Resting among palm trees, hidden in what looks like a desert oasis is Malabo Resort Loiyangalani. As we drove towards Malabo, I felt as if my hunger was playing tricks on me. There were actual palm trees in Northern Kenya, a place we had been made to believe was dry and empty. For a second time I had been deceived.
Loiyangalani is a small town on the South Eastern coast of Lake Turkana. The term Loiyangalani is Samburu for ‘a place of many trees’. And so it is this place Malabo, which lies amidst many trees, that we would call home for the next 3 nights.
The first thing that strikes you as you enter Malabo is the bandas. They are basically traditional huts with a hint of modernity. The backdrop of palm trees makes the setting even more beautiful. The walkways are very clean and the plants look well cared for. You can choose a single or double banda and there’s a camping option as well on the grounds.
The rooms are named after fish. There’s Nile Perch, Mud fish, Dog fish, Salmon and others. Rayhab and I were staying in Dog fish pictured below.
The room has the basic amenities i.e soap, a pair of slippers and a fan. Loiyangalani is hot. If you were to multiply January heat in Nairobi two times, you still wouldn’t get a result close to the kind of heat I am talking about. I’ve been trying to figure out if Mombasa is hotter, but I think if the two destinations were put in a ring it would have to be a tie. Nights are especially hot and humid that’s why you can easily cover yourself with this Kikoy or choose to sleep bare.
The room has a modest bathroom with a shower curtain that is supposed to act as a door. It can easily blow wide open as Magunga explains in detail here. You will also not be needing any hot showers in Loiyangalani. The heat does such a number on you that you find yourself fantasizing about the next time you will be eye to eye with a shower head.
The staff is very helpful, polite and service is fairly fast. The chef and female attendants are eager to serve you and if you have any problems the manager will take care of them almost immediately. The food is tasty and simple. There’s not much variety, but the main meals include Nyama Choma, beef stew and Fish with ugali, rice or chips. I didn’t have any problems with the food, but my friends Rayhab, Owaahh, Magunga and Thorn all had stomach upsets at Malabo. Congratulations Kish, you have a stomach that can survive anything.
There is no power at the resort during the day. The place is solar powered and the rooms are lit from 7pm onwards. This can be highly inconveniencing if you plan on working. There’s also very poor access to network and you’re crazy if you think you can check your WhatsApp messages while here. There is no KPLC station in Loiyangalani, however the wind project at Turkana is set to light up the town in a few years to come. Upon arrival, 40 of 365 wind turbines had already been erected.
The resort serves cold drinks. You would think this to be a common quality in many restaurants, but in Loiyangalani it’s the first thing you look for. A beer has never felt so refreshing.
Malabo is a great place to stay with friends or take your family for a weekend. You can go boat riding or fishing at Lake Turkana, visit the El-Molo village or experience the rich cultural history at the Desert Museum. Malabo Resort Loiyangalani is a beautiful 6/10 accommodation option that travelers will enjoy.