The splendour of Kenya’s ‘sleepy North’

An eight day road trip from Nairobi to Illeret, a small town only 19km from the Kenya-Ethiopia border within Marsabit county, exposed the breathtaking beauty of the sleepy north.

Kenya Tourism Board in partnership with the National Museums of Kenya have turned their attention to the remotest and underdeveloped parts of the Northern Circuit, but rich in tourist attraction sites.

From the incredible scenery of Ololokwe hills in Isiolo, serene shores of the Lake Turkana to the ever incredible photographic opportunity to capture the sunrise and sunset and the exotic communities and their cultures.

The access by road is magnificent, as the highway from Nairobi to Laisamis is all tarmac. The remaining portion of the dry weather road is all smooth thanks to the Sh70 billion Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Loiyangalani district that has helped build the road.

Paleoanthropologist Prof Jack Harris of Rutgers University currently working on the Koobi Fora human footprint site said, “With this discovery, we want Kenyans to visit and appreciate our heritage of human existence that is 1.5 million years old and resonates with humans and their varied cultures”.

Every aspect of tourism is abundantly available. From scientists keen on archaeology or culture or just a traveller seeking a break from the hustles, baffles and bustles of the city life, all are taken care of by already existing facilities at Loiyangalani, a beautiful small town with adequate accommodation.

About 120 kilometres out of Loiyangalani, sits Sibiloi National Park. The magnificent Lake Turkana shore line provides unhindered views of wild animals including zebras, topis and hippos. In addition, Koobi Fora, an archaeology centre, is busy with scientists up and about.

Steve Lenayapa, proprietor of Malabo Resort called for the government’s continued support to domestic and foreign tourism.

“It’s only recently that the government indicated that it would develop and promote the Northern Sector in efforts to open it up to economic development opportunities in line with the vision 2030.” he said.

Despite having received little attention from government since independence, Kenya’s north is an incredible tapestry of ancient cultures, exotic wildlife, and dramatic ecosystems, mesmerising for the eyes, mind, and soul.


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