Palm Shade Camp

Palm Shade Camp: Our full report

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All year

If you want to explore Lake Turkana, you will need to visit Loiyangalani, and Palm Shade Camp is one of the few places to stay. The camp offers very simple facilities for adventurous visitors willing to forego many of the comforts that most travellers take for granted.


Although we’ve stayed at Palm Shade Camp while researching the Rough Guide to Kenya, we haven’t yet given it the kind of more rigorous inspection that Expert Africa consultants normally do when checking out properties - one that would enable us to write a detailed report. While the wind, the flies and the absence of ordinary privacy and comforts can be exhausting, we did enjoy our time here and found the area’s cultural aspects and photographic opportunities especially rewarding.

The remote and fascinating Lake Turkana town of Loiyangalani (it’s too important to think of as a village, but ‘town’ risks making it sound much bigger than it really is) is based around warm springs that keep the area’s palm groves flourishing. Most visitors are on small group tours from Nairobi, and the camp can be full during the annual Lake Turkana Cultural Festival in May or June.

Accommodation here consists of basic, thatched bandas, with beds and simple bedding (shared toilets and showers), and some ensuite rooms which were in the final stages of construction when we last checked. The camp also rents out modest-sized tents. Taking your own sheet sleeping bag would be advisable.

Our view

Loiyangalani has a number of small camps but we think Palm Shade is on balance the best place to stay in the area. The owner, Benedict, is very helpful and always on hand to look after guests, whether fetching you a cold drink or organizing an excursion.

Geographics

Location: Northern Kenya, Kenya

Ideal length of stay: 2-3 nights

Directions: Palm Shade Camp is in the heart of Loiyangalani, a tiny town near the shore of Lake Turkana, with very simple services. Charter a plane to the local airstrip, or drive here from Desert Rose in about 5 hours.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Room Only

Food quality: Simple meals can be provided to order.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £1-5

Drinks included: Drinks and bottled water are not included but are reasonably priced and reasonably cold, depending on when the generator was last on.

Further dining info: The kitchen arrangements at Palm Shade are extremely basic and food is of the goat stew/chicken stew variety, usually served with rice or any vegetables available in the market. You can also order fish. It's important to order earlier in the day to be sure of having a meal for lunch or dinner.

Infrastructure

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: The water at Palm Shade is Loiyangalani's warm spring water, so usually very clean and pleasat to shower in.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Limited medical facilties can be provided in real emergencies by the local missions.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Crocodiles pose a serious threat to fishermen and anyone foolish enough to bathe in the briny lake.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Accepted payment on location: Palm Shade Camp only accepts cash, preferably Kenya shillings.

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