Top 5 Best Reasons To Visit Masarbit National Park in Kenya
Marsabit national park is both a national park and a nature reserve located at Mount Marsabit in the northern Kenya near the town called Marsabit. It is located 560 km north of Nairobi in Marsabit county in the former Eastern Province and its reserve is noted for its zebra population and bird sanctuary. The park is involved with with densely forested mountain and three crater lakes that harbor a great number of wildlife.
The Marsabit national park is home to the large tusked elephants, different bird species and reptiles. It is also a small paradise of green based in the middle of an arid area. Marsabit national park was famously known for the elephants that were known to have had the largest tusks in 1970’s, one of the old bulls called Ahmed who was put under 24 hour surveillance by presidential decree.
Upon his death, his tusks were weighed and it was found that they weighed over 300kg at the time and today the park is still known for those elephants. Despite being a paradise of green in an arid area, Marsabit national park has an extinct volcano in its center, the height of which contributes to create a micro-climate that supports a huge area of indigenous forest that in turn also help in the support of wildlife.
The park has many extinct volcanic craters known as Gofs. The largest of these is Gof Sokorte Guda that has Lake Paradise in the valley after it. The lake is ringed with scenic forest with bird life and butterfly life present. And it is also home for the rare Lammergeyer Vulture. The montane forest is supplied water by thick mist which forms overnight as the hot air rises off the desert and cools and the mist often lingers till late morning.
The best 5 reasons to visit Marsabit national park are all explained below;
1. Wildlife viewing in Marsabit National Park
The forest in Marsabit National Park habituates a wide variety of wildlife that includes elephants, rhino, lion, buffalo, and leopards. for your information these are known as the big five animals in tourism and they were named that by our ancestors or early hunters because of the difficulty they found in hunting them. They also added that one of the factors that made it difficult to hunt them was because they were also hunters and could always kill hunters who hunted them.
In a biological or scientific sense, these big five add an advantage to the Eco-systems in the whole world let alone Marsabit national park. For example lions that help in regulating the number of herbivores in an area by hunting them down as their prey, in addition they mainly hunt weak or young animals to maintain a strong and healthy population. This also regulates the number of herbivores that if not checked, they can devour most of the vegetation in an area leaving the it dry.
Marsabit National Park is also home to the greatest number of graceful greater Kudu antelope and the rare Grey’s zebra and reticulated giraffe. In this park, the biggest highlight is the herd of elephants that usually walk around the crater lake in front of the Marsabit lodge in the afternoon. The tiny suni antelope can also be spotted sometimes dashing off into the undergrowth.
Marsabit can be visited for wildlife viewing in the dry season that is between June to September because the vegetation is less thick and the animals congregate around the crate lakes for drinking water.
2. Mountain climbing in Marsabit National Park
Marsabit National Park has activities like mountain/ rock climbing because of the presence of massif Ol Olokwe on its stark, south of Marsabit . This offers some wonderful climbing routes which can be conducted by the trained guides of the park that have good local knowledge. This accounts fir those tourists who want to be physically fit and are amazed by physical and mental challenges which help keep the heart in its right health conditions.
You can carry water bottles, camping equipment and added items like binoculars, camera or sunscreen to help you while climbing. An added activity similar to this is hiking the park’s landscape consisting of extinct volcano standing 1,707 meters above sea level, the volcano is dominated with a thick forest with many tree species and the forest harbors many animals that can be seen while hiking. The activity is done using well kept trails on the mountain.
3. Flora in Marsabit National Park
The vegetation or the arid thorny bush dominates the lower level, merging into acacia grassland and brown olive dominates the the higher ground. On the road south of the mount Marsabit to the rocky plains of Shaba, Michael plain describes passing extraordinary strangler figs in the mountain top forest, a stark contrast of the dusty track below which is lined by low, flat topped acacia. The densely forested mountain and three crater lakes provide a haven for a variety of bird life, mammals and reptiles.
4. Forest walk in Marsabit national park
Marsabit national park has an area of 1,500 sq km 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 water source in the region. It is also known for its harbor of large tusked elephants like the famous Ahmed who boasted some of the biggest tusks ever that died at the age of 55 years.
In addition to that, Marsabit park also has other mammals like lions, leopards, cheetah among all, has pristine forest, scenic landscape, crater lakes and diverse local cultures. A forest walk to this area bring you closer to plenty of wildlife and amazing landscape, but you should keep in mind that human contact is practiced on a low scale than in the southern parks.
Animal tracking can take time which presents an amazing challenge while in the field and the success comes with a rewarding expense. Some of the best wildlife viewing spots in the park are plains game, that includes northern endemics for example Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Oryx that are seen as well as large herds of elephants. The riverine forest of Marsabit national park is good for bird watching for the bird lovers.
Leopards are known to frequent in the forests and have been seen at sunset while the slopes are surrounded by the greater Kudu, largest antelope with distinctive curved horns. It is a good area to explore by foot giving a new experience to the hikers out there. There is plenty of walking distance through the local sites, also in the volcanic craters. Just outside Marsabit are the series of wells.
These wells are found throughout this area and are vital to the survival of the Borana and hiring a local guide is recommended because of the diversity of knowledge they have or Marsabit national park.
5. Bird watching in Marsabit national park
Marsabit national park is one of the most recognized parks in Kenya as one of the best bird watching parks. Birding is done in very many trails running through the Savannah plains and forested areas of the park and during a walk, you should expect to spot various colored bird species that include the African olive pigeon, bearded vulture, hartlaub’s turaco, Heuglin’s bastard. little grebe, masked lark among others.
A known haven of birds making it habitat to more than 500 different bird species. The activity can be done throughout the year in Marsabit national park but an excellent vie is got in the period of November to April when the migrant bird species are back in the park.
Apart from the best 5 reasons to visit Marsabit national park; you can also have other activities you can do in the park like camel rides, safaris, camping explained below.
Camel rides; This is an interesting activity in Marsabit national park, and during the ride through the park, you should expect a mind blowing experience of seeing all the different types of wildlife and the vast wilderness they live in.
Camping; The excellent destination for enjoying the calm nights of the park.
When to visit Marsabit national park
Most parks in Kenya are visited in the same time because they always have the same best time to visit. Marsabit follows that trend as it is possible to visit the park throughout the year but the best time to visit the national park is when it is dry from June to October and December and march. If you prefer visiting in the short rains( November ) and especially during the long rains in April and May, the wildlife may not be that good.
How to get to Marsabit national park
Marsabit is located 560km north of Nairobi, and can be reached by road or air transport. The new tarred road from Isiolo( near Samburu) to Marsabit and continuing towards Lake Turkana, might put Marsabit on your tourist map. The area is remote so 4×4 vehicles are recommended to be used. By air, most people visiting Kenya fly into Nairobi. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is located 15km southeast of the city.
Accommodation in Marsabit national park
Accommodations in Marsabit are made taking into account all the classes of people in the community. For example the luxury, mid-range, and budget options.
These are the accommodations that a are made for those people who are willing to live luxuriously in Marsabit at any given price.
- Jirime Hotel; The hotel provides excellent services of restaurant, bar, free parking, free WiFi among others having a 19 minute drive to mount Marsabit all at a price of USh 245,480.
- Camp Ndotto; This is a luxury tent in Marsabit that offers accommodation, 8km away from Choba crater with free private parking and 15km from the park all at a price of $35.
These are accommodations that are made to cater for those guests who are not willing to live in a cheap luxurious way.
- Biftu homes; This is a guest house in Marsabit that is 16km away from The national park that provides accommodations with bar, free parking, garden and terrace all at a price of $18.
- Nomads Trail Hotel; The hotel is in Marsabit town, Moyale, Kenya with children amenities. Great location for recreation, sight seeing and dining in Kenya all at an price of USh 75,502.
These are those are put to cater for people who are not willing to pay as much money to live in Marsabit luxuriously
- Jinjimanna Lodge; Located in the heart of Marsabit has a bar, pool, outdoor pool. prices are negotiable.
Trust Kubwa Five Safaris for the best trip to Marsabit national park in Kenya because of its experience in luxurious visits to different countries and for more information, please contact.