MARALAL NATIONAL RESERVE
It is one of the best places for trekking safari, Camel safaris, and walking safaris. It runs towards the desert and it's extremely hot. It is in this town where the only camel Derby in the world for both amateur and professionals is held. This is an annual event, which takes place in summer, attracting not only the parctipants but also spectators from all the corners of the earth. Here you will bump into real characters. In the evening everyone retires to an open event at Yare safaris club and campsite for a long hard party sure enough to last till dawn.
Size: Approximately 250 sq. kms
Province: Rift Valley
Geographical Location: Set amidst the majestic Ol Doinyo Lenkiyo mountains in north-central Kenya around the Samburu town of Maralal.
Altitude: 1,490 m
Vegetation: Rocky and dry terrain.
Fauna: Mammals of the dry zone include impala, eland, buffalo, baboon, warthog, leopard, hyena, giraffe and zebra,.
Visitor Facilities: One lodge and campsite.
Maralal National Reserve is one of Kenya's little known treasures. Tucked away in the centre of the country amidst the Ol Doinyo Lenkiyo Mountains. Maralal completely surrounds the Samburu town of the Maralal within the Reserve's boundaries, eland, impala buffalo and zebra keep a watchful eye on predators such as the leopard and hyena. Seasonally, elephant pass through the Reserve descending from the forested hills to the north. The terrace at the Maralal Safari Lodge gives you the best viewing of wildlife in the Reserve. Game viewing is both by day and floodlight by night. At the lodge, leopards are baited from a small forest nearby and can be viewed from a specially constructed blind.
Maralal from all directions gives a good panoramic view, and its processions of wildlife sharing land with Samburu herders is fabulous. Related to the Masai further south, the Samburu warriors of Maralal dressed in their traditional clothing live in a mutual dependence with the environment and wildlife around them. , Maralal National Reserve receives relatively few visitors in relation to the Samburu reserves to the east despite its beautiful landscape and wide assortment of wildlife. This helps make Maralal a truly enjoyable destination.
Maralal town is 150 kms north of Nyahururu, on the northern edge of the Mount Kenya highlands. The Reserve can be accessed from Nyahururu along the C77 road, which is paved as far as the town of Rumuruti. Alternatively, Maralal can be reached from Isiolo along the A2, C79 and C78. Access is also possible from the southwest at Lake Baringo along the eastbound C78.
Usually there is one bus a day in either direction between Nyahuru and Maralal and between Isiolo and Maralal. Vehicle traffic is very scarce north of Nyahururu and west of Isiolo, that very few other options exist.
Tours to Maralal are possible to find, though not as popular as those offered to the reserves further to the east (Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs). For more information contact Let's go Travel.
The only lodge in Maralal National Reserve is the Maralal Safari Lodge with 48 beds. Located north of Maralal town, this lodge is the only one in the area with adequate visitor facilities.
The only camping and low budget facilities in Maralal are at the Yare Safaris Hostel and Campsite located 4 kms south of Maralal town. Yare is a recognized hostel with many good facilities, including a restaurant and lounge. The campsite and hostel are located on a nice hill where its is possible to view game, despite the fence erected to protect visitors against more aggressive animals.