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  • 9 reasons to visit Kenya’s wild and wonderful north | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    see wildlife for the herds of safari jeeps blocking the view Yet in northern Kenya spine jangling roads and long travel times mean it is virtually tourist free Visitors here are treated to jaw dropping landscapes and cultural interactions that most tourists will simply never experience 2 To see out of this world beauty Lake Turkana the world s largest permanent desert lake and biggest alkaline lake is a must see for the adventurous soul It s fondly referred to as the Jade Sea because of its breathtaking turquoise colour Here the frothy white waves of the crocodile infested waters lap over surrounding craggy volcanic residue a barren Martian landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see 3 For hikes that will take your breath away literally Avid hikers head to northern Kenya for spectacular climbing such as the challenging Mount Kulal a 2285m high mountain next to Lake Turkana that dominates the northern horizon as you approach from the south It s a tough hike comprising two summits joined by a narrow ridge with wind dust heat and altitude to contest with but the views from the top over the lake and searing Chalbi Desert are almighty 4 Because the wildlife encounters are like no other Northern Kenya offers some of the most spectacular ways to experience Kenya s thriving wildlife from horseback safaris in Laikipia to quad bike adventures on the Borana conservancy On the Lewa conservancy the rare Grévy s zebra live in abundance you can jog past them during the Lewa Marathon or take a boat trip on Lake Turkana to witness the thriving crocodile population reportedly the Nile s largest 5 To meet some of the world s most remote and spectacular tribes The region s rich cultural heritage is one of the most rewarding reasons to visit northern Kenya In many places here life continues unchanged as it has for centuries the El Molo people one of the last true hunter gatherer communities fish on the shores of Lake Turkana as their ancestors did The nomadic Turkana tribe also move across the harsh landscape adorned with ornate beaded jewellery and stunning hand printed fabrics In Marsabit local herdsmen lead their cattle to water each morning and follow the age old tradition of singing as they scoop water from the well to the trough above 6 Because it s the home of humankind Visiting northern Kenya is a pilgrimage to the land where our first ancestors once roamed Leading research suggests humans originated in Africa and the largest numbers of human fossils have been found here One of the most important and complete early human skeletons a 1 6 million year old Homo erectus fossil was discovered on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya named Turkana Boy 7 Because the wild camping is spectacular One of the best reasons to visit northern Kenya is for the incredible wild camping on offer Head to the banks of Lake Paradise in Marsabit National

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/reasons-to-visit-northern-kenya/?wpfpaction=add&postid=413230 (2016-02-16)
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  • The North Guide | Kenya Travel | Rough Guides
    North more than half the country is an arid zone most of it cinder dry for ten months of the year The old Northern Frontier District remains one of the most exciting and adventurous parts of Africa a vast tract of territory crisscrossed by ancient migration routes and still tramped by nomadic Samburu Boran Rendille Gabbra Turkana and Somali herders Unfortunately it also has a dangerous reputation with livestock rustling and tribal feuding widespread while banditry and the spillover from Somalia s civil conflict make it too risky to visit northeastern Kenya the whole area east of the Isiolo Marsabit Moyale road By contrast the vast territories to the north and west of Mount Kenya including Lake Turkana and the beautiful Laikipia region are safe if still adventurous areas to visit The most obvious attraction in northern Kenya is the Laikipia plateau a region of hilly savanna northwest of Mount Kenya Second in wildlife density only to the Maasai Mara Laikipia boasts more endangered species than anywhere else in the country including Kenya s biggest population of black rhino alongside some very successful examples of mixed ranching and conservation and some very upmarket boutique lodges and camps While Laikipia is increasingly popular for high end fly in safaris the classic travel target in the far north is the wonderful jade splash of Lake Turkana The lake s islands prehistoric sites and in recent years the Lake Turkana Festival are major attractions to add to the strong appeal of the adventurous journey to the lakeshore Although Moyale is little more than Kenya s border town with Ethiopia the remote road north to the frontier runs past fascinating Marsabit National Park with its misty highland forests rising above the desert Looking east not many people take the long road to Garissa or

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/kenya/north/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Maasai Mara National Reserve | The National Parks and Mombasa Highway Guide | Rough Guides
    lobster pots to corner their prey in ambushes and it is sometimes possible to watch them hunt as they take very little notice of vehicles The Mara Predator Project run by Living With Lions is creating an online ID database of the northern Mara prides Lodge guides use the lions facial whisker spots to identify individuals and visitors are encouraged to get involved by reporting sightings at w livingwithlions org mara While lions seem to be lounging under every other bush finding a cheetah is much harder they can sometimes be seen on the murram mounds alongside the Talek Sekenani road These are usually solitary cats slender unobtrusive somewhat shy and vulnerable to harassment by wildlife watchers Cases of cheetahs using vehicles as look out hills first noted only in the 1990s have become common as they lose their fear and adapt to close human scrutiny Their natural hunting times are dawn and dusk but some cheetahs prefer to hunt during the middle of the day when the humans are shaded in the lodges This is not a good time of day for the cheetah which expends terrific energy in each chase and may have to give up if it goes on for more then thirty or forty seconds When they move cheetahs exhibit marvellous speed and agility and if you re lucky enough to witness a kill it s likely to take place in a cloud of dust a kilometre from where the chase began Leopards are seen increasingly often in the daytime and there are plenty of them Leopard Gorge in the Mara North Conservancy is an obvious place to look Their deep grating roar at night a grunt repeated is a sound which once heard you carry around with you Rangers are certain to know the current news about the black rhinos every calf born is a victory though finding them is often difficult Check out the thickets of desert date trees Balanites near Little Governors marsh or Rhino Ridge where one or two of the reserve s faru are sometimes obligingly positioned There are also two white rhinos in the area brought in from South Africa and living in the Ol Choro Oirouwa Rhino Sanctuary in the conservancy of the same name close to Mara Safari Club The sanctuary w olchorro blogspot com is upstream along the Mara River well to the north of the reserve Maasai Mara s other heavyweights are about in abundance The Mara River surges with hippo while big families of elephant traipse along the forested river and stream margins and spread out across the plains when there s plenty of vegetation to browse The reserve is home to an estimated thousand or so elephants with another five hundred living in the districts beyond its boundaries Among all these outstanding characters the herds of humble grazers can quickly fade into the background It s easy to become blasé when one of the much hyped big five elephant rhino buffalo lion leopard isn t eyeballing you at arm s length but those are the hunter s trophies and not necessarily the photographer s Warthog families like rows of dismantled Russian dolls zebra and gazelle odd looking hartebeest and slick purple flanked topi are all scattered with abandon across the scene The topi are particularly characteristic of the Maasai Mara being almost confined in Kenya largely to this reserve there are always one or two in every herd standing sentry on a grass tussock or an old termite mound Topi and giraffe whose dream like slow motion canter is one of the reserve s most beautiful and underrated sights are often good pointers for predators in the vicinity look closely at what they re watching The reserve used to have rare herds of roan antelope swaggering horse sized animals with sweeping curved horns but they became extinct here in the 1970s and today you ll only see them in Ruma National Park near Lake Victoria The roans are just a standout example of a serious decline in the Mara s wildlife populations Although the numbers are a constantly moving pattern as animals move in and out of the counting zones used in aerial surveys the long term trend is very much down with most species having lost at least half their Mara populations since the 1980s Buffalo and giraffe have been particularly badly hit On a positive note the surveys have concentrated on the reserve itself and as community conservancies have replaced herding communities so the wildlife has been moving into the much better managed areas beyond the reserve boundaries all of which report increasing populations of wildlife And wild dogs are back reported from a number of conservancies Visiting Maasai villages Visiting Maasai villages One diversion you re likely to be offered especially if travelling on an organized safari is a visit to a Maasai enkang usually incorrectly called a manyatta an enkang is an ordinary homestead a manyatta a ceremonial bush camp Forget about the authenticity of tribal life this is the real world Children and old people are sick young men have moved to the towns and everyone wants your money Unprepared and uncomfortable most visitors find the experience depressing or a bit of a rip off or both You ll pay around 20 person if organized by your lodge camp or safari driver or around Ksh1000 person if you arrange it yourself for the right to have a look around peer inside some dwellings and be on the receiving end of a determined sales pitch to get you to buy souvenirs Because of the supposed sales opportunity safari drivers have for decades paid a tiny fee to the headman of their chosen village and kept the bulk of the cash the standard commission hard as it is to believe was 96 percent or less than a dollar per visitor actually paid to the community A number of initiatives are now changing this however and the best operators and camps have

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/kenya/national-parks-mombasa-highway/maasai-mara-national-reserve/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Following the Greatest Show on Earth, Tanzania | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports Following the Greatest Show on Earth Tanzania By Keith Drew October 11th 2013 View Comments Imagine squinting into the shimmering Serengeti horizon and seeing a herd of wildebeest trundle into view They re moving slowly stopping every now and then to graze on what s left of the parched savannah At first they number a couple of dozen but as you watch tens become hundreds and hundreds become thousands And still they come a snorting braying mass relentlessly marching north in search of food This is the wildebeest migration and watching it play out on the sweeping plains of Tanzania s Serengeti National Park is unforgettable The statistics are staggering in May each year over 2 5 million animals mostly wildebeest but also several hundred thousand zebras and antelopes set out on a three month journey from the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti to Kenya s Masai Mara Game Reserve On the way they ll cover some 800km of open plains and croc infested rivers running the gauntlet of predators such as lions cheetahs hyenas and hunting dogs By June the herds have passed deep into the park s Western Corridor and are nervously starting to cross the Grumeti River This is the migration at its most savage and the defining moment of countless wildlife documentaries as the reluctant wildebeest gather at the riverbank too scared to go any further until the mass behind them is so intense that they spill down into the water and are suddenly swimming scraping and fighting in a desperate attempt to get across Many are injured or drowned in the mayhem while huge Nile crocodiles pick off the weak and unwary Those that do make it are still

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/following-the-greatest-show-on-earth-tanzania/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Laikipia | The North Guide | Rough Guides
    and yet community land is managed in ways that respect traditional lifestyles while meeting the needs of wildlife and producing revenues from tourism As tourist numbers grow indigenously owned group ranches are also beginning to work independently to achieve the same ends Read More More about Kenya Things not to miss Explore Kenya Itineraries Features Gallery Where Next Check out The Coast Book a hostel in Kenya Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Explore Laikipia Turkana The northeast Find out more Eastern Laikipia Eastern Laikipia In the far southeast of Laikipia lies the former cattle ranch of Lewa Downs one of the earliest ranches to convert to wildlife conservation and now largely incorporated into the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy A little to the north of Lewa and in much wilder country are the locally owned group ranches of Il Ngwesi and Lekurruki while bordering Lewa to the west is an exemplary game and cattle ranch Borana Central Laikipia Central Laikipia A great chunk of land in central Laikipia on the east side of the Ewaso Nyiro is now managed as the Naibunga Conservancy covering more than 170 square kilometres and comprising swathes of conservation land ceded by eight community owned group ranches in the area Il Motiok Kijabe Koija Kuri Kuri Morupusi Nkiloriti Tiemamut and Il Polei There is as yet a limited range of places to stay though several of the group ranches are encouraging wild camping with guides further details at w laikipia org Privately owned ranches northwest of Nanyuki include El Karama Ol Jogi and Mpala El Karama a settler ranch since the early 1960s covers nearly sixty square kilometres and as well as being a working ranch with a herd of unusual Sahiwal cattle also provides a home for Grevy s zebra plenty of elephants reticulated giraffe leopards at least one pride of lions and occasionally wild dogs among many other species Mpala Ranch and Conservancy owned by the American Mpala Wildlife Foundation ranges across two hundred square kilometres and incorporates a state of the art wildlife and environmental research centre However there is no accommodation on the ranch for tourist visitors Ol Jogi is a 270 square kilometre ranch owned by the art dealing and horse racing Wildenstein family where KWS staff and US government vets are engaged in a long term project to extract gerenuk semen for captive breeding Il Polei Group Ranch Walking with Baboons An interesting new community activity at Twala Cultural Village near Il Polei is Walking with Baboons a chance for visitors to overturn some of the popular myths and prejudices that our species holds for this less cultured but no less social primate In the early morning or at dusk you go out with a guide trained by the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project to observe a habituated troop at close quarters on their rocky sleeping ledges You ll learn about the importance of avoiding eye contact and the subtlety of baboon family and social life It s

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/kenya/north/laikipia/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Marsabit | The North Guide | Rough Guides
    Marsabit background try Mude Dae Mude s novel The Hills are Falling 1979 now out of print but you might still find a copy in Nairobi Read More More about Kenya Things not to miss Explore Kenya Itineraries Features Gallery Where Next Check out Western Kenya Book a hostel in Kenya Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Find out more Marsabit National Park Marsabit National Park Having made the long journey to Marsabit you ll certainly want to get into Marsabit National Park The forest is wild and dense and the two crater lakes idyllically beautiful although between the nearly impenetrable forests of the peaks and the stony scrub desert at the base of the mountain you ll need a little luck for sightings This is a rewarding park but one where you have to look hard and your animal count will very much depend on the season of your visit Good rains can encourage the grazers off the mountain and out into the temporarily lush desert and predators will follow Except during the long rains March to June there s a good chance you ll see some of the long tusked Marsabit elephants relatives of the park s former inhabitant the famous Ahmed a particularly huge and well endowed big tusker to whom Kenya s founding president Jomo Kenyatta gave presidential protection after seeing him with elephant guards tracking him day and night ironically since Kenyatta s family were implicated in some of Kenya s biggest ivory smuggling scandals Ahmed is nonetheless impressively replicated in fibreglass in the National Museum in Nairobi His replacement Mohammed whose tusks were estimated at a cool 45kg each has also gone to the elephant s graveyard Elephants are tremendous wanderers sometimes strolling into town causing pandemonium More problematically the people of Marsabit have been encouraged to cultivate around the base of the mountain thus creating a barrier to the elephants free movement and unintentionally providing them with free lunches As well as big tuskers the park is renowned for its greater kudu and there s a wide range of other wildlife plus amazing birdlife almost four hundred species have been recorded including 52 different birds of prey Very rare lammergeiers bearded vultures are thought to nest on the sheer cliffs of Gof Bongole the largest crater which has a driveable track around its 10km rim Marsabit is also something of a snake sanctuary with some very large cobras this isn t a place to go barefoot or in sandals Peoples of the northeast Peoples of the northeast Identities in the northeast can be confusing to foreigners The largest group are the Boran part of the Oromo peoples formerly called Galla an Amhara term of abuse whose homeland was near the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia from where they suddenly exploded out in all directions in the sixteenth century The pastoral Boran developed and flourished in what is now southern Ethiopia but Menelik s conquest of the area and the oppressive Amhara

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/kenya/north/northeast/marsabit/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Rough Guide to Kenya | Rough Guides
    for your next holiday whether you re visiting for a two week safari or going to Kenya on business with its wealth of practical advice and the best maps of any guide Make the most of your time with The Rough Guide to Kenya Now available in ePub format EBOOK 12 99 EPUB MOBI and PDF GBP EUR USD Buy Ebook This item is already in your basket About ebook formats PAPERBACK CHOOSE A RETAILER BELOW AMAZON US BARNES NOBLE Author Richard Trillo Format Ebook Watermarked More info Published May 2013 Series Main Series More Products Africa Kenya Related Guides 12 99 The Rough Guide to Morocco View Guide 15 99 The Rough Guide to Tanzania View Guide 2 99 Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa Johannesburg and Pretoria View Guide 12 99 The Rough Guide to First Time Around The World View Guide 2 99 Rough Guides Snapshot Tanzania The Northern Safari Circuit View Guide 9 99 The Rough Guide to First Time Africa View Guide 2 99 Cairo and the Pyramids Rough Guides Snapshot Egypt View Guide 7 99 The Rough Guide to Namibia View Guide 7 99 The Rough Guide to Madagascar View Guide 17 99 The Rough Guide to South Africa Lesotho Swaziland View Guide 2 99 Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa The Eastern Cape View Guide 2 99 Rough Guides Snapshot Tanzania Zanzibar View Guide 2 99 Rough Guides Snapshot Victoria Falls View Guide 7 99 The Rough Guide to Mauritius View Guide 7 99 Pocket Rough Guide Marrakesh View Guide 7 99 The Rough Guide to Ethiopia View Guide 13 99 The Rough Guide to Cape Town The Winelands The Garden Route View Guide 2 99 Rough Guides Snapshot South Africa KwaZulu Natal View Guide 2 99 Essaouira and the Atlantic Coast Rough Guides Snapshot

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/shop/rough-guide-kenya/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Sci-fi plants of Mount Kenya, Kenya | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    By Richard Trillo October 10th 2013 View Comments The Kikuyu people venerated Mount Kenya as the dwelling place of God They believed if they climbed to the peaks they would find spiritual inspiration Straddling the equator and piercing the clouds Africa s second highest mountain the eroded remains of a vast prehistoric volcano towering 5199m from the plains is a steeper and quicker climb than Kilimanjaro and in terms of scenic variety and fauna and flora is perhaps the more inspirational of Africa s two giant mountains It s certainly the less busy For most trekkers the climax of seeing the sunrise from Point Lenana among the jagged glacier studded peaks is the literal highpoint of the experience But try to love the climbing moments too on day three of the Naro Moru trail once you ve overcome the slightly daunting vertical bog and emerged into the high moorland the wonders of alpine Africa s otherworldly flora seemingly designed by some 1950s science fiction writer are all around you Altitude and the equatorial location combine to nurture forms of vegetation that exist only here and at one or two other lofty points in East Africa When you first see them it s hard to believe the water holding cabbage or ostrich plume plant This is a land of giant shrubs and weeds giant heather giant groundsel and giant lobelia It turns out the cabbages on stumps and the larger candelabra shaped tree like plants are the same species known as giant groundsel or tree senecio The intermediate stage has a sheaf of bright yellow flowers These enigmatic plants though frail looking are slow growers and individuals may survive on these chilly misty slopes for more than two hundred years The tall fluffy less abundant plants are a species of giant

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/sci-fi-plants-of-mount-kenya-kenya/ (2016-02-16)
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