BACKGROUND INFORMATION-“THIS PLACE IS GOD’S GIFT”

Marsabit National Reserve covers an area of 1500 km2 and consists of a forested mountain that rises like an oasis in the middle of the desert wilderness and is the only source of permanent surface water in the region.

The reserve has three spectacular crater lakes that provide habitat for a variety of birdlife. One of the lakes, Lake Paradise, is most scenic and famous from early films and writings of Martin Johnson and Vivien de Wattville. Marsabit reserve is also known because of large elephants like the famous Ahmed, an elephant that was provided with a 24 hour protection by a presidential order.

Ahmed, who boasted some of the biggest tusks ever recorded, died at age 55, and his body was preserved and is now on display in Nairobi National Museum. Other animals found in the reserve include, greater kudu, reticulated giraffe, buffalo, bushbuck, leopard and caracal. The reserve has a unique and diverse birdlife of over 370 species that include the Somali ostrich, the rare masked lark and over 52 species of raptors. At certain times of the year, a wide variety of butterflies is noticeably abundant.

ACCESS

Distance: 560 km north of Nairobi.263 km north of Isiolo.

Gates: 2 Gates;Ahmed and Abdul.

Roads: from Nairobi, the reserve is reached via Nanyuki and lsiolo a distance of 620 km. The road is paved up to lsiolo leaving a distance of 270 km of very bad road that is only motorable by 4 wheel-drive vehicles during the dry season.

By Air: there is an airstrip at Marsabit, 4km from the Park’s main gate.

Airstrips: The reserve is 2 1/2 hrs by air from Nairobi and is adequately served by a tarmac airstrip located about one kilometer from Marsabit town centre.

SIZE / LOCATION

1,554 Km2.

Marsabit District, Eastern Province

CLIMATE

Jan-Mar is hot and dry, April-June is hot and wet, July-Oct is very warm and dry, November and December are warm and wet.

PERSONNEL ON CALL

The Warden

SAFARICARD REQUIRED?

At present the park does not operate the SmartCard system. Entryis by cash only ( Ksh or US $)

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • Land of Gofs
  • Magical Lake paradise
  • A dynasty of giants
  • Last refuge of the huge-tusked bull elephants
  • Prisrine Forest
  • Diverse birdlife
  • The greater Kudu
  • Realm of raptors
  • Bird life

WILDLIFE

Elephants, buffalo, greater Kudu, hyena, Grevy’s zebra, Kirk’s dik-dik, reticulated giraffe, lion, leopard and baboon.

WHERE TO STAY

In- Park Accommodation

  • Marsabit Lodge lies in an exquisite location and offers stunning views.
  • Camping
  • 2 public campsites, Ahmed Campsite is located by the main Ahmed Gate some 3.2 km from Marsabit lodge.
  • Abdul Campsite located by Absul gate and is close to Park HQ
  • Special Paradise Campsite: a grassy clearing on the shores of Lake Paradise.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

  • Game viewing.
  • Ornithological (bird watching safaris)
  • Camel safaris to neighbouring plains (this activity can be conducted by the local people);
  • Visiting to “singing wells’ where local people engage in songs while drawing water from deep wells to water livestock.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

All year round

WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU

Drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment if you intend to stay overnight. Also useful are: binoculars, camera, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and guidebooks.

 

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