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Why One Should Visit Marsabit National Reserve


Marsabit national reserve is a forested mountain rising spectacularly from the middle of desert wilderness and offers the only source of a permanent surface in the region. The most scenic aspect of Marsabit national reserve is the Lake Paradise, which was made in the early films and writings of Martin and Vivien de Wattville. Originally it was part of a huge reserve, which was taking in Shaba, Buffalo springs, Samburu and the Losai National Reserve, the mountain was made a national reserve in its own right.


Marsabit national reserve is about 1554km2 and it’s about 560km north of Nairobi and 263km north of Isiolo in the Marsabit County. The Marsabit national reserve comprises of densely forested mountain and three crater lakes which are the only permanent water surface in the area and offer a habitat for variety of birdlife. The climate of Marsabit national reserve is that from January to March it is a hot and dry, April to June it is hot and wet, July to October it is very warm and dry and November and December are warm and wet.


The main wildlife attractions in the region include the African elephant, common zebra, the endangered Grevy’s zebra, leopard, lion, bushbuck, buffalo, Grant’s gazelle, greater and lesser kudus and many small antelopes. The Marsabit national reserve is famous for its elephant, Ahmed that was provided with 24-hour security surveillance by presidential decree in the 1970s to show Kenya’s commitment to conservation of wildlife.


Other attractions include scenic landscape, pristine forest, crater lakes, elephants and greater kudu, diverse bird life and local cultures. It can be assessed by road from Nairobi through Nanyuki and Isiolo, about 620km away. The road up to Isiolo is tarmacked which leaves a distance of 270km that call for a four wheel drive vehicles during the dry season. Access by air to the Marsabit national reserve is possible through an airstrip at Marsabit a kilometer from Marsabit town and 4km from the main gate of the park. The Marsabit national reserve is two and half hours by air from Nairobi.


Currently the park does not operate the system entry of smartcard but by only by cash. An accommodation at Marsabit lodge is excellent since it is an exquisite location and offers stunning views. There are two public camp sites named Ahmed and Abdul. There is a special campsite that is on the shore lake paradise.


The major attractions in Marsabit national reserve are bird life, realm of raptors, the greater kudu, diverse birdlife, prisrine forest, last refuge of the huge-tusked bull elephants, and a dynasty of giants, magical lake paradise, and land of Gofs.


The activity options in Marsabit national reserve include game viewing, ornithological (bird watching safaris), camel safaris to neighboring plains which can be conducted by the local people, and visiting to sing wells where local people engage in songs while drawing water from deep wells to water their livestock. The Marsabit national reserve can be visited any time of year since its weather conditions are conducive all the time.


When visiting Marsabit national reserve you should be keen to take with you drinking water, picnic items and camping equipment if one has an intention of staying overnight. One should also consider having a camera, binoculars, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and guidebooks.