While you can get to the main towns with a normal car, you will need a 4WD if you want to visit the parks or head off the newly paved roads towards Lake Turkana. However, while having your own 4WD gives you flexibility, it comes with its own challenges due to wide-ranging road conditions. For starters, you’ll need a large 4WD with high ground clearance and a skid plate to protect the undercarriage (a Toyota RAV4 or Suzuki won’t do). You should have a high-rise jack, sand ladders, a shovel, a long strong rope or chain (to hitch up to camels or other vehicles), a tool kit, plus enough fuel, water and spare tyres (one is rarely enough). A compass, GPS and good map are also invaluable.