Checked in at Umoja Camp, on the banks of Ewaso Ngiro River, supposedly a women- only camp, it was created as a small village for women to escape their violent husbands a few years back, they then started a curio shop, selling homemade jewellery and finally the camp-site. That said,we certainly saw a few men around, maybe they’ve been forgiven. Either way it has become something of a success story by all accounts.
Sambaru NP was small but pefectly formed, we spent a fantastic day there. The vegetation and landscape was varied and beautiful, though the river was flooded at present. With many different loops and good sandy tracks to travel on, it was a pleasure compared with some of the bigger, more expensive parks.
Home to several semi- desert beasts, we saw most, which include Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra, Fringe- eared Oryx and Somali (blue legged) Ostrich.
Huge herds of big tusked, big eared Elephants and large groups of Giraffe. Plenty of birdlife too, we spotted a secretary bird, Bustards, Orange bellied parrot to name but a few.
Next day, we drove 244 km to Marsabit,the first 60 k being pristine tar, but of course this was just too good to last. Camels and Storks on and along side the road in their hundreds. Stayed at Henry’s Camp,which was lovely, peaceful and had water, the shower was simply amazing and HOT- just what was needed the night before the dreaded road to Moyale.
Well rested and raring to go, we left a misty Marsabit early next morning prepared for the worst, luckily the sun soon came out, clearing away the drizzle and having established a police escort was not needed as some had suggested, others pronounced the road safe, so we decided to go for it.
The first 30 km was perfect, but after this, things started to deteriorate,though not nearly as badly as we had feared and in parts it was alot better than some roads wev’e travelled on. Apart from Camels,there’s not much to see, though through the thick, red dust it was hard to tell. With road improvements going on in parts, huge lorries came thundering past, chucking filth at you that gets into every nook and crannie.We certainly wouldn’t want to tackle this stretch in the rain, with the dust being preferable to getting stuck in thick mud. Wev’e heard some horrendous stories and there were plenty of vehicles on the side of the road that hadn’t made it!
We pushed on, past Turbi, the only small town en-route and with not far left to go, after being on the road for nearly five hours, we could hardly believe we were almost there ………… then, a horrific noise came from underneath the Landy,we stopped and jumped out, only to find the prop-shaft had dropped off, or at least one end had. At this point we were only 5 km from the border at Moyale. Michael got to work in the blistering heat, managed to remove it completely, luckily being a Landrover, we were able to continue without the prop-shaft and limped on to the border. Luckily for us, the border crossing was very straightforward, as we really didn’t need any hassle at this point, to say we were pooped is putting it mildly!