A Guide To Marsabit National Reserve

The 1,554sq km Marsabit National Reserve is about 560km north of Nairobi and 263km north of Isiolo in Marsabit County. It comprises densely forested mountain and three crater lakes that are the only permanent surface of water in the region and provide habitat for a variety of birdlife.

Facts About Marsabit National Reserve

Altitude: 420-1,700 metres above sea level.
Area: 1,554 sq km.
Location: Marsabit District, Eastern Province.
Distance from Nairobi: 560 km north of Nairobi. 263 km north of Isiolo.
Gazetted: 1962.
Climate: January-March is hot and dry, April-June is hot and wet, July-October is very warm and dry, November and December are warm and wet.
Vegetation: arid thorny bush dominates the lower zone, merging into acacia grassland. Brown olive forest dominates the higher ground.
Wildlife: includes; elephant, buffalo, greater kudu, hyena, Grevy’s zebra, dik-dik, reticulated giraffe, lion, leopard and baboon.
Birds: 400 recorded species including 52 of birds of prey.
Roads: use of 2WD is possible during the dry seasons but 4WD is necessary during the rainy seasons.

What To See At Marsabit National Reserve

Major wildlife attractions include the African elephant, the endangered Grevy’s zebra, common zebra, lion, leopard, buffalo, bushbuck, greater kudu and lesser kudu, Grant’s gazelle and many small antelopes. The park is famous for its elephant — Ahmed — that was provided with 24-hour security surveillance by presidential decree in the 1970s to demonstrate Kenya’s commitment to wildlife conservation.

Other Attractions At Marsabit National Reserve

  • Three craters
  • Lake paradise
  • Last refuge of the huge-tusked bull elephants
  • Pristine Forest
  • Diverse birdlife
  • A variety butterfly
Marsabit National Reserve
Marsabit National Reserve

What To Do At Marsabit National Reserve

Other attractions are pristine forest, scenic landscape, crater lakes, elephants and greater kudu, diverse birdlife and local cultures. It can be accessed by road from Nairobi through Nanyuki  and lsiolo, 620km away. The road is tarmacked up to lsiolo, leaving a distance of 270km that require four-wheel-drive vehicles during the dry season. Access by air is an airstrip at Marsabit, a kilometer from Marsabit town and 4km from the park’s main gate. The reserve is two-and half hours by air from Nairobi.

At present, the park does not operate the Smartcard system entry is by cash only. Accommodation at Marsabit Lodge is perfect because it is in an exquisite location and offers stunning views. Two public campsites, Ahmed and Abdul are also available. A special campsite is on a grassy clearing on the shore Lake Paradise.

Accommodation And Lodges At Marsabit National Reserve

  1. Marsabit Lodge

How to get to Marsabit National Reserve

  • Distance: 560 km north of Nairobi.263 km north of Isiolo.
  • Gates: 2 Gates; Ahmed with an exit at Karare, and Abdul to the park headquarters
  • Roads: from Nairobi, the reserve is reached via Nanyuki and lsiolo a distance of 570 km. The road is paved up to Merille leaving a distance of 120 km of murram road that is only motor-able by 4 wheel-drive vehicles during the dry season.
  • Airstrips: there is an airstrip at Marsabit, 4km from the Park’s main gate.
  • By Air: The reserve is 2 hrs by air from Nairobi and is adequately served by a tarmac airstrip located about one kilometer from Marsabit town centre.

Marsabit National Reserve fees


Adults KSH: 350

Child KSH: 200


Adults KSH: 600

Child KSH: 350

Non – Resident

Adults USD:25

Child USD: 15

Marsabit National Reserve Contacts

Attraction Type: Wildlife
Category: Game Reserve
Region: Northern
City / Town: Marsabit
Road / Street: Marsabit Road
Telephone: 254  20 250 2005
254 721 943517
Email: marsabitnp@kws.go.ke
Website: http://www.kws.org/parks/parks_reserves/MANP.html
Entrance Fee: Yes