Known as the "Jade Sea", this vast lake lies in the very north of Kenya - remote even in a country so renowned for its wilderness. Filling a depression formed by the Great Rift Valley, its waters end only where a volcanic plug stems their flow.
The surrounding landscape is arid and desolate, punctuated by occasional lines of rocky hills and is dotted with hardy palm trees. The Turkana tribes, renowned for the ferocity and history of intertribal conflict, roam this inhospitable region. Even now, the people and culture seem a world away from the Maasai-dominated savannah lands in the south of the country.
Lake Turkana has a fearsome, but alluring reputation. To many, it remains Kenya’s final frontier. However, with the freedom of a private helicopter and the comfort of a beautiful camp to rest your head, this trip makes the most of the dramatic landscapes, without the discomfort that the region was long associated with.
You fly by private helicopter to explore the landscape following the Rift Valley north where the landscape changes dramatically. Watch in awe as the volcanic beauty of the Turkana region unfolds below and the vast Jade Sea appears on the horizon.
With a private helicopter at your disposal, the schedule is flexible and exploration is encouraged. Stop en route beside craters or salt lakes, swoop low over the waters of the lake, hover above frozen lava flows and explore the empty scrublands that disappear towards Uganda.
Eventually, arrive at your comfortable camp – a tented idyll that is simple, but modern. In the evening, watch local dancers as they tramp across the beach’s white sands, beating a frenetic rhythm. Turkana dances are fascinating to watch – a bizarre combination of flirtation and ferocity.
The following day, use this base to explore the lake, taking another scenic flight over the seemingly endless waters, as well as a boat trip to Central Island National Park. This curious island is made up of three collapsed craters, each one filled with a small lake – itself home to giant crocodiles and shoals of tilapia.
You spend time walking around the island, exploring this fantastically barren landscape, home only to birds and also have the chance to fish from the beach or the boat, with the lake famously inhabited by giant Nile perch. In addition to this, spend an hour taking a scenic flight over the lake. Central Island is spectacular from the air, but you also have the option to head inland or further north and your pilot will be happy to explore wherever you would like to go.
Finally, fly back south, leaving this unforgettable landscape behind.
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.
Video by courtesy of Air Kenya