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Marsabit – the Jewel of Northern Kenya


Trip duration

6 days/ 5 nights


On this day we shall depart Nairobi early and head North crossing the Equator towards Marsabit.

We shall enjoy stops along the way to enjoy the scenery and take photo opportunities. Some of the famous stops include views of Mt. Kenya, Aberdare Ranges, the Equator, River Ewaso Ng’iro North and Mt. Donyo Sabache or Ololokwe.

Night in Marsabit.


As much as most of the dry Northern Kenya looks like a desert, the truth is that many of these regions are actually semi-deserts. Today we visit one of the two true deserts in Kenya- Dida Galgallu; sometimes spelt as Dida Galgalu or Dida Galgalla.

We shall enjoy this scenic place and will spend some time enjoying photo opportunities. Here we may veer off the main road, guided by our local guide; as we enjoy some of the best untouched bare wilderness areas. On previous safaris, our groups have found different animals here including Grevy’s Zebra, Beisa Oryx, Somali Ostrich, Heuglin’s Bustard, Bright’s Gazelle and African Wild Cat.

The more adventurous teams often drive all the way North to Moyale town- the border between Kenya and Ethiopia.

Later in the afternoon, we shall return to Marsabit and enjoy a relaxed evening at our hotel.

Night in Marsabit.



Today we explore the second true desert, in Kenya. We shall leave early to maximise time there and shall carry our picnic snacks and drinks for the day.

The Chalbi Desert was coined from a local language spoken by the Gabra tribe and it means a “salty and bare land”. This vast desert was once part of a large water body and often floods after the heavy rains. More evidence of the former lake can be seen in the numbers of fish skeletons and snail shells as encountered on a walk across the desert pans.

On the way, we shall enjoy several stop-overs. We shall maximise photography opportunities throughout the day. We shall also enjoy time exploring the desert oasis and the scenic sand dunes. The desert cruise today is often a major highlight of this Marsabit Safari.

The Chalbi Desert hosts some dry country animals such as Beisa Oryx, Grevy’s Zebra and Somali Ostrich.

Night in Marsabit.


On this day we shall explore the beautiful Marsabit National Park. The park is nicknamed “a remote paradise for nature lovers”. This diverse park extends from the lower scrubland and graduates into an amazing highland forest.

The mountain is also an ancient extinct volcano; located just a few minutes from Marsabit town. It is a pure oasis rising high above the dry country below. The wildlife here includes African Elephant, African Buffalo, Spotted Hyena, Reticulated Giraffe, Olive Baboon, Leopard and Grevy’s Zebra. The park’s elephants have been made very famous for their large tusks- including the legendary “Ahmed of Marsabit”; an elephant that was protected by the State after the President of Kenya declared him a national treasure. Many highland birds also occupy this great forest.

We shall also enjoy visits to the local crater lakes that dot this beautiful forest; the most famous one being Lake Paradise.

Night in Marsabit.


We shall then head South, to Samburu where our safari gets to add a great diversity of wildlife. Samburu National Reserve hosts some very exciting animal species such as the Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra and Reticulated Giraffe; most of which are not easy to find south of the Equator. We shall also explore the neighbouring Buffalo Springs National Reserve.

The mighty Ewaso Ng’iro North River meanders its way across these reserves giving life to this beautiful land. Local Doum Palms tangle their branches in the sky as if waving at the people, and provide the landscape with a beautiful touch. Enjoy tracking the local elephants and other members of the Big 5 on your game drives. Predators here are plenty and we shall keep an eye for African Lion, Leopard, Bat-eared Fox, Silver-backed Jackal, Cheetah and Striped Hyena.

Night in Samburu.


On this day we shall enjoy a morning game drive in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves; seeking any wildlife species we may have missed.

We shall then drive back to Nairobi, enjoying stop-overs along the route. On arrival in Nairobi, we shall transfer back to your lodge- marking the end to our exciting Marsabit safari.

Extension options:-

Marsabit and Northern Kenya is a very diverse and vast region. You may choose to enjoy more of this region by visiting the hidden gems that are off the regular route. For these extensions, you may need to spend some nights in basic camps and use some rough roads. The available extension options include:-

  1. Loiyangalani- the hidden gem at the Southern end of Lake Turkana (the famous Jade Sea or Lake Rudolf). Enjoy this hot and dry place full or lava rocks and sweeping winds originating from the nearby Mt. Kulal. You also enjoy the local El Molo cultural village as you interact with the local people. Here you will also visit the Desert Museum and learn more about this unique destination.
  2. Mt. Kulal- enjoying this beautiful biosphere reserve, where many species of animals have been found to represent unique taxa. One of the most famous species here is the endemic Mt. Kulal White-eye; a small bird that only occurs on this mountain and nowhere else in the entire World. The mountain is an extinct volcano with a peak at over 2,285 metres; where the crater splits into a massive gorge.
  3. Chalbi Desert overnight- enjoy a night at this amazing desert, one of the only two true deserts in Kenya. The sand dunes here form a site to behold; as do the beautiful star-lit skies at night.
  4. Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves more nights- enjoy a few more nights in this beautiful place and explore the local wildlife. You can choose to add one or two nights.
  5. Meru National Park- add a few nights at this beautiful park located in Northern Kenya; and bathed by the mighty Tana River and its tributaries. This is one of the least-visited hidden gems of Kenya and arguably the least-explored national parks of modern time. Enjoy tracking White Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Cheetah, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra, Savannah Elephant, African Lion and Leopard; across the vast Meru National Park. This park was also the former home of the famous Joy and George Adamson- of the “Born Free” book and film.