Marsabit National Reserve

National Park – 1,500 sq km – Managed by Kenya Wildlife Services

Marsabit is a forested mountain which rises spectacularly from the middle of a desert wilderness and provides the only source of permanent surface water in the region. It has three beautiful crater lakes within a myriad of resident birdlife. The most scenic is Lake Paradise, made famous in the early films and writings of Martin Johnson and Vivien de Wattville.

Originally part of a huge Reserve which took in Shaba, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and the Losai National Reserve, the mountain was made a National Reserve in its own right. It is a nomadic rangeland and the droughtland of the Rendille herdsmen. Its name means Mountain of Cold.

One of the areas special residents was Kenyas most famous elephant, Ahmed decreed a protected animal by the Presidential Order of President Jomo Kenyatta in 1970. Ahmed, who boasted some of the biggest tusks ever recorded, had a 24 hour armed guard. When Ahmed died, aged 55, his body was preserved and is now on display in Nairobi National Museum.

Other game to view includes: Greater Kudu, Reticulated Giraffe, striped hyena, aard wolf, buffalo, bushbuck, leopard and caracal.
Over 370 species of bird life have been recorded which include the Somali Ostrich, the rare Masked Lark and over 52 raptor species (eagle, buzzard, vulture). A special treat is the rare Lammergeyer Vulture. The area is especially good for butterfly viewing with a wide variety of species.

Accommodation is at the Marsabit lodge sited at the edge of the forest.