we saw lots of game south of the Sibioli park headquarters. We camped in the side tent to see if it would be slightly cooler but still boiling and so was Lily. Sib was sleeping outside on his camp bed with the hyenas and I was awake most of the night sweating. The ground was so warm it was heating our mattresses up!
We woke with the sunrise and after needing the loo quite urgently and I crept out of the tent without disturbing Lily. It was a lovely sunrise and Nic was already off with his dad looking for the road we lost the previous evening. They found the road that we lost the evening.
After having breakfast and Nic and I washed ourselves in a river puddle (which I was delightful and the first time I had ever done this) we headed out of the park towards North Horr. We didn’t get to North Horr and must have bush camped about 30km from it.
The road from Karsa gate to North Horr was terrible with awful bumps and speeds of 10km in places but luckily dry river crossings. I can’t imagine if it was wet how much slower (or stuck) we would be!
Nic didn’t enjoy today as had a tough day with Lily. It is not surprising as she is completely cooped up all day in the car. I find this the most challenging part trying not to feel incredibly guilty which I often do. I now want to get to South Africa so she can play with her cousins Sarah and Isabella.
Nic was more desperate for meat today and now wished he had brought a gun so he could shoot a camel or a buck. We had loads of camels at our camp that evening.
Sib and Pris were in bed by 7pm and once NCI and I get Lily to settle down we are often in bed by 9pm.
Woke up at 6am feeling sweaty but we certainly benefited from the cool breeze into the roof tent in the night. However in the morning we seemed to have buggered up one of the mosquito netting windows whereby we can’t close it! The Eezi-Awn roof tent has had its problems and the zips and mosquito net are the main ones. This makes me feel very nervous when approaching malaria areas especially with a child. We have had mosquitoes in the tent on two occasions. One was whilst camping in the Nechar National Park in Ethiopia and I found 3 mossies in the tent in the morning with blood in them after I killed them and the second time both Nic and I woke to that distinctive buzzing sound and after waking Lily up killed 4 bloody mossies!!! Talk about losing faith in the tent. I am now like a nutter when it comes to shutting and getting out of the tent especially in the night. The night wee can definitely wait until the morning! We are on malaria tablets but even so to have the blood sucked out from you by a little bugger isn’t pleasant especially if it is a malaria one.
The mossie malaria thing started in Tim and Kim’s on Lake Tana in Ethiopia after Lily got bitten by one of their dogs. Tim told us he had had malaria 6 times and thought he still had it. This didn’t help me and after leaving their place with 50 bites, mainly on my bum, so I am a bit on the nervous side.
We got to the south end of Lake Turkana today, Loyangaloli. We were pretty desperate to get here as our food supplies were really low. We found the Malabo lodge, were welcomed by Steve the owner and downed a few Tusker beers. After lunch I had a bit of a spat with Pris but mainly due to tiredness and the heat plus a few other things. It is sometimes hard traveling together but nothings perfect.
Lily swam in Lake Turkana and loved it apart from us telling her not to drink the water but to spit it out which she did.
After getting into bed at 38 degrees with mosquito nets over Lily and chasing the most enormous spider around the room only to lose it somewhere under the bed, we went to bed sweating like mad and hoping the spider didn’t reappear….
After a terrible nights sleep we headed off on the road out of Loiyangalani. The track was rocky and rough and it took us 1 hour to drive 16km. We eventually got to flatter more sandy ground just before getting to South Horr. The valley leading up to South Horr was very pretty as it was nestled in a valley.
South Horr was equally pretty shaded with large trees and lots of little shops and hotels one being the ‘Nice Hotel’!
We drove through the red sandy road that looked like it had recently been rained on although the river bed was dry.
We found the road 10km out of South Horr and the left turn that went south east to Ilaut.
We bush camped 5km before Ilaut in the most lovely site surrounded with rocky mountains and isolated showers. After playing ball with Lily, Sib lit the fire and Nic started braaing our skinny chicken.
We had a much cooler nights sleep as we were 800m above sea level and we had a lovely breeze.
Ilaut to Samburu Game reserve gates via Logulogu:
We had the most awesome drive from Ilaut but we had to go via Logulogu in order to get to Laisamis as the Malgis river there was flooded. Sib and Nic attempted the direct route but after seeing the long stretches of mud and silt on route to the river, they soon surrendered that idea esp.with the risk of hours of digging out in the hot African sun.
We got to the gates 20 minutes after they had closed so we bush camped at the gate and after eating Nic’s lovely scrawny chicken curry and a few tuskers we slept nicely in the cool breeze.
It was lovely to be in Samburu again. I have some great memories here with Nic and this certainly for me was a highlight like it was 5 years ago.