Ethiopie Arba Minch to Kenia by lake Turkana

Updated February 2016

Ethiopie Arba Minch to Kenia by lake Turkana

Below is information for cyclist who are willing to drive from Ethiopia to Kenia along the lake turkana west side.

  • Lake turkana, west side... we did 18 days from Arba Minch to Lodwar. It is a very nice rural area and really really nice but also intens. Not because of the people but there is not so much. we liked it very much but we found it challenging and next time I would do the same track again
  • Maps; OSM (OsmAnd) this mobile app map is quit oke for this area. See also the km info below
  • Your last point to buy western stuff is Arba Minch. Things like some cans and baby whipes for cleaning, Nutella, crackers Sardines tuna green peas as well, we did not anything afterwards.... after arba minch everything is very very local ...
  • change money in Arba minch !  of even better in addis adaba, there are some people in ommerate but rate is very very very bad there.
  • From arba minch to ommerate the road is good (we did it in 10 days) There is off road somewhere but that will be no problem. Nature is wonderful, tribes are wonderful. Take care for water. You need definitely a water filter.. we took a nice route : Along the lake to konso – Ganada. From there to Juntion Woito - we went 1 day up and 1 day down to Arbore. Spend one night with the tent within the arbore tribal village, which was absolute very good. In ebora is aqua and two small shops with bread. Sleeping at the trines was 100 bir a person, visit 100 bir a person,a guard 1000 bir. We negotiaded 2 persons for 300 bir total. The tribe village  is 1 km after entry to ebora. We recommend not to take the very long hilly road from Arbore to Turmi. There is nothing between Arbore and Turmi and then I mean really nothing, bicycle nothing and really hilly. Arbore tribal is not commercial. Then we continied to Turmi and the to Omerate
  • The last point before the border is Omerate. There are shops, and maybe some fress fruit depending of the time of the year.
  • You have to go to immigration in Ommerate !!! If you forget this you have a problem at the border and have to go back which is a long way.
  • The bridge passing after Ommerate. Wild stories about this one. No problem, just be nice, patient and relax. No need for kayaks or whatever.
  • After Ommerate there is no mobile signal anymore.
  • Ommerate to the border. Nice off road, a little bit sandy but oke. Follow the Chinese road as far as possible. At the end take right, look for some tribes and determine the hill of the border. You can sleep in the middle of know-where 15 km for the border.
  • Border crossing no problem. Before and after the border it is nomadsland. Very very nice.
  • Border crossing into kenya. No problem. Nice people. They have water. No food.
  • The border to tondonyang. Sandy. We got lost and needed to push the bikes. There should be a road with sand you can ride. 
  • You can sleep in the missionair. I believe this is in tondonyang
  • From tondonyang to lowarengerak. Off road. nice, nature, hot, very simpel shops, nice people, bush bush, 
  • There is a spanish missionarie somewhere, I believe in Nariokotome but check google. We did not visit it but would do it next time.
  • kalokal, fruit and restaurant again. 
  • kalokal - lodwar. oke asfalt. nice driv
  • In lodwar you can recharge you energie.
  • Lodwar - Kitale. I think this is the most horrible road I can remember. After 10 km after lodwar we deciced to grap a car and do this hich hiking. The 300 km road is empty, sandy and there is almost nothing. The road itself we found i so bumpy that after the already off road to lodwar we could not stand it anymore. 
  • If you doing this part from lodwar to kitale beware of safety.ROBBERY PROBLEMS (besides the cow problems) DO NOT MOVE AT NIGHT and be in a village. I can give you more details but there is an area which is not safe. We drove at night with car throught this area and we think we made a bad decision in this. It is not about the cow theft but is about robbery just a complete bus or tourist :-(

During day time it is oke. Again if you do this I will dive into this as we have very specific info of this part and also a local person with more info

  • After Kitala - tarmac again wunderfull :-)
  • From Kitale - Uganda we took north part of MT egon. Very nice off road. Little bit steep climbs but definitely worth it. it is green again !!

Some other notes

  • The market in Koto was nice, not touristic
  • The road from ebora to wyto to keyfar is more km, then ebora turmi. But from keyfar is mostly downhill and between ebora and turmi is no water and hlly, so we choose the first option.
  • From keyfar to turmi is off road but good.
  • In Demeke we found fuel. Probably in omerate as well.
  • Between turmi and omerate is nothing. No water, no houses. You can easily do wild camping without people here.
  • In Tudenyakang hutjes you can put your tent at the water
  • Between lowarengak en kalodo sandy part
  • In kalodo you can sleep with the houses
  • If you see any fruit we suggest to buy as much as possible, we did not see anything.
  • To see the location of doriens restaurant in Kataboi follow the web browser link or  link You can sleep safe in her compound behind the restaurant.
  • To lowarengak, bad road, last 7 km is ok, is white road on the OSM. No restaurant, some thee somewhere. In lowarengarak: Softdrinks not cold, pasta, onions, manho, potatoes. Fish
  • The road from kalodo to lodwar is not the best tarmac road however it is good manageable with the bicycle. Some parts had tarmac some don't. To stay in the tarmac you have to zigzag over the road. The parts of where the tarmac is gone can be done good, you don't have to stop, you can  just cycling continue. After the off road of turkana this us easy and more relax.
    It is not needed to cycle over  waboard/abortus hills.....




Below are some km indications from various cyclist






accommodation, supermarket, ATM, internet



end of tarmac



camp site, simple shops



checkpoint, camping with police, restaurant, shops



checkpoint, accommodation, restaurant, shops



start tarmac



end of tarmac



start of tarmac



accommodation, restaurants, shops, ATM, internet


Another scheme

Following kms (accumulated) start after crossing the Omo river in Omorate and going from Ethiopia to Kenya:

km 0: Omo river

km 24: Ethiopian last checkpost (they will just look at your passport, they do not stamp your visa but in Omorate)

Km 24- 36: No man´s land (very sandy)

km 36: Kenyan first checkpost (they will just look at your passport, they do not stamp your visa but in Nairobi)

km 47: Todenyang (first Kenyan village, there is a mission with water, no shops)

km 68: Lowarengak (village with very basic shops and restaurant, there is a mission)

km 92: Nariokotome mission (it is 3km off the main road)

km 102: Nachukui village (very basic shops and water)

km 111: Nariengewoy village (very basic shops and water)

km 122: Lomekui village(very basic shops and water)

km 138: Kataboy village (mission, very basic shops and water)

km 167: Kalakol village (many shops, mission, guesthouse) Tarmac starts!


Another scheme

Km     Place   Description

0     Kitale   Accommodation,  supermarket,  ATM,  internet

85   85     End  of  tarmac

103   18  Marich   Camp  site,  simple  shops

131   28  Kainuk   Checkpoint,  camping  with  police,  restaurant,  shops

212   81  Lokichar   Checkpoint,  accommodation,  restaurant,  shops

244   32     Start  tarmac

282   38     End  of  tarmac

295   13     Start  of  tarmac

299   4   Lodwar   Accommodation,  restaurants,  shops,  ATM,  internet

356   57  Kalokol   Accommodation,  restaurant,  shops,  end  of  tarmac

370   14  Namadak   Shop

382   12  Nasechabuin    

386   4   Kataboi   Shops,  water,  mission

390   4   Katiko    

403   13  Lomekwi   Shops,  Catholic  Church,  school.  Water  (pump  might  be  locked)

413   10  Narengewoi   Shop,  Catholic  Church

421   8   Nakukui   Shops,  water

428   7   Nairokotome  3km  off  road.  Mission  of  St.  Paul  Apostle  with  nice  guesthouse  and

good  food

451   23  Loarengak   Accommodation  at  mission.  Shops.  Small  restaurant

471   20  Todenyang   Accommodation  at  mission.  Water,  no  shops

480   9      Police  camp

482   2      Police  checkpoint  Kenya

493   11     Military  checkpoint  Ethiopia  (NOT  IMMIGRATION)

517   24  Omo  River  

518   1   Omorate   accommodation,  shops,  immigration


The part which is between Kalemngorok and Kitale.  If I'm even more exactly they said 150 km before the pass. If you over the pass it is no problem. I do not totally agree with the lenght so that why i give you the disctance Kalemngorok/ Kitale. 

So the rule number 1. No travel ad night. We did it and that was not a  good decision in retropsective. There is a village just when you climb up the hill (you have to pass a police post and they have to lift the road block). After that the "bad" part is there.

Daniel should give you the more exact part. His profile is on warmshowers:


You can pitch your tent in his compound. We where full of sand and wanted a hotel. There a lot of hotels in Lodwar. I cannot remember the price anymore.

The problem is NOT the steeling with the cows. That's oke. The problem is that they are robbing complete busses / traffic. So you will lose everything. We had lucky and the night before is, we heard later, a bus was robbed. It is because the people are discovering that stealing from people is more usefull then stealing a cow. More profits, and that's I believe, unfortunality, true.

At night there are police stops and there is militairy but from my point of view it was not reliable. So if you cycle throught this part, daniel had a time schedule when it was ok todo. If you are hitchhiking only do it during the day also.

Oh yeh, we had a car driver from outside this aera and did not knew about it, so ask 20x times around :-)

Sorry for the typos. If you have any question send us a email.