Rapid growth in hospitality industry in Lodwar
Lodwar town is experiencing a rapid spur and growth of the hospitality industry.
The Capital City of Turkana County, which currently enjoys more than triple the hospitality facilities compared to its past, has achieved more than 70 per cent of the clientele from the investors and tourists.
The increase in the construction of hospitality facilities, has been attributed to the devolved system of governance and the discovery of oil and water in the County.
The announcement of the discovery of oil has had a major impact on the future and present economic value of Turkana, once a neglected and condemned region.
Currently, Lodwar boasts of remarkable hotels and lodgings such as Ceamo Prestige lodge, The Cradle of Mankind hotel and lodging, County Palace hotel and lodging, St Teresa Catholic Guesthouse, Nawoitorong Women Lodge, The Diner Hotel, Shirpa Lounge, Sandfields Hotel, Chomazone, Lodwar Lodge, Turkwel Hotel and Lodge, Pension Hotel and Lodging and Africana Hotel and Lodging among others.
“Accommodation in Lodwar has increased in the past few years. Many people have been constructing new hotels with accommodation facilities. We have some of the best hospitality facilities in Norther Kenya,” says Matthew Logurale, Chief Officer in-charge of Tourism, Trade and Industrialization.
Logurale also states that some facilities in Lodwar now provide tented services and stay home and this has helped to increase the bed space.
“We asked the hoteliers to provide tented services and stay homes. They have done that and this has increased the number of beds our visitors can use when they come visiting. We also have places outside town like Eliye Springs where people can enjoy the ambiance near Lake Turkana,” adds Logurale.
The hospitality institutions are on each other’s neck to ensure that they attract as many clients as possible.
According to Erico, a taxi driver, most visitors he picks up at the Lodwar Airstrip ask to be taken to Ceamo Prestige Lodge, County Palace, St Teresa Pastoral Centre and Nawoitorong Women Lodge in that order.
“Whenever our customers come to us, many tell us to take them to particular hotels. However, since the cultural festivals held in August 2015, there has been an increase in the numbers of those who want to be taken to other hotels. Many are asking for Cradle Hotel. I guess it is because of the fact that it is the first hotel so far with a swimming pool in Lodwar,” says Erico.
Ceamo Prestige Lodge is as modern hospitality institution that sits a few kilometres from Lodwar town in Kanamkemer area. The state of the art conference halls and the lodgings give the feeling that someone is in one of Kenya’s cities. The air-conditioned rooms give the guests a feel of cool temperatures when the sun is too hot.
“We wanted to expose our people to the best that they can have and can be proud of. That is why we thought of the magnificent buildings and the cool environment that cannot be found anywhere else,” says Cecilia Ng’itit, Manager and owner of Ceamo Prestige Lodge.
The Cradle Hotel prides itself at giving visitors both homely and camping experience. It is made up of tented houses with a Presidential suite well-equipped with a Jacuzzi.
“We wanted an African type of home where our clients can feel at home. We strive to give the best we can. We also have a swimming pool that our clients can cool off in when they are staying with us,” says Dr. Wanjiku, the manager.
Nawoitorong Women lodge, founded and managed by a group of women, is one of the oldest hospitality facilities in Lodwar, established in 1985. It prides itself as having hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta in one of its cottages during the 2013 election campaigns.
Staying at these hotels is pocket-friendly. Whether you are on a budget, business or leisure trip. For example, a room with a shared bathroom at Nawoitorong Women Lodge costs 800 shillings and 2,500 shillings for a self-contained. While at The Cradle Hotel, it costs between 10,000 shillings for single self-contained tent and 35,000 shillings for a presidential suite.
Last year, Governor Josphat Nanok commissioned a 40 bed Eco-lodge at Lokitoe Angaberu in Turkana North Sub-County in a bid to increase the bed capacity in the county.