Spanish motorcycle riders savour Turkana tourism beauty

Wednesday November 8 2017

Turkana County

The 13 motorcycle riders from Spain who are on a tour of Turkana County where they are savouring its diverse tourism attractions. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMMY LUTTA
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Turkana County's unique tourism products are now attracting foreign tourists as a result of reliable and frequent marketing strategies.

The county tourism department is currently hosting a team of 13 motorcycle riders from Spain who have been in the country for two weeks.

The riders are set to have a unique riding experience on Turkana’s varied desert landscape which is hilly, rocky, sandy and sometimes muddy when it rains.

Director of tourism Shemmy Ekuwon says the landscape remains quite beautiful and hypnotising despite the scorching heat.

Ms Ekuwom said that the riders are a group of friends who are visiting various tourism sites in the country as tourists as well as to raise funds to support vulnerable people in Turkana.

PARK VISIT

Under Topo Africa Riders slogan, the team led by Luis Heras has visited Maasai Mara National Reserve where they saw lions, giraffes, elephants among other wildlife.

"We also chose Turkana as one of our destinations because it has a unique landscape for our riding experience, wildlife at South Turkana National Reserve, welcoming people and good weather," Mr Heras told journalists at the Cradle Tented Camp in Lodwar where they had stopped for a lunch break.

In March, the county collaborated with the Kenya Tourism Board, tour operators and social media influencers to market more than 50 mapped but unexploited tourism sites.

PROMOTE TURKANA

Through the Tembea Turkana tourism initiative, the 25 tour operators, social media influencers and officials from KTB spent seven days crisscrossing the county on a familiarisation tour of the vast region that was also aimed at packaging a product to sell to the world.

Ms Ekuwom said that poor marketing had made the region to be featured in national and international media only when there is drought, famine and cattle rustling.

Other attractive tourist sites are the over 100km unexploited white sandy beaches along Lake Turkana, Sibiloi National Park, Central Island National Park and the rich archaeological sites where several historical discoveries have been made.

Central Island National Park adjacent to Northern and Southern Island National Parks is where Kenya Wild Service is preserving three critical lakes that are gazetted by Unesco as breeding sites for crocodiles, flamingos and tilapia fish.

INVESTMENT

County Director of Trade and Industrialisation James Lokwale said that marketing Turkana as an alternative tourism destination will also position the region as untapped investment region.

The county can be accessed by daily flights from Nairobi as it boasts of Kapese Airstrip in Lokichar, Lodwar Airstrip and Lokichoggio Airport.

Some of the accommodation facilities in Turkana include Stegra Hotel, Sand Fields in Lodwar Town and Napak Tented camp, Tortoise Camp, Eliye Springs Camp, and Christine Camp along the shores of Lake Turkana.

However, it is usually a nice experience for visitors to savour nature by sleeping while facing the stars in the open.