With a singular goal in mind, we met in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) to start the adventure. Destination? Chalbi desert. Little did we know that there would be pleasant surprises.
The first scenic stop was Mt. Ololokwe. This majestic mountain loves showing off for photos! Whichever angle is shot, its majesty comes through!
Ngurunit – The place is known for rock sliding. With the proper amount of rain, the place is a sliding haven. Bump. Bump. Splash. However, due to the reduced rainfall, we did not slide, however, we took a pleasant walk that gifted us with the sightings of many bird species. The accommodation consisted of well-built Manyattas and stone structures/houses. The stone houses are self-contained while the Manyattas make use of shared facilities.
In the heat of the North, the Manyattas are the better option because they are cool and airy. If one gets too hot, they are also welcome to sleep outside under the stars. A magical experience! The food served here was utterly delicious! Soft fluffy pancakes, beans, mahamri, and very soft succulent goat meat, not forgetting the hot tea/coffee. An option for everyone!
Ndoto mountains – located on the northern side of Samburu county, these mountains are majestic and scenic. Quad biking is the activity to do. Hear and feel the rumble of the engine as you speed through the sandy soil.
Lake Turkana wind power project – the huge towering windmills remind one of Ngong hills. Meticulously planned and arranged, these mills feed off the fast blowing wind that is equally refreshing.
Lake Turkana – also known as the ‘Jade sea’, this lake does not disappoint in its views and vastness. On its shores, is a small town called Loiyangalani where the Turkana festival usually takes place, not forgetting a stopover for delicious fish as you head to North Horr. With a desert museum a few kilometres away, this is an exciting destination.
On the outskirts of Loiyangalani is a small fishing village on the shores of Lake Turkana inhabited by the El Molo community, there are those who live on land, and others on an island that is a few minutes by boat. They do a lot of fishing, which is their main source of sustenance and trade. The women never disappoint for they have the task of building beautiful manyattas including making amazing jewellery which they sell to enthusiastic tourists.
A visit to the El Molo community cannot be complete without a cultural dance!
Sand dunes in North Horr – these dunes are nothing short of amazing. Naturally placed with a view of the magnificent sunset, photography enthusiasts are bound to have an amazing time.
Before heading to Kalacha Oasis en route to Chalbi desert, we spent the night in some cool traditional bandas that were well ventilated and had the most comfortable bed. The facilities in this particular camp were shared.
Have you ever wanted to have a shower under the stars? This is the place to be! The starry night was an excellent companion to an outdoor shower. The camp owners have kept the entire camp clean, to ensure the ultimate experience. The food here was thoroughly delicious! Hot tea/coffee, warm pancakes, beans, mandazi, goat stew, and very tasty rice and matumbo (tripe).
Kalacha oasis – as you approach it, palm trees dot the landscape. Fresh cold water springs from the hot earth and quenches humans and animals alike.
Chalbi desert – hot wind. Hot sun. Hot dust. The experience? Nothing short of amazing! Everything you ever want to experience in a desert is here. Mirage? Endless horizons? You have them all!
Marsabit national park – managed by KWS, this is the home of an array of wildlife. It is also home to an amazing viewpoint where you have a birds-eye view of Lake Paradise. Buffalos dot the distant landscape, while the Grevy’s zebras graze silently while minding their own.
The North should be on everyone’s bucket list. There is no end to scenic beauty, beautiful people of Kenya, beautiful cultural presentations, and great cuisines to sample.