The Northern Frontier of Kenya is expansive but least explored. It has a great deal of sightings to catch and experience. An all-terrain vehicle completes the thrill of the adventure in the rugged terrains of the great northern wilderness.
Photo/ Brian Siambi
Getting to Turkana overland is an adventure that lies in the journey itself. Lake Turkana is considered the world’s largest desert and alkaline lake. Its mercurial blue-green colour has earned it the title ‘The Jade Sea’. The diversity of flora and fauna of the area, as well as the international significance of archaeological discoveries have made Lake Turkana and its surrounding safari national parks UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Lake region offers a lot of cultural aspects drawn from the surrounding tribes of Turkana, Rendille, Elmolo, Gabbra, Borana among others.
Samburu National Reserve
A few kilometers from Archer’s post is this home to the Grevy zebras, Reticulated giraffes , Somali ostrich, Gerenuk and the Beisa oryx (Samburu Special Five). One of the famous Safari destinations in East Africa, Samburu National Reserve is situated on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river. The reserve is a haven of rare and unique species including a great herds of elephants and Kamunyak, the miracle lioness that adopted a baby oryx. It is considered a tourist favorite, abundant with birdlife of over 450 recorded species.
Kamunyak lioness and baby Oryx/ Kenya Geographic
A small oasis town located in Lake Turkana’s Southeastern shores, Loiyangalani means “the place of trees”, in native Samburu. The town is home to one of Kenya’s smallest tribes: the El-molo and is a wonderful meeting place for other Northern Tribes such as the Turkana and Rendile. In June 2008, the National Museums of Kenya officially opened the first and only Desert Museum in Loiyangalani, to celebrate and honour the cultures and lifestyles of the communities that live in this area. The re-known annual Lake Turkana Cultural Festival takes place at Loiyangalani and is an avenue to share and celebrate the rich traditions and culture from the Northern tribes. The 3 day festival is a celebration of the rich cultures of the El Molo, Samburu, Gabbra, Rendile, Watta, Dasannach and the Turkana.
Warriors Academy Samburu
Harbouring breathtaking desert sceneries, this fascinating landscape located south of lake Turkana is dotted by extensive Sand dunes. The best entry point into this scenic landscape is via a helicopter. Such high views provide out of the world views of Cathedral Rock and Lake Logipi, Painted Valley, and Mt. Nyiru. At the centre of Suguta Valley lies the conspicuous Aruba Rock surround by rows and rows of golden sand dunes. Many say if Suguta Valley was set in the famed “Lord of The Rings”, it would be Sauron’s home, Mordor.
Suguta Valley, Maranomads
Central Island National Park
The “Gem of Lake Turkana”, this island is named as a Unesco World Heritage site and is comprised of hills that conceal three active volcano crater lakes. The three crater lakes, Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake and Tilapia Lake, provide breeding grounds for the world’s largest concentration of Nile crocodiles.It is a great place to spend a day exploring, as overnight fly camps to the island allow you to hike the hills while also marveling at the ground below.
Central-Island-National-Park/ Image KWS
Sibiloi National Park
This world Heritage Site brags as being the “Cradle of Mankind”. Its archeological significance comes from the discovery of hominid fossils as well as those of a 1.6 million year old giant tortoise. This park comes as a real surprise after a long desert journey. There is plenty of open green, grassland and plenty of game. The park harbours a great deal of wildlife such as the Zebra, Topi, Giraffe, Ostrich, Hippo and the occasional Lion and Cheetah. The park also offers great birding safari as there are flamingoes, pelicans, herons, ducks, skimmers and many more to be spotted.
This desert is believed to have once been part of an extensive lake in the Northern Frontier. The barren landscape is dotted by cracked earth, rocky lava flows as well as sand. However, the views are scenic with Huri Hills rolling in the horizon as well as oases in its north. Trips to the desert can be done using overland trucks, helicopters or hiring safari vehicles after taking a chartered flight to Sibiloi.
Chalbi Desert/ Bonita on Safari
Koobi Fora Museum
The museum is situated on the Eastern shores of Lake Turkana and is home to important Homind fossils. In addition to 300 hominid specimens , the museum also preserves the remains of a giant Crocodile, Tortoise and Elephant. Koobi Fora deposits have contributed more to the understanding of human evolution than any other site in the continent. Sibiloi and the Turkana Basin have been the centre of scientific study and research.
Want to experience the Great North? Book a private flight or a heli safari and get discover the magnificence of Northern Kenya.