2013 Aug 29-31 Northern Kenya

    • Samburu tribeswoman
    • Reticulated giraffe, Samburu
    • Camping at Samburu
    • Grevy's zebra
    • Gerenuk browsing
    • The Brown River at Samburu
    • Samburu woman with neckdress
    • The road to Marsabit
    • Camels crossing the road north of Isiolo
    • Frontier village south of Marsabit
    • Vervet monkey watching our camp
  • One of the benefits of independent travel is that you can chop and change as you go along. Once again our itinerary changed as we decided to spend a day and a night at Samburu National Park. What a treat! We had a magnificent campsite right on the river’s edge all to ourselves, with plenty of game coming to the water’s edge to drink early evening. Within five minutes of entering the park, we had seen all the specials: Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, two species of dik-dik, beisa oryx and vulturine guineafowl.

    A first class spectacle, not cheap at $200 entry and camping, plus R45 vehicle entry, but worth every cent as I was feeling rather fragile.

    Jannie had still not managed to get rid of all the oil on the Prado’s roof – another saga! Two years ago he was given a plastic 5-litre container with oil by Kobus de Jager, who had used ours when he ran into engine trouble due to filthy Tanzanian fuel. Jannie had decided to load this container onto the roof carrier, just in case. Bad roads caused chafing, and you can guess the rest. Black goo over everything on top, and dribs and drabs spilling down the windows. Lovely stuff when you add red powder dust.

    This morning I woke up feeling almost 100%, after a night when the wind never stopped howling. It was so hot, we did not mind one bit, and it was bliss to sleep with the canvas tent flap open. A cold shower this morning, no problem, with an unobstructed view of the river and a dozen reticulated giraffe browsing on the opposite bank. Vervet monkeys and baboons everywhere, so we had to be very careful about leaving doors open, but otherwise, this is the life.

    We did some game viewing on the dusty Samburu tracks, sat watching a breeding herd of 20 plus elephant pass right by us, then went to chill at the lodge for a while. This was in preparation for the hardest part of the trip, the road to hell through northern Kenya. Frontier land, with camels by the roadside, veiled Arabic women, Samburu tribesmen with feathers in their headdress, Boran cattle herds – a different country almost.

    Well what do you know, we had outstanding tar for more than 100km past Archer’s Post, thanks to the European Union, and then a passable road all the way to Marsabit. What is meant to take an entire day, we did smilingly in four hours. Africa has so many surprises. We are told that the remaining 250km to Moyale will also take us four hours. Even though we are not driving like the Kenyan maniacs, even five or six hours will see us smiling.

    To add to our feeling of elation, Henry’s campsite at Marsabit exceeds all our expectations. We are indulging in electricity, running water that is not brown, lots of firewood, a covered lapa and garden furniture. Way to travel!