About This Blog

Memories of my travels between 1972 and 1982

Saturday, 7 May 2011

May 7th: Kalakol in Northern Kenya

On May 7th 1980 I was in Kalakol on the shores of Lake Turkana.

Kalokol wasn't much of a place.  I think it had come into existence as a result of the fish processing plant built as a development project.  It was scruffy, it was littered with aid compounds and it had no natural centre.  It did have a hotel, however, it had access to Lake Turkana itself, even if the lake was not exactly attractive, and it did have camped around it Turkana families who had come to find work.

Turkana Huts:  My picture
I found there an Italian traveller and we explored together.  In the morning Rose took us for a tour of the town which became quite interesting, learning a bit about various organisations at work - Fisherman's co-operative, Ministry of Fisheries, building project for cooperation, primary school, technology training, mission and hospital and of course the life of the Turkana.   Then we met a Scotsman who managed or owned a tourist lodge along the shore.  He took us there on his powerboat and sold us extremely cold beer and very decent fish and chips.  Then we were able to have a swim in the lake which was not really possible at Kalakol.  There were good views over the lake, crocodiles, hippos and all the lake birds.  In the afternoon we walked back along the shore amongst the fishermen, through the Turkana encampments admiring the greenness of the water and the flamingoes.  In the evening we walked back out with a town Turkana in the starlight to watch some Turkana dancing which was interesting if not spectacular.  Most of the dancing was up and down and looked easy, but try as we might we could not get it right.  Walking home in the moonlight at 2 in the morning the world looked well.  

Patrimonium Mundi has panoramas of Lake Turkana here, though not of places I visited.

Kalakol:  My picture

Turkana Children:  My picture

View Kitale in a larger map

No comments:

Post a Comment