North of Isiolo is Archer’s Post, long considered the official eastern gateway to the wilds of the Northern Frontier District. Beyond this point you enter a world of harsh beauty, endless arid plains and the great monolithic mesa of Ol Olokwe on the horizon.
At the heart of this great desert wilderness is the lush highland oasis
of Marsabit. Set over the scorching plains, Marsabit is a small town
surrounded by thick verdant forests, watered each morning by cool mists.
Marsabit is the commercial centre of the area, and its streets are a
fascinating showcase of the many Northern tribes and cultures.
Nearby Marasabit National Park is a beautiful place, where thick forests
and rivers attract plenty of game and great herds of Elephant. This is
real elephant country, once home to the mighty Ahmed, a famous tusker
whose impressive ivory is now displayed in the Nairobi Museum. Beyond
Marsabit is the Great Northern frontier, and the winding road to Turkana
leads to adventure…
How to get to Marsabit and Beyond...
Marsabit is accessible from Nairobi via Isiolo and Archer’s Post, by private transport. There is an airstrip servicing charter aircraft in Marsabit. Driving time from Nairobi is approximately 10hours. Accessing the North from Marsabit can be difficult without private transport. Marsabit is a good base for organized safaris.
Where to Stay in Marsabit
Marsabit has a range of accommodation for visitors. As you head
further north, options lessen, but there are still many interesting
A safari into this area brings the promise of plenty of wildlife. Keep in mind that game here is less exposed to human contact than wildlife in the Southern Parks. Finding animals can take time, but tracking down game in this pristine wilderness is a challenge, and like all real challenges, success comes with a rewarding sense of achievement.
Some of the best game viewing in this area is in Marsabit National Park.
Plains game, including Northern endemics such as Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe and Oryx are often seen as well as large herds of Elephant. This reserve was once home to the great Tusker Ahmed, a bull who carried Africa's largest ever recorded ivory. Ahmed's blessing became a curse as he became a target for poachers, and he was placed under special Presidential guard until his death from natural causes.
Ahmed was considered one of Kenya's national treasures, and he is now preserved in forecourt of the Nairobi National Museum.
The riverine forests of Marsabit are good birding country. Leopards have been known to frequent these forests, and have been sighted here at sunset. The slopes surrounding Marasabit are an excellent place to see Greater Kudu, the large antelope with distinctive curved horns.
The best time to see game is early morning and late afternoon. In the midday heat, most animals retreat to the cool of thick undergrowth and become invisible. Marsabit Reserve is easily visited from Marasabit town.
If you have a particular wildlife or birding interest, look for a Safari operator who can offer you specialized guiding and services to suit your needs.