Astronomy in Kenia

Between the cultures of Lake Turkana and the Omo River

Experience type

Geography & Astronomy


14 days & 13 nights


Kenya & Ethiopia

Price 2.850 €(*)

This traveling proposal is aimed at all people who wish to observe the sky, visually or photographically from a privileged location: Lake Turkana (formerly Rodolfo Lake) in the far north of Kenya, one of the most unique regions of the Rift Valley. From our location, only 4º above the terrestrial Ecuador we can explore with comfort both hemispheres, but above all the celestial regions forbidden to the observers of our middle latitudes.

From the ObservatoriAstronòmic del Garraf and the  International Tourism Area Experiential we have developed all the necessary logistics, with the support of the Misiones de San Pablo Apóstol Community, with our own facilities and years of experience in the development of social projects in the Turkana region. While we conduct our observation sessions, we can also get into the knowledge of its inhabitants and their culture. In some aspects it is an immersion in what was once the Neolithic revolution, in a steppe landscape landscape on horseback between two continental plates. Also with our trip we collaborate in the development of the region, one of the most needy in East Africa.

We all know that the traveling astronomer does not feel like moving his instruments every night, especially if it is heavy material. On this occasion, the trip-expedition has the base camp in the small town of Narikotome, where we can install our equipment without having to move them (or save them after the observations). We will have a remarkable amount of business hours to explore the wonders of the southern sky. The exceptional globular clusters of the Centaur and Tucan, the Magellanic Clouds, our satellite galaxies, the Sailing Hydrogen regions, the closest (and multiple) star to Earth, Alpha of the Centaur and much more. Fans of solar observation can complete the night programs with an almost zenith sun, in very transparent skies.

In the entire nearby region there are no traces of any city or urban lights, only small native populations. At night, total darkness. The Astronomical Observatory of Garraf and VIVENTIAL TOURISM already have experience in this region through their travels. Away from the massive tourist routes, this is an extraordinary corner.


+34 607 54 61 65

+34 936 57 12 21 ext. 5323 (Tòfol Tobal)


DAY 1 -Transfer Airport Barcelona

Nairobi and hotel accommodation

DAY 2 - Flight from Nairobi to Lodwar, group pick-up and transfer to the meeting point

Lunch in Lodwar, House of the Nuns. Transfer from Lodwar to Nariokotome, it will be 5h by road. Upon arrival, acclimatization to the Mission. Dinner and overnight at Nariokotome Mision.

DAY 3 - Astronomy Camp Preparation & Instrument Installation

Food, Preparation observations. Picnic dinner at Lake Turkana. Night astronomy activity. Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 4 - Astronomy Camp Preparation Instrument Installation

Food. Preparation observations. Picnic dinner at Lake Turkana. Night astronomy activity. Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 5 - Visit to the hominid site of the Turkana Child Preparation observations

Comida. Preparación observaciones. Cena Picnic.Actividad Astronomía nocturna. Alojamiento en Nariokotome Mision.

DAY 6 - Astronomy Workshop in Mission schools Preparation observations

Lunch .Preparation observations. Dinner Picnic. Activity Astronomy night. Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 7- Excursion to the Omo River Valley Nariokotome - Omorate (4h) Omo River Valley

Transfer with local guide and 4×4 car. Lunch at Omorate, a food house that will offer us the coffee ceremony. Activity: we will cross the Omo River through the Rift Valley. Accommodation in Todonyang Mision.

DAY 8 - Excursion to the Omo Todonyang river valley - Nariokotome

Transfer with guide and car.Food.Activity Astronomy night.Dinner Picnic.Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 9 - Visit to Lake Turkana

Food.Preparation observations.Dinner Picnic.Activity Astronomy night.Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 10 - Astronomy Field Preparation Instrument Installation

Lunch.Preparation observations.Dinner dinner at Lake Turkana.Activity Astronomy at night.Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission

DAY 11 - Astronomy Field Preparation Instrument Installation

Lunch. Preparation observations. Picnic dinner at Lake Turkana. Night astronomy activity. Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 12 - Astronomy Field Preparation Instrument Installation

Lunch.Preparation observations.Dinner dinner at Lake Turkana.Activity Astronomy night.Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 13 - Instrument disassembly. End of observation sessions

Food. Valuation of the expedition. New proposals. Farewell dinner. Accommodation in Nariokotome Mission.

DAY 14 - Nariokotome - Lodwar (5h by road) and flight to Nairobi to link to Barcelona

Return transit


Instrumental equipment and accessories

Each participant must carry their complete instrumental equipment, taking responsibility for their billing and shipping. In our base camp we have electricity supply. Extension cords and multiple plugs are advisable as there are several needs of the entire group. Once arrived at the base camp, the land will be delimited to install the observation field. The small flashlights are very useful since there are no ambient lights open at night.

It is absolutely necessary to have protection for telescopes, cameras and accessories when not in use. Dust and sand storms can occur with remarkable speed, reaching speeds of the order of 30 to 60 km / h as we have been able to verify on more than one occasion. There we will have tables and auxiliary chairs.

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Excursions (optionals)

Upon arrival in Nairobi, according to schedule we will have the opportunity to visit the house-museum of the Danish writer Karen Blixen (IsakDinesen), known worldwide for her autibiographic novel Memories of Africa. It is a charming enclave in a quiet neighborhood of the capital, on a small hill overlooking the nearby mountains. We can relive there what colonial life meant between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

The Turkana Lake region has great geological value. We are located in the central axis of the Rift Valley that separates the African and Asian plates. The lake itself has a tectonic origin (such as Tanganika or Baikal) from which small island-volcanoes emerge. It is also a natural reserve of exceptional beauty, with thousands of water birds and an important colony of Nile crocodiles, as well as insects and reptiles that will delight naturalists.

The history of humanity was also forged in this region. We are the same place as the hominid site known as El Niño de Turkana or Niño de Narikotome. It was discovered by Kamoya Kimeu, of Richard Leakey’s team in 1984. An age of 1.6Ma is estimated, the skeleton was almost complete, only lacking hands and feet.

The Emalaikat Foundation will put at our disposal the means to carry out tours of its projects, accompany them on their daily visits and if we feel like collaborating on time.

On this trip we have scheduled three excursions: the visit to the El Niño site of Turkana, the crossing of the Ethiopian border through the Omo river valley, where we will have contact with one of the most unique landscapes and cultures of Africa and depending on the possibilities a navigation by the Turkana lake to observe closely its geological formations.

Observation Program

Each participating observer can develop their own program based on their priorities. The Garraf Astronomical Observatori through its technical coordinator will also offer an orientation program for those who wish, which will include listings of significant objects from the southern sky. Pre-planning is important to make the most of the period of stay of the expedition. To systematically explore, obtaining images and / or observations of coherent listings (for example, double stars discovered by James Dunlop, invisible celestial jewels from the Northern Hemisphere or objects belonging to the Magellanic Clouds) then allows the publication of small useful articles to others observers. Participants may have different levels of experience and knowledge about astronomical practice. Therefore, the coordination will provide all the previous information requested by the participants, on the best way to take advantage of the available time.

Internet connection and other services

The internet connection is very good so we can consult our satellite databases and establish permanent communication with the outside. It will be very useful for weather forecasts or to keep up to date with the ephemeris to be used. The foundation also has health care centers, all-terrain vehicles and even a small plane. There is drinking water and all meals are included.


Excursions to the Turkana El Niño site, Omo river valley and Turkana lake will be adapted to the calendar of observations, weather conditions and logistic availability. Astronomical observations will be based on weather conditions. The program is indicative and will adapt to the exposed conditions.

INCLUDED: 14 days and 13 nights in full board. Activities and visits detailed in the program. Accompanying guide (local host). Vehicle and driver in all displacements. Travel assistance insurance. Local taxes included. Tips not included. The final program will be conditioned on flight arrivals.

NOT INCLUDED: Round-trip flights Barcelona-Nairobi-Lodwar-Nairobi-Barcelona.

PRICE: € 1.580


Tòfol Tobal

Geographer & Astronomer

Rafa Ariño

Photographer & Xteam traveler


Surprise yourself in the mysterious archipelago

Una vivencia a través de pueblos Árticos

The contrast of two unique cultures

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