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Lodwar is a town of 83,000 people (2019), and the capital of the Turkana District in the Northern Rift Valley region of Kenya.


Lodwar from hill

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Flights are available from Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Charter aircraft can be hired in advance for drop-off and pick-up at the landing strip near center of town.

Fly-540 operates daily flights from Jomo Kenyatta Airport. You can book online or at the airport. Lodwar only has an airstrip, no airport.

By train[edit]

There is no train service at Lodwar.

By car[edit]

From Nairobi to Kitale (which is the transit point to Lodwar ) is about 6 to 8 hours and the road conditions are not bad. From Kitale to Lodwar, most of the tarmac roads have either been swept away by seasonal river or have deteriorated due to neglect. Don't drive to Lodwar unless you have a land cruiser or something close to that. After Kapenguria (a small town) there are very few villages and if your​ car breaks down you will have to wait for days. You'd better use a bus or a flight.

Most of the road from Kitale to Lodwar is, as of Feb 2018, in pretty good shape. It's only the last 80 km or so that are still mostly washed out.

There are service stations and rest areas once you enter Turkana district at the south in Kainuk all the way to the oil city of Lokichar which has many petrol stations as well as good accommodation facilities.until you reach Lodwar.The issue of bandits on the road has been reduced due to the presence of security personnel in those areas.

The road to Lokichokio is in excellent condition (which is interesting, since roads south are very poor).

This road is in reasonable condition because of the number of NGOs in Loki. Lokichokio was the base for the aid and relief effort for Sudan and Ethiopia. Near Loki is also a refugee camp. Do not travel to Loki unless you have a good reason or if you are part of a NGO.

By bus[edit]


There are several bus services from Nairobi to Lodwar but the main ones (and probably safer) are;

Dayah Bus - From Nairobi (Eastleigh) to Lodwar directly charges- Ksh 2100.

You can also connect two buses. One from Nairobi to Kitale at Ks 1000 depending on the bus and another one from Kitale to Lodwar at Ks 1000. Don't bother to ask when the bus is leaving, you will be told very soon. It leaves when the bus is full. So you'd rather use a small matatu plying the route if you aren't patient.

By boat[edit]

There is boat service at L. Turkana, Kalokol (50 km from town) for travels to Sibiloi Game Reserve. Contact Jade Sea Travels for boat hire.

Get around[edit]

Matatu (minibus) in city Ks 50. Hired taxi available for small fee.

Travel by the local bus-taxis (Matatus) if you've got the guts for it -they're mini-buses that they shove full of people (literally). They're cheap (ask someone at the hotel what the going rate is) don't let them scam you. They are all over and in huge numbers, and they're licensed (stickers on the windshields). Taxis don't have taxi-signs on the roof, but license papers stuck to the windshields.


Basket market daily.


Browse the basket market in town. Turkana district is known for intricately woven baskets ranging in size from minute to 100L (25 gallon) size. Women at the market hawk wares such as brooms, baskets, makekas (woven sleeping mats), beads, and tire sandals.


  • Equity Bank. Has a Mastercard/Visa Card ATM.


Natural salted fried fish is in plenty. Also ensure you taste a meal locally called "federation", and do not forget the delicious nyirnyir .



  • Tusker beer
  • Chibuku (Not for the faint at heart.)


There is a private developer in progress of setting up several state of the art commercial offices, maisonettes with swimming pool in the Nawoitorong-kerio road, which will be offering business offices and accommodation to diplomats, high ranking officials, tourists and NGOs staff who visit Lodwar and are willing to spend night in town while enjoying the lighting view of the whole town from a distance and it will be a gated community.


St Teresa Pastoral Centre has great rooms in a lush green setting run by Catholic sisters for Ks 2500. They also have a very productive produce garden in the back of the compound fed by a borehole which is a bit of a novelty for the area.

Nawoitorong Lodge has clean rooms starting at Ks 800 per night. It's also called the Womans Lodge by the locals. It located in the outskirts of town, a Ksh 50-100 piki ride from the center. Very friendly staff and quite area.




Stay safe[edit]

Don't walk the streets at night, as this will invite unwanted attention. It is best to hire a guide if you intend to do any exploring within the city. Lodwar is not really a touristy city, and thus, does not have any real tourist infrastructure.


Go next[edit]

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