Ethnic photo expedition to 6 traditional tribes of Great Rift Valley and Turkana lake, with professional anthropologist from Barcelona University


February 22 — March 5, 2025
Tour to Kenya

tour northern kenya expedition turkana late rendille pokot samburu masai tribe

Located in northern Kenya, Lake Turkana represents a world that is running out of space. An ancient lake, also known as Rudolf, that proudly displays a unique anthropological richness: the dwellers of the Jade Sea.

The Rendille, the nomads that inhabit the Chalbi desert. The Samburu herders, who live at the base of the mountains located in Laisami region. Pokot women and their spectacular necklaces. El Molo ancestral crocodile hunters and the Turkana families. Those who inherit their name from this water ecosystem that irrigates both sides of the border that separates Kenya from Ethiopia. Not to mention the Dassanech, the farthest tribe to visit up on the Ethiopian border.
A journey into the most unknown and inhospitable Kenya which will fascinate you beyond your expectations.

This expedition is led by amateur ethnographer and photographer Dmitry Yankovsky and guided by scientist anthropologist of Barcelona University, Eva Colomer.

tour northern kenya expedition turkana late rendille pokot samburu masai tribe

Dates: February 22 — March 5, 2025

Duration: 12 days / 11 nights

Number of participants: 9 – 12

Cost per person:
– 4 250 EUR subject to 12 participants, or
– 4 490 EUR subject to 11 participants, or
– 4 750 EUR subject to 10 participants, or
– 5 090 EUR subject to 9 participants.

Early booking discount 10 % provided in case you book before September 22, 2024

Everything is included (also full board meals), except for:
- International flight to Nairobi roundtrip,
- International medical insurance,
- Visa of Kenya (e-visa at 50 USD, cost may change), to be arranged on your own.

Estimated cost of the international flight Moscow – Nairobi – Moscow: about 1000 EUR.
Estimated cost of the international flight Istanbul – Nairobi – Istanbul: about 900 EUR.
Estimated cost of the international flight Dubai – Nairobi – Dubai: about 850 EUR.

Single supplement in hotels: 150 EUR (single supplement in tents provided by default)

TRAVEL PROGRAM: tour to Kenya

Day 1. February 22, 2025 (Saturday). NAIROBI – ISIOLO – NGURUNIT (RENDILLE) (8 hours driving)

Early morning arrival in Nairobi. After landing at Jomo Kenyatta airport in Kenya and completing the entry formalities to the country, we will meet our guide who will be waiting with our logo.
Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, originated in the late 1890s as a colonial railway settlement. It took its name from a water spring known to the Maasai people as Enkare Nairobi ("Cold Water").
Situated at 1700 meters above sea level, this town was established as an intermediate station for the railroad linking Mombasa to Kampala in Uganda at the turn of the century. The pleasant climate and abundance of water contributed to its rapid growth as an important population center and, from around 1900, it also became a commercial center.
We will leave Nairobi and head north. After having lunch in Isiolo, we will continue our tour until we reach the village of Ngurunit, where we will spend a couple of nights. This settlement is located at the base of Mount Ndotto, in a cold and mountainous environment, composed of impressive rock walls and some springs.
We will take a walk through the village where the Rendille ethnic group coexists with the Samburu ethnic group. This will be our first encounter with the tribal communities, and time permitting, we will meet and get acquainted with them.

Accommodation included: Camp Ndotto
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Recommended flight:
— any flight arriving in Nairobi from any city no later than at 7:00 am on February 22.

Day 2. February 23, 2025 (Sunday). NGURUNIT (RENDILLE)

The Rendille are inhabitants of the arid lands of northern Kenya, a nomadic people whose subsistence depends mainly on the products obtained from their herds of camels and goats.
The fine facial features, characteristic of the Cushitic groups, distinguish the Rendille from the Nilotic and Bantu peoples of Africa. Linguistically, their closest connection is with Somali. Culturally, they share similarities in ceremonies with the Gabra, another related ethnic group.
We will devote the whole day looking for the best spots among the rocky terrain to photograph this amazing group in their traditional attire. A nearby beautiful natural area to visit is the rock pools, a place where locals and tourists alike can have an amazing experience sliding down the water slides. For those more conservative, a nice swim will do.

Accommodation included: Camp Ndotto
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3. February 24, 2025 (Monday). NGURUNIT — KARGI — KALACHA — NORTH HORR (GABRA) (5 hours driving)

After breakfast, we will drive towards the village of Kargi, located in the heart of Chalbi Desert and considered the nerve center of the Rendille ethnic group. Chalbi Desert offers a unique experience for those brave ones who dare to cross it: miles and miles of flat terrain occasionally spotted with herds of camels.
Although Kargi is one of their main settlements, some families move to Loiyangalani, where they live with communities such as the Turkana and even the Samburu.
We will proceed our journey to North Horr to enter the territory of the Gabra people.

Accommodation included: Camping in a gabra village
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4. February 25, 2025 (Tuesday). NORTH HORR – ILLERET (DASSANECH) (6 hours driving)

After breakfast, it is time to head to the northernmost point in our route to visit an ethnic group which lives on both sides of the border between Kenya and Ethiopia: the Dassanech. Mainly dedicated exclusively to fishing and cattle herding, this community on the shores of Lake Turkana will amaze us with their traditional attire and celebrations.
We will reach Illeret after a relatively good dirt road and in the afternoon we will look for a way to see how a fishing community manages to survive in a really tough area.
Overnight at Turkana Basin Institute.

Accommodation included: Turkana Basin Institute (TWIN rooms with fun, no AC)
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5. February 26, 2025 (Wednesday). ILLERET (DASSANECH)

After breakfast, we will devote our day in search of the Dassanech community which lives in very peculiar huts, very different from what we will see along the whole trip. Indeed, it seems we are suddenly transported into a Star Wars film!! Full day dedicated to this community.

Accommodation included: Turkana Basin Institute (TWIN rooms with fun, no AC)
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6. February 27, 2025 (Thursday). ILLERET – NORTH HORR – LOIYANGALANI (TURKANA) (6 hours driving)

After early breakfast, we will depart from Turkana Basin Institute to reach Loiyangalani on the shores of Lake Turkana via North Horr, where we can have lunch. From North Horr to Loiyangalani it’s a three-hour ride, leaving time to reach the lake by sunset. If light and time allows, we can have our first photo session with the Turkana.
The Turkana are perhaps the most iconic group of the area. Their beautiful enormous beaded necklaces worn by their women will fascinate us. They are also Nilotic semi-nomadic pastoralists, though due to many factors, they also rely now on fishing on the lake. This is a very rash area, and the Turkana are really a type of people used to enduring adversity. This is visible in their fierce looks. But contrary to what they look like, meeting the Turkana is an experience in itself.

Accommodation included: Palm Shade Hotel
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7. February 28, 2025 (Friday). LOIYANGALANI (TURKANA AND EL MOLO)

Before sunrise, we will prepare to explore one of the El Molo settlements and sail to Roto Island, a sacred enclave for this ethnic group. The El Molo is divided into two main settlements: the Laieni and Komote villages, and on Roto Island are the Gantes shrines. These shrines symbolize the seven clans of the ethnic group, each with its own specific purpose.
Marle: Used in ceremonies, curses to enemies, prayers for rain and protection against snakes.
Orikala: Intended for sacrifices to improve luck in hippopotamus hunting.
Origaltite: Offers blessings to infertile women to conceive.
Orisole: Prayers for protection from diseases and disturbances in the community.
These shrines not only represent significant rituals for the El Molo clans, but also reflect their deep connection to nature and their deep-rooted beliefs in protection and fertility.
Later we will return to the hotel for breakfast and drive to the Desert Museum. Located on a hilltop, with the picturesque Lake Turkana as a backdrop, the Loiyangalani Desert Museum opened its doors in June 2008. This museum focuses on portraying the lives of the six fascinating communities that inhabit the area: Turkana, El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Gabra and Dassanech.
Transfer to the hotel for lunch and rest. In the afternoon we will visit one of the Turkana villages near the lake. Sunset photo session by the lake.

Accommodation included: Palm Shade Hotel
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8. March 1, 2025 (Saturday). LOIYANGALANI — SOUTH HORR — OLDONYO NYIRU (SAMBURU) (3 hours driving) (4–5 hours driving)

After breakfast, we will start our journey to South Horr. As we move away from Lake Turkana, the landscape transforms, introducing us to the territory of the Samburu ethnic group.
Our camp will be set up in the valley of the Samburu's sacred mountain, Oldonyo Nyiru. Historically, this ethnic group has practiced nomadic cattle herding in an arid environment, stretching from Mount Kulal to the south of the Samburu Reserve.
The Samburu, known for their hospitality, will welcome us in their villages. The women, in particular, will showcase their beautiful beaded jewelry, while the young men, known as “moran”, will display impressive aesthetics and decorations. This indeed is another moment of delight for photographers and non-photographers alike.
The afternoon will be spent exploring the interesting Samburu villages around South Horr looking for the best spots to capture their daily life.

Accommodation included: Camping in tents
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9. March 2, 2025 (Sunday). SOUTH HORR – MARALAL (4 hours driving)

We will leave our camp early in the morning to head south towards Maralal. We arrive in Maralal at lunch time and in the afternoon we will take a walk around the city to explore a more urban area but still full of potential.

Accommodation included: Samburu Guest House
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10. March 3, 2025 (Monday). MARALAL – BARINGO (POKOT) (4–5 hours driving)

We will head towards Lake Baringo. Before heading downhill to its shores, we will make a stop in the picturesque highlands inhabited by the Pokot community. This ethnic group extends from the plains of eastern Uganda to the highlands of northwestern Kenya, eventually encompassing the plains surrounding Lake Baringo.
The traditional architecture of Pokot dwellings is unique and they are usually circular constructions with mud walls and roofs of vegetable materials. In semi-nomadic areas, the Pokot erect lightweight huts using sticks, straws and mats, giving them the mobility needed to forage for fresh pasture.
It is interesting to note how these women, especially married women, adorn their attire with metal necklaces and earrings that include various decorations, indicating their marital status. This rich attire is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also reflects the deep-rooted cultural and social identity of Pokot women.
We will camp in a Pokot village, immersing ourselves in their daily life and allowing us to appreciate their rich cultural heritage. Depending on our time of arrival, we will enjoy their welcoming dances.

Accommodation included: camp in tents
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11. March 4, 2025 (Tuesday). BARINGO (POKOT)

As we will be camping amongst the Pokot community, it will be very easy to find daily life scenes to enjoy and take pictures of. The Pokot community is very friendly and will surely invite us to dance with them and participate in their everyday chores. Photo session from morning to midday. At the appointed time, we will dismantle our camp and head to our lodge at the shore of Lake Baringo, where we will have a wonderful view of the sunset over the lake and its fauna. It will be a moment of relaxation after so much input from recent days.
Overnight in simple hotel.

Accommodation included: Tamarind Gardens
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12. March 5, 2025 (Wednesday). BARINGO — NAIROBI — DEPARTURE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT (6 hours driving)

We will wake up in a unique scenery to later travel to Nairobi for lunch at a local restaurant on the way or at Nairobi itself.
Free afternoon. Farewell dinner (or lunch, depending on the flight schedule) to round off our trip and, at the agreed time, transfer to the airport for the return flight.

Accommodation included: no
Meals included: breakfast and Farewell lunch or dinner (half board) depending on the flight schedule

Recommended flight:
— any flight departing from Nairobi to any city not earlier than at 19:00 on March 5.

* The order of visits and excursions can be modified according to local conditions, i.e. market days, state of roads, security situation in tribes etc. If some visits and/or tours could not be done due to external conditions, they will be replaced when possible.

** The participant of expedition to Northern Kenya must be motivated to be respectful to the culture of local tribes and cultures, be aware of the objectives of the trip and possible program changes depending on weather conditions, security conditions and any other reasons, be in a good shape and morally stable, as well as be able to adapt to the new environment and culture


● Accommodation in hotels in TWIN rooms (or DBL rooms upon request for family couples).
● Accommodation in tents on the SINGLE basis (or DBL tents upon request for family couples).
● All arrival and departure transfers to and from the airport.
● Transport throughout the entire itinerary: 4x4 cars well prepared for safari, with working AC and experienced drivers (comfort accommodation in the cars, each client has access to the window).
● Driver - professional English speaking guide during the whole safari.
● Full board during all safari days.
● Mineral and bottled water during the safari (unlimited).
● Entrance fees.
● Anthropologist guide during the entire route.
● Russian and English speaking Teamleader throughout the entire itinerary.
● 24-hour telephone assistance in English
● Air evacuation insurance to Nairobi for medical reasons during the safari.


● International flight to Nairobi roundtrip
● Kenya visa (any type)
● basic medical insurance for traveling abroad
● 1 Lunch or dinne in Nairobi
● Tips and personal expenses
● Lunches and dinners in Nairobi
● Any extra service not specified as included


- sets of clothes suitable for the weather conditions, including lightweight clothes (shorts, T-shorts), and warm clothes (hoody, light jacket), long sleeve clothes
- sun hat/panama
- swimwear
- raincoat
- comfortable trekking footwear, light footwear (sneakers)
- sleeping bag for warm weather
- mosquito net
- sunglasses
- big backpack (or travel bag, or small suitcase) for the luggage
- small backpack for radial walks (25 – 30 L)
- headlamp
- sunblock set (cream, spray)
- repellents
- personal hygiene items
- individual medical kit (analgetic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydration, court plaster, your personal medications)
- anti malaria prevention pills (up to you but recommended)
- favorite meals (chocolate, nuts)
- photo and video camera, extra batteries

● Living with different ethnic groups of northern Kenya: Pokot, Rendille, Samburu, El Molo, Dassanech and Turkana

● Chalbi Desert

● Explore the communities and environment of Lake Turkana, the so-called Jade Sea

● Anthropologist guide during the entire itinerary

  • 1
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    ©️ Photo: Eva Colomer, Dmitry Yankovsky


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