Marsabit national park

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Altitude: 420 - 1707 m.a.m.s.l.

A montane paradise amidst the arid wastelands of northern Kenya, with parts of it dubbed 'paradise' by wildlife film makers Martin and Osa Johnson.

Its forests are fed by relief rainfall, as the warm desert winds are deflected upwards by the mountain and cooled, finally coming down as rain during the early hours of the morning.

Home of Ahmed, a legendary huge-tusked bull elephant who lived here for about 63 years.

The landscapeA great portion of the park lies on mount Marsabit — a thick rain forest in almost every place, except the park's craters and lowlands.

Two of these craters, have permanent lakes in them — fed by rain water, with the last Bongole crater, having a seasonal, marsh filled one.

At the mountain's foot are shrub lands, which gradually become semi arid and arid lands as you move further away from it.

AnimalsThe park's forests support animals that are rarely found in northern Kenya, such as the huge tusked bull elephants, buffalo, warthogs, greater kudu, hyenas, Grévy's zebra, Kirk's dik-dik, a variety of antelopes, reticulated giraffe, lions, leopards, baboons and over 400 bird species, 52 of which are raptors.

What to do thereBird watching, hiking, game viewing, camping, picnics, game drives, camel riding, barbecues and functions.

The highlands offer good views of the surrounding desert.

Best time to visitThe dry seasons of January to March and July to October.

Location of Marsabit national parkMarsabit national park is in northern Kenya, about 200 km from Moyale, at the border between Kenya and Ethiopia.

It is also in the middle of the desert, next to the Isiolo - Moyale highway.

How to get thereBy air or vehicle.

Almost a day's drive from Nairobi, using buses heading to Moyale and other or Marsabit itself.

There is an airstrip in Marsabit town, a short distance north of the park.

Hiking is allowed in the rain forest region of the park, though only with an armed ranger's escort.

If planning to drive, then a 4x4 may be a good way to cover the mountain terrain, that gets muddy during the rainy seasons.

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