This is one of the best places where you can go for trekking safari, Camel safaris, and walking safaris. This is up in 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 the 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 Yare safaris club and campsite for a long hard party sure enough to last till down. The event is open to everyone.
- Size: Approximately 250 sq kms
- Province: Rift Valley
- District: Baringo
- 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.
The 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 same name. 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 best viewing of wildlife in the Reserve is from the terrace at the Maralal Safari Lodge. Game viewing is both by day and floodlight by night. At the lodge, leopard are baited from a small forest nearby and can be viewed from a specially constructed blind.
In all directions from Maralal, the scenery is beautiful and the processions of wildlife sharing land with Samburu herders is spectacular. Related to the Maasai futher south, the Samburu warriors of Maralal, dressed in their traditional clothing, live in symbiosis with the environment and wildlife around them.
Despite its beautiful landscape and wide assortment of wildlife, Maralal National Reserve receives relatively few visitors in relation to the Samburu reserves to the east. This helps makes 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 south-west at Lake Baringo along the eastbound C78.
There is usually 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).