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The Chalbi Desert is a huge area of around 100,000 sq km of virtually flat sandy desert, to the east of Lake Turkana. Long ago this area was in fact part of the lake and during periods of unusual precipitation large areas still fill to form a very broad and shallow areas of standing water. The village of Kalacha stands at the northern end of the desert, an oasis surrounded by doum palms and inhabited by the fascinating Gabbra people. 

`Chalbi' in Gabbra language means `bare and salty' and this desert is the hottest and most arid region in Kenya. The Chalbi is a pan totally surrounded by volcanoes and ancient lava flows. The discovery of fossilised fish vertebrae and snail shells leads us to believe that there once existed a large lake some 10,000 years ago. Now the lake is an immense expanse of clay and white salt, where the horizon dissolves into a mirage and often we meet herds of oryx, ostrich or even Grevys zebra galloping across this great whiteness.








You can visit Chalbi Desert with our safari Lake Turkana & Chalbi Desert



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