Demystifying the Northern Kenya Myth: Samburu, Lake Paradise and Chalbi Desert
Like I keep saying, Kenya is amazingly beautiful! There are so many breath-taking places in this country that will leave you speechless. I do not think I have done a quarter of the country yet. Some places have left me wondering why they are not exposed or given priority. If Kenya was packaged well, Majority would not travel abroad in search of holiday destinations. From the dare devils of Chebloch Gorge, to white sandy beach at Takawiri Island and from Marafa depression in Malindi to Lake Chala in Taveta; Magical Kenya is a rich destination.
Have you explored Kenya? Which places have you visited? Would you go back to those places given a chance? Would you refer other people to those places? #FoodforThought
About a week ago, Safiri Nasi Limited together with Cheetah Safaris and Bucketlist adventures organized a trip to Northern part of Kenya. When North of Kenya is mentioned, several assumptions run in our mind; Insecurity, Alshabaab, clashes, bandits, hunger, drought, scorching sun, flash floods, and many other negative myths. It’s only though travel that such myths can be demystified.
Prior to the trip, Clashes in Marsabit dominated News' headlines. Since Safiri Nasi had scheduled a 3 days trip on 19th October, we had to go no matter what. Some of the people who had subscribed withdrew citing insecurities and advisories.
We embarked on a journey praying to our God to protect us. Not only did we receive messages on social media, we also received calls from concerned people. To demystify these myths, I will give a step-by-step coverage of the entire trip with pictures. Sit back and Travel with Eliud to Marsabit County!
We boarded the overland truck in Nairobi CBD at 4.30AM. It was still dark, but we knew the long journey that was ahead of us.
At 4.45am we embarked on our journey picking a few people along Thika road. When the sun came out, we were in Karatina.
The Tembea Kenya Magic started divulging itself when we passed Kiganjo towards Narumoru. The highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa-Mt Kenya stood tall to say high to us. We got stuck on the windows staring at this beautiful gem.
At 9.00am we were in Nanyuki town. We did shopping for some minutes and continued with the journey. Passing though Timau towards the Isiolo-Meru junction was another moment of awesomeness. The landscape exhibited by Timau farms and Laikipia plains was beautiful.
From Isiolo, the road is clear with no vehicles, bumps or potholes. We made a stop at the famous Mt. Ololokwe to enjoy the view and take in that part of the day.
Mt Ololokwe is an idiosyncratic flat topped shape with a high sheer cliff drops of an average of 2,000meters high. The mountain towers over the Samburu plains. To the locals, the mountain is commonly known as Ol Donyo Sabache. In the recent past, the mountain has drawn more attention to visitors who hike, rock climb and camp. Besides, the views of the surrounding arid and semi-arid plains and distant mountains from the cliff are astonishing.
After a picturesque moment, we braced ourselves for a non-stop journey. We had carried packed lunch so we did not have to stop anywhere. The truck was full of fun as we engaged in conversations, played board games, took pictures and gazed outside.
Before we know it, we were in Marsabit County
At 3.30pm, we were in Marsabit town. Without wasting time, we exchanged the vehicles and boarded land cruisers for Lake Paradise. The surprise that this county gave us left us wondering why it’s in the North. It is green with vegetation and tree cover. It was received some rains days before we arrived. It did not feel like we are in Marsabit. One could mistake it with a place in Mt. Kenya region or somewhere in south Rift.
We drove through Marsabit National park enjoying a cool breeze. It was an uphill task which reminded me that the road to heaven is not easy. We drove inside the crater to have a close view of the paradise.
After taking a few pictures, we drove up hill again to a view point. This gave us a spectacular view of the lake. We also spotted buffalos and gravy zebras buy the lake, but our cameras could not zoom enough for clear shots.
We drove back at sunset and checked in a campsite at the KWS headquarters.
The chef was already on top of his game. We set up camp, lit bonfire, ate, did introductions at the campfire, stories and retired to bed late night.
In the morning, everyone was awake at 6.00am, we had breakfast and the cruisers were waiting for us ready for a desert adventure. Surprisingly, no one remembered or cared about the clashes we had heard about. We were so excited to see this desert. Our drivers assured us of a safe ride. We left the camp and the adventure started a few kilometers from Marsabit town when we diverted into a rough road.
The cruisers are desert beasts. They went at top speed and we did not feel the rocks and potholes. One of the vehicles developed a flat tire and we stopped to fix it. We took advantage of that to take pictures……
After an hour and 20 minutes, we arrived at the desert. It is nothing but magical.
We enjoyed the sceneries, felt the scorching sun, and took pictures for days...............
We drove back to Marsabit, ate lunch and broke camp.
Our drive to Samburu National reserve was characterized by stories of Chalbi desert and Marsabit.
We got to Samburu at 6.00pm. The campsite was next to Ewaso Nyiro River. We pitched tents and the sun blessed our day with a magical sunset.
We ate dinner, danced to music and called it a day.
Morning came, and the sunrise was graceful.
We went for a morning game drive at Samburu National Reserve. The park has an amazing landscape.
We managed to spot several animals such as Elephants, Giraffes, Gerenuk, Dik Dik, Guinea fowl, Zebras, and Impalas among others.
Samburu marked the end of our North exploration in a 3 days adventure. If we had more days, we would have stayed in Marsabit longer. The North is beautiful and worth a visit. It is worth more exposure and marketing.
Marsabit, we will be back in February next year for another adventure thrill! More details with Safiri nasi Limited.
Until next time, keep travelling…………………..
Click on ‘comments’ below to comment
10/31/2018 07:58:09 am
WOW.. 😍😍😍 (just one word).. WOW !!!
11/1/2018 02:27:20 pm
10/31/2018 08:16:31 am
Eliud if I was given a chance to change my career or upgrade it ....the answer would be yes I wanna be a travel blogger .....Nice Peace and in Feb I will be part of that Safari
11/1/2018 02:48:35 pm
10/31/2018 08:57:27 am
Yes I have traveled and every time I refer people to the places I have been.
11/1/2018 02:50:12 pm
Thank you Sir!
10/31/2018 01:56:48 pm
This was by far the best experience I've had when it comes to travel within our country. My first time in the North and I'm just so glad SAFIRI NASI curated this experience for us. Lets keep exploring our country's hidden gems and let everyone else know about it.
11/1/2018 02:51:10 pm
Thank you Njoki,
10/31/2018 09:58:38 pm
Thank you Eliud for sharing.
11/1/2018 02:52:28 pm
1/25/2019 09:18:28 am
What a piece. Am thrilled. I want to do this soon. Lets talk
Travel With Eliud
1/25/2019 09:50:27 am
Let's go on 15th February
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Eliud Ndungu, a part-time adventure travel blogger who’s been exploring his motherland-Kenya for over 5 years