The 4th Lake Turkana Festival is just around the corner. A collaborative effort of mainly the National Museums of Kenya, the German Embassy and other partners, this year’s festival will be held in Loiyangalani from 13th -15th May 2011.

The first such festival was held in June 2008 celebrating and uniting the 8 tribes affiliated to Loiyangalani that live around Lake Turkana.

This year’s event promises to be even more memorable because it will bring people together to celebrate and help preserve the cultures of the El Molo, Samburu, Gabbra, Rendile, Watta, Dasannach, Pokot and the Turkana.

Loiyangalani, which means ‘the place of many trees’ in the native Samburu tongue, is a small town located on the southeastern coast of Lake Turkana. The town is home to the El Molo, an almost extinct community, amongst other communities. Its main industries include fishing, tourism and gold panning.

Loiyangalani is fast becoming a popular tourist destination in Northern Kenya, as the surrounding villages especially those belonging to the El Molo and Turkana villages, offer unique cultural experiences.

At Loyangalani one will find the first and only desert museum in Kenya. Opened in June 2008 by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), the unique museum showcases the cultures and lifestyles of the 8 communities that live in this area.

Rock art dating back several years can also be viewed from here while enjoying cultural dances. You can take a swim in Lake Turkana, the largest lake in Kenya which is also the largest desert lake in the world and the largest alkaline lake on earth. The lake has its fair share of Nile Crocodiles so make sure you seek local advice on the safe spots to swim.

During the festival, there will be an opportunity to taste local foods, visit a few of the El Molo villages and shrines and get a ride on a camel, among many other fun activities. Share your experience if you do go!