Marsabit National Park Kenya

Marsabit National Park Kenya

“A remote paradise for nature lovers” Far to the north of Kenya a densely forested mountain and three crater lakes provide a haven for a variety of birdlife, mammals, and reptiles. The beautiful Marsabit National Park is a refuge for huge tusked bull elephants, diverse birdlife, and reptiles. Hikes in the dense forest, wreathed in mist can be enjoyed along with camel rides, bird watching, and visits to the singing wells.

The Reserve has three spectacular Crater Lakes that provide habitat for a variety of birdlife. One of the lakes, Lake Paradise, is most scenic and famous from early films and writings of Martin Johnson and Vivien de Wattville.

A safari to Marsabit into this area brings the promise of plenty of wildlife. Keep in mind that the game here is less exposed to human contact than wildlife in the Southern Parks. Finding animals can take time, but tracking down the game in this pristine wilderness is a challenge, and like all real challenges, success comes with a rewarding sense of achievement.

Some of the best game viewing in this area is in Marsabit National Park. Plains game, including Northern endemics such as Gravy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, and Oryx are often seen as well as large herds of Elephant. This reserve was once home to the great Tusker Ahmed, a bull who carried Africa’s largest ever recorded ivory. Ahmed’s blessing became a curse as he became a target for poachers, and he was placed under a special Presidential guard until his death from natural causes. Ahmed was considered one of Kenya’s National Treasures, and he is now preserved in the forecourt of the Nairobi National Museum.

The Riverine Forests of Marsabit are good birding country. Leopards have been known to frequent these Forests, and have been sighted here at sunset. The slopes surrounding Marsabit are an excellent place to see Greater Kudu, the large antelope with distinctive curved horns.

Size of Marsabit national park

Altitude: 420-1,700 meters above sea level. Area: 1,554 sq km. Location: Marsabit District, Eastern Province. Distance from Nairobi: 560 km north of Nairobi.

Location of Marsabit national park

The Marsabit National Park is a national park and nature reserve located at Mount Marsabit in northern Kenya, near the town of 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

How to get to Marsabit national park

Marsabit national park is 560 km north of Nairobi. Gates: 2 Gates; Ahmed with an exit at Karare, and Abdul to the park headquarters. Roads: from Nairobi, the reserve is reached via Nanyuki and lsiolo a distance of 570 km.

Airstrips: there is an airstrip at Marsabit, 4km from the Park’s main gate.

Things to do in Marsabit national park


Marsabit is a good area to explore on foot, and there are many interesting hikes out of Marsabit town. There are plenty of interesting local sites within walking distance, including some impressive Volcanic Craters. Just outside Marsabit are a series of Borana wells. These deep wells are used to water herds of cattle. The depth of each well means that several men have to descend into the well, and use a chain of buckets to transfer water up to the waiting herds. These wells are found throughout this area and are vital to the survival of the Borana. Hiring a local guide is advised.

Mountain/Rock Climbing

The impressively stark massif of Ol Olokwe, south of Marsabit, has some excellent climbing routes. Ropes and Equipment, and a guide with some good local knowledge are all required.

When to visit Marsabit national park

Animals roam far and wide when the park is wet, and those that stay can easily disappear into the dense vegetation. So, the Wet season (October to May) is not the best time to strap on your binoculars – unless birds are your priority, that is. To see other animals out in the open, visit in the drier months when there’s a virtual parade of beasts at the crater lakes.

The best time to see the game is early morning and late afternoon. In the midday heat, most animals retreat to the cool of thick undergrowth and become invisible. Marsabit reserve is easily visited from Marsabit town.

Where to stay in Marsabit national park

Marsabit Lodge

Shores of a forest-fringed crater lake in the remote Marsabit National Park, roughly mid-way between Mount Kenya and the Ethiopian border.

Outstanding views and the exquisite peace and beauty of its location, with wildlife converging at the lake and eagles swooping through the trees, compensate for Marsabit Lodge’s rudimentary comforts and slightly spooky emptiness.


Game drives in Marsabit National park
Birding safaris in Marsabit national park
Guided Forest walks in Marsabit national park
Crater walks in Marsabit national park


How to get to Marsabit national park


5 Day Marsabit & Lake Turkana Safari
6 Day Marsabit, Lake Turkana & Chalbi Desert
6 Day Marsabit, Ndoto, Chalbi Desert & Lake Turkana


Best time to visit Marsabit national park


Sand and Rock Resort Marsabit
Nomads trail Hotel Marsabit


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