Northern Kenya tourism circuit and attractions
Northern Kenya is more an experience than a series of destinations. There’s constantly something catching your eye, whether its Gabbra tribespeople walking the shattered lava fields, extinct volcanoes rising from deserts seas, or the road tracking across the plains. All who visit this wild, diverse region leave cherishing something different, that they’ll never forget.
That said, some things will be ingrained in every visitor’s psyche. The complete and utter beauty of the ‘jade sea’ (Lake Turkana), whose baking, barren shores stretch over the horizon to a distant Ethiopia some 250 km away, cant be overstated.
The many tribes of northern Kenya are some of the most fascinating people on earth- a glimpse into their world is priceless. Unique wildlife, like the reticulated giraffe and endangered Grevy’s Zebra, also call northern Kenya home, mixing with lions, elephants and Oryxes in the varied landscapes of Samburu, buffalo springs and Shaba National Reserves.
For those with energy to burn, there’s great hiking around Marich, Mararal, Marsabit and Ndoto Mountains. If walking isn’t your thing, it’s also perfect for a camel safari.
Where there’s reward, there’s usually risk and northern Kenya is no exception. Don’t expect it to be easy-the roads will batter your behind and your 4WD. But you’ll love every minute of it.
Geography of northern Kenya
Northern Kenya’s diverse landscapes are truly amazing. Deserts range from large tracts of scrub, dissected by luggas (dry river beds that burst into violent life after heavy rains)-and peppered with acacia trees, to Chalbi’s inhospitable black stones and Karoli’s soft sands.
Massive yet gently sloping, the dormant shield volcanoes of Mt. Kulal and Mt. Marsabit climb from barren plains to provide forested havens for humans and animals, while countless steep, Martian-like stratovolcanos burst from lava fields and Lake Turkana’s waters. In other areas such as North Horr, craggy peaks shelter clear streams that flow through valley oases of lush vegetation.
Lake Turkana is the North’s most renowned geographic feature and covers an amazing 6405 sqkm, making it earth’s largest permanent desert lake.
The climate here reflects the landscape’s incredible contrasts. Temperatures on the plains can reach 50o C, without a breath of wind, only for the desert’s dead calm to be shattered by sudden violent thunderstorms that drench everything and disappear as quickly as they came. It’s not uncommon to experience several weather systems during the day and still sleep under clear, star studded skies.
The lone constant is the stiffing heat and strong winds around Lake Turkana.
Highlights of Northern Kenya
The most exciting highlights of Northern Kenya include a variety of experiences depending on where is being visited in the region. The attractions are as diverse as can be including mountains, desert lands, lakes and wildlife. Some of the most captivating highlights of Northern Kenya include
Thanking the heavens for the sight of Lake Turkana and thanking your lucky stars that your tires survived to get you there.
Witnessing the temperature dropping and volcanic cinder cones climbing on Mt Marsabit, a forested island in a sea of desert.
Sharing a smile and some shade with Kenya’s most captivating tribes in South Horr, Loiyangalani or Lodwar
Experiencing the spectacular scenery and wildlife while staying at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and learning about their community and conservation programs.
Realizing Zebras do change their stripes in Samburu National Reserve, home to the rare Grevy’s Zebra species.
Searching for words atop Mt Poi in the remote Ndoto Mountains
Drooling uncontrollably at Lesiolo
Robert is a travel expert in Kenya east Africa and tour consultant with Landmark Safaris. Make a free enquiry on best overland/self drive Northern Kenya safari here. http://www.landmarksafaris.com/planner/?refferer=ezinearticles