The fourth 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.
In June 2008, eight communities affiliated with Loiyangalani, who live around Lake Turkana, celebrated and united at the first festival.
This year’s event promises to be even more memorable because it will unite people to celebrate and help preserve the cultures of the El Molo, Samburu, Gabbra, Rendille, Watta, Dasannach, Pokot, and Turkana peoples.
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 in the El Molo and Turkana villages, offer unique cultural experiences.
The National Museums of Kenya opened Kenya’s first and only desert museum at Loiyangalani in June 2008. The museum showcases the cultures and lifestyles of eight local communities.
While enjoying cultural dances, you can view rock art dating back several years. Lake Turkana in Kenya is the world’s largest desert and alkaline lake, and you can swim in it. The lake has its fair share of Nile Crocodiles, so seek local advice on the safe spots to swim. We have a handy survival kit for surviving a crocodile attack, but we highly advise against it.
You can enjoy local foods at the festival, visit El Molo villages and shrines, ride a camel, and more. Share your experience if you do go!