Northern Kenya Adventure Safari
For a return safari-visitor or an adventure-hungry first-timer, this active exploration of northern Kenya sees guests hike, bike, ride, fish and even fly.
A journey to the remote reaches of one of Kenya’s least explored regions feels like stepping back in time. You’ll discover vast, varied landscapes, unique flora and fauna, tribes and customs that are little seen elsewhere and prehistoric migration routes and landmarks.
Northern Kenya is often referred to as Frontier Land and one of the last remaining, true wilderness areas in Africa. The landscape is vast and largely arid, though the May rains transform some areas into emerald sanctuaries for birds and wildlife. The green mountains of the Matthew's range soon roll into desert if you choose to venture where not many do; past South Horr, across the Suguta Valley and to the shores of Lake Turkana.
Venture further still to Sibiloi National Park on the rugged lake shores to discover the cradle of mankind. This infamous area is home to important archaeological sites including Koobi For, where a two-million-year-old fossilized skull was discovered by Richard Leakey and his team.
The Turkana, Samburu, Rendille and El Molo tribes call this incredible part of the world home. Although different in tradition, heritage, and customs the tribes of Northern Kenya are largely nomadic people and cattle are the most valuable currency here.
As most of this region is dedicated tribal land, wildlife in Northern Kenya is sparse, but on visits to protected areas you can find rarer species such as Grevys zebra, Somali ostrich and reticulated giraffe and Lake Turkana is home to the largest population of Nile crocodiles.
As you might expect from any adventurous, far-flung, destination access is difficult. It’s a long, hot, dusty drive through the Laikipia region, before you descend the great rift valley wall to Samburu and the expanse of Northern Kenya. Although doable, to truly appreciate the vast tracts of land and colorful, varied landscape, we recommend flying in via private helicopter during a stay in Laikipia to find some of Kenya’s most exclusive, unique places and experiences.
The mountainous areas of Northern Kenya are thickly forested and often enjoy rainfall in April, May and November, as well as occasional showers throughout the year. However, the majority of Northern Kenya is notably dry and arid and can go months, sometimes years without rainfall. It’s hot year-round with daytime temperatures rarely dropping below 40 degrees Celsius, however some relief is offered during the May rains.
Access to this little-explored region of Kenya is difficult and high temperatures, poor roads and little to nowhere to stop for important supplies means if you’re planning to travel by road, you must ensure you have only the best of guides. In our experience, the best way to see Northern Kenya is from the sky, as part of your safari to Laikipia. Step aboard a private helicopter to fly, at low level along river beds, across arid desert and finish in a picnic lunch on the shores of Lake Turkana.
In the mountains we love the untamed luxury of Sarara, Kitich or Saruni Rhino Camp; gateway camps to the drier Northern regions. If you continue your journey toward Lake Turkana you’ll find that five-star experiences become twenty-million star experiences as you sleep beneath some of the clearest skies in the world at Lobolo Camp or on a Wild Frontiers camel expedition.