Lodwar Town Guide
Lodwar Town is the largest town in northwestern Kenya, located west of Lake Turkana on the A1 road. The Loima Hills lie to its west. Lodwar is the capital of Turkana District.
Lodwar Town Climate and Geography
Lodwar town has a hot desert climate with very high temperatures and very little rainfall throughout the year. The average annual temperature is one of the highest found in the world with nearly 29 °C (84.2 °F) and the average annual rainfall is about 186 mm (7.32 in). Lodwar has a very sunny climate year-round, as the desert city gets close to 3,600 hours of sunshine per year.
History of Lodwar Town
According to the Insider’s guide to Kenya, Lodwar’s history began around 1933 when a trader named Shah Mohamed arrived on the banks of the Turkwell River. The roads were inaccessible so he brought the donkeys. He eventually built a permanent trading centre in Lodwar including a gas station. The district commissioner’s office was built followed by a small medical clinic and a government prison. Police headquarters were built in Lokitaung as the tribal disputes were common in the area. During the 1960s, missionaries built schools in and around the town. Shah Mohamed opened several stores in the remote towns of this Turkana district because he was the only contractor and supplier to government departments, carried mail to the area, supplied and transported the goods for the Norwegian and Italian fish-canning projects on Lake Turkana .
During the colonial period, Lodwar functioned as a transit point for British officials moving Kenyan political prisoners to the north. Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, was restricted to house arrest for two years in Lodwar in 1959. The town had developed a reputation as an isolated outpost removed from in the rest of Kenya, but in recent years, Lodwar has expanded and gained commercial and economic prominence.
Economic Activities in Lodwar Town
Their main Economic Activities is basket weaving and tourism.
Places to Visit and Things to do while in Lodwar Town
Sibiloi National Park
How to get Lodwar town
Plane: Flights are available from Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Charter aircraft can be hired in advance for drop-off and pick-up at the landing strip near center of town.
Car: From Nairobi to Kitale (which is the transit point to Lodwar ) is about 6 to 8 hours and the road conditions are not bad
Bus: There are several bus services from Nairobi to Lodwar but the main ones ( and probably safer ) are;
Dayah Bus – From Nairobi ( Eastleigh ) to Lodwar directly charges- 2100ksh (variable with seasons).
Boat: There is boat service at L. Turkana, Kalokol (50KM from town) for travels to Sibiloi Game Reserve. Contact Jade Sea Travels for boat hire.
Education Institutions in Lodwar town
Being a developing town, Lodwar town is quite established in terms of education as it has several schools within it. Some of the schools include:
- Mount Kenya University-Lodwar Campus
- Riverside Adventist Primary School
- Lokori Mixed Primary School
- Lokichar Primary School
- Medical Training College
- Trans – Africa Institute of Advanced Studies – Kenya
Higher education (colleges and universities)
- Lodwar Boys High School
Lodwar Town Administration
Lodwar is considered to be the capital of the region, housing local and governmental facilities, including Turkana’s biggest health facility and the main referral hospital, Lodwar District Hospital (LDH). It is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lodwar.