MARALAL GAME SANCTUARY
Maralal is the administrative centre of Samburu District. The Samburu people who inhabit this beautiful part of the country are close relatives of the tall, nomadic Maasai of southern Kenya. They are a splinter group which broke away from the Nilotic Maasai during their southerly migrations down the River Nile in the 16th century. Maralal Game Sanctuary borders on the forest line. Elephants & buffalo roam the forest. But more bizarre is the way the zebra peacefully roam the outer streets of the town, seemingly undisturbed by any traffic or passers by. The town is a melting pot of Samburu, Turkana & Pokot tribes people. The people come from far to buy supplies in the local market & shops. You can find local artefacts in the small market. OTHER NOTES The 'frontier' town of Maralal is the administrative headquarters of the Samburu people whose district encompasses over 20,000 sq km, stretching as far as Lake Turkana in the north. A staging post on the rough road north to the eastern shore of the lake, Maralal boasts a tiny gem of a game sanctuary actually within the township's legal boundaries. On the cedar clad hillside above the town and in the thorn scrub lower down there is much resident game. Impala, eland, buffalo, baboon, warthog and zebra live in harmonious profusion but ever watchful for leopard and hyena. Seasonally elephant pass through the sanctuary descending from the forested hills which lie to the north. Much of this wildlife can be seen from the comfortable terrace of the Maralal Safari Lodge for the only permanent water in the sanctuary is a small waterhole just a few metres away. Here, throughout the day, and at night by floodlight, is an almost continuous pageant of wildlife. Leopard are baited in a small forest not far from the lodge and can be seen from a specially constructed 'blind'. The rocky track which leads north to Lake Turkana passes across the moorlands (much of which is now under wheat cultivation) and forests of the Leroghi plateau, a seemingly endless area of tranquil beauty. 15 km from the township a dry weather track leads west across the plateau to the edge of the Great Rift Valley. Here at a place called Losiolo the valley wall is sheer and the vast, almost overwhelming, panorama totally breathtaking. In all directions from Maralal is majestic scenery whose grandeur is enhanced by its consort with wildlife and by the calm dignity of the herdsmen and their herds. The Samburu who inhabit this vast and beautiful landscape are close relatives of the Maasai to the south. Striding fearlessly across the plains the warriors in their finery are a noble and fascinating sight.