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Getting There & Away

Trucks loaded with fish (and soon-to-be-smelly passengers) leave Loyangalani for Maralal (around KSh1000, nine to 12 hours) once or twice a week at best. Trucks heading in any other direction are even rarer and locals talk of waits of between a week and a month for transport to North Horr (around KSh1000). There are buses roughly every other day to Marsabit (KSh1000), but if you are in a hurry, you can try and catch a ride with a truck. When trucks do travel to Marsabit, they tend to take the slightly easier southern route via Kargi and charge a flexible KSh1000. It's better to travel from Loyangalani to North Horr, rather than the other way around, because with buses every other day from North Horr to Marsabit you won't get stuck for more than a night – going from North Horr to Loyangalani could mean waiting in North Horr for a week or more. This would be bad.

If you’re travelling in your own vehicle, you have two options to reach Marsabit: continue northeast from Loyangalani across the dark stones of the Chalbi Desert towards North Horr, or head 67km south towards South Horr and take the eastern turn-off via Kargi. The 270km Chalbi route (10 to 12 hours) is hard in the dry season and impossible after rain. It’s also wise to ask for directions every chance you get, otherwise it’s easy to take the wrong track and not realise until hours later. This would also be bad. The 241km southern route (six to seven hours) via the Karoli Desert and Kargi is composed of compacted sands and is marginally less difficult in the rainy season.

The Catholic mission occasionally sells petrol out of the barrel, but prices are exorbitant.