Day 4:Loiyangalani – Sibiloi National Park (Koobi Fora)
That was some good night sleep. Everyone had rested well, thanks to The Pool! A full course breakfast was served and it was time to proceed with the adventurous journey.
The most effective and accurate weather forecast used in Turkana is word of mouth. You get to know about the roads you’ll use from people coming from the opposite direction. We did that and it was confirmed that the waters had subside and laggas were not so bad but very challenging. Destination, Sibiloi National Park.
The road north looked as below.
The landscape later changed into dry, bare land with camels and sand. Nature was unfolding magically. It was getting hot by the minute and by 10am vehicles were nothing short of ovens. There are no defined roads and our experienced tour guides knew just where to drive to. It’s highly advisable that these areas of Kenya are navigated in a convoy for security reasons and in case of needed assistance. We went for kilometers and barely saw any other vehicle. They were actually two in counting!
After a rough ride into the desert we reached a point in the middle of nowhere and there was cell phone network! We were informed that there’d be no more network coverage there on, for days to come. Calls were made. The 66km journey to the national park’s gate continued.
We passed a Singing Well where young camel riders bring their camels in the hundreds and give them water from a natural spring. They sing to a rhythm as they pass buckets of water and also believe that singing will ease fatigue and the feeling of being overworked. I’m still experimenting…
We finally reached Sibiloi National Park at 3pm. It is East Africa’s best kept secret. It has wildlife, paleontological and archeological sites like no other in the world.
Our curator, Abdi Kadir Kurewa, led us to The Petrified Forest before heading to Koobi Fora Camps, some 118km away. Koobi Fora is the world’s leading prehistoric site. It has fossils dating over 2 million years old and the petrified trees are among them. They are huge logs naturally preserved after absorbing minerals over 2 million years ago. How about that! Learn more about this, I wouldn’t exhaust all of it in this post.
After the stop we later drove to the bandas. We saw animals such as the jackal and others found in the forest include the Somali Ostrich, Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk, Oryx etc. We reached the camp just in time for the display of the sunset’s magical colors in the sky. It was something I’d never seen in my life.
The camp uses solar energy and we got a chance to charge our gadgets. The rooms, however, made me miss the manyattas! No jokes. The crew spent more time chatting under the stars than asleep. The Ethiopian boarder is some 60km away from Koobi Fora. Did we go? Find out in the next post.