The Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) is quickly turning its attention to the remotest, but well endowed northern tourism circuit to try and save the tourism sector that has been on the downwards trend for a few years now. This has made them advertise the Northern Tourism Circuit more.
Northern Kenya remains the most underdeveloped region of the country that has always received very little attention from the successive governments since Independence. However, the government in its Vision 2030 indicated that it would develop and promote Isiolo as a Tourist Resort City in its bid to open up northern Kenya for economic development.
The security that was a bother, the bad roads opening these Northern Kenya attractions to the rest of Kenya & the uncared-for attractions have somewhat been worked on and there have been improvements. This has led to more people visiting places like Lake Turkana and Marsabit National Reserve and more asking for more information to visit. We will try and give what we can in these and future posts.
The number of attractions along this circuit is unlimited. We cannot name all of them on this post. It is littered with parks & reserves with abundant wildlife, scenic mountains and hills, lakes, cultural sites and more. Even sandy beaches are found along the Northern Tourist Circuit.
The parks and reserves are the most. They are all over, some owned by the government, others by the locals and even more private ranches and conservancies. They include:
- Meru National Park
- Bisanadi National Reserve
- Kora National Reserve
- Rahole National Reserve
- Mwingi National Reserve
- Samburu National Reserve
- Buffalo Springs National Reserve
- Shaba National Reserve
- Maralal Game Sanctuary
- Laikipia Game Sanctuary
- Marsabit National Reserve
- Losai National Reserve
- South Turkana National Reserve
- Nasalot National Reserve
- Sibiloi National Park
- Malkamari National Park
There are also a great number of lakes, more than any other tourist circuit in Kenya. The best part is that they are all different and have unique attractions that get travelers and tourists visiting them. Lake Turkana, for example, is the largest desert lake in the world and is a breeding ground for the Nile crocodile a complete contrast from the surrounding arid seemingly extraterrestrial landscape that is often devoid of life. It is Africa’s fourth largest lake, fondly called the Jade Sea because of its breathtaking colour. Lake Baringo and Bogoria have boiling springs and geysers that are high tourist attractions. Nearer to Nairobi, there are Lakes Rutundu and Alice. Lake Alice is well-known for its rich stock of trout and recognised as one of the best places for trout fishing in Kenya. Surrounded by exotic vegetation, such as the enormous senecio and giant lobelia, this is an ideal location to enjoy a perfect day fishing.
The land is mostly flat and sandy as you travel onward from the south of Kenya. The vegetation also gets more scarce. But what you are left with are sights to behold. It is said that Northern Kenya has the most beautiful sunsets. This stretches of flat and bare lands are dotted with hills and mountains here and there. One of these is Mount Kulal (2,416 meters above sea level).
WHERE TO STAY
Well, we cannot list all of them here, can we? Most people take 2 to 3 days or even more than a week to transverse the North of Kenya. There is no need of getting to Samburu and coming back while you can go further to Marsabit. Or get to West Pokot and not travel to El Molo Bay or Loiyangalani.
Accommodations will be listed in various articles to come, based on their proximity to whatever destination the article will be about.
HOW TO GET AROUND
While it is possible to fly to Lake Turkana, Marsabit or Samburu in a Chartered aircraft we recommend a trip by road to spice up the adventure of the tour. It is a rigorous tour where you will experience what you will never forget, the remote Kenya.
A flight will also be quite interesting, providing a bird’s eye view of the areas below.
Most visitors make the long trip from Nairobi over a 2 or 3-day period, stopping en route at Maralal, Samburu, or Marsabit. The trip winds through some beautiful country and travelers invariably encounter Rendille Carmel trains, and pass by tiny villages and nomadic encampments along the way.
The history and cultures of the North- the Samburu, Pokot, Gabbra, Borana and many more are written upon the soil of this trackless land- and traveling through this area is a great education in itself.
If you need more information on this tourist circuit, the best place to get this is in the Magical Kenya website. They have written more on the roads, airstrips, weather and destinations in that whole area. Give it a visit.
If you are a photo maniac(or an aspiring phone photographer, hehe) I got you too. The guys of OneTouch Media have been there severally and brought back the memories in photos. Check Out:
- TRAVELLING MARSABIT TO SIBILOI
- TRAVELLING NAIROBI TO MARSABIT
- VISITING SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK
- LAKE BOGORIA DUST STORM
Far away up in the North, Kenya is expansive, unexplored but rich in color. Every day, the sun seems to be smiling down on this part of Kenya. It brings forth light and heat that revitalizes the sights and sounds of Northern Kenya. With a fun all-terrain vehicle, tour these rugged terrains and experience the thrills, well cut out landscapes that flourish into the horizon and even desert wildlife. Set out and see the Magical Kenya.
PS: In the articles to follow this, we will be giving information on different destinations in Kenya’s Northern Tourist Circuit.