About 560 kilometers from Nairobi, four white Toyota Land Cruisers veer off into a wasteland. The vehicles zip over dunes as if there are jet skis on the Indian Ocean. In the distance, a rock appears so herbal that you could swear you have seen much earlier than.
There is a caravan of camels crossing the sandy paths, leisurely. Welcome to the Chalbi Desert, a new wild journey that is drawing masses of Kenyans to Marsabit.
Stephen Karanja, an ardent tourist, is one of the few tourists who’ve skilled the joys of a wasteland safari and chasing dunes in Kenya.
He says his hobby in desert scenery grew due to fatigue of conventional journeys to Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Mombasa. When he saw an opportunity to go to the Chalbi Desert, he booked with African Suburbs Adventures, a tour organization that organizes overland excursions in much less-beaten paths.
On the day of the ride, the group left Nairobi at 4 am and then stopped over at the equator in Nanyuki. On the stretch between Isiolo and Marsabit, they climbed atop the Ololokwe Rock from wherein they saw the snow-capped height of Mt Kenya sticking out from clouds before sooner or later arriving at a Kenya Wildlife Service in Marsabit at around midday.
Here, they left the Overlander that had their tents, mattresses, and even cooking paraphernalia for the chef they’d introduced along.
They got into Land Cruisers to traverse the desert avenue towards Chalabi. They wore hats, sandals, and sunshades because the adventure in advance turned into hot and dusty.
“When you get there, the view can best be described as top-notch. The dunes are many, and it’s far as if you are in some other global. Even the images we took there are implausible,” he says.
For years, properly-heeled Kenyans have been touring to Dubai to head on wasteland safaris however;, now the tide is shifting to Marsabit, an off-the-crushed-track destination. Despite the sophistication of Dubai, Kenyans who have performed each desert safaris say they’re unrivaled. Besides dune racing, in Marsabit, there may be the thrill of finding a picturesque oasis with palm trees within the middle of nowhere and interacting with locals, learning their lifestyles.
“On the manner to find the dunes, we got a risk of preventing and talking to the people dwelling in the location. They even let us see their homesteads and their manyattas,” Mr. Karanja says.
Cost of journey
A trip to the Chalbi Desert expenses about Sh25,000 to Sh90,000 depending on the number of days paid for and accommodation simultaneously as a Dubai ride, which includes a wilderness safari tier from Sh60,000 onwards.
“I paid approximately Sh20,000 for three days. That isn’t even 1/2 the shipping fee for Dubai,” Mr. Karanja says.
From Nairobi, the adventure to Marsabit on an overland truck takes 8 hours. After the safari, vacationers sleep in tents through the brink of the desolate tract. The subsequent day they visit Lake Paradise, which has nothing other than wild animals that roam sometimes. Sunset is a great backdrop as the organization sits via a campfire.
“The excellent element is which you meet people you will by no means are becoming to satisfy. You build a campfire, and it is recommended that you do no longer visit bed early,” Mr. Karanja says.
On the ride’s remaining day, the travelers take an early morning recreation power in Lake Turkana National Park.
“You do now not get to look all the massive 5 sport; however, we had been fortunate due to the fact we trailed a lion that turned into hunting an antelope, and we took a video,” he says.
Gadget World, an enterprise that offers smartphones, evolved love for dunes and rocks while visiting Mambrui Village and Marafa Depression in Malindi.
“I was given a risk to race on dunes on a dust motorbike. When I went swimming, dunes were proper next to the sea. They are breathtaking. When I took snapshots, my pals requested me why I went to Dubai without them,” he says, including that Marafa Depression, a sandstone canyon popularly known as Hell’s Kitchen, is likewise wonderful. At the canyon, temperatures can upward push up to 50 tiers Celsius.