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Background


The Chalbi Desert is the harshest of the entire northwestern section and only the toughest of species survive. Stretching up to the Huri Hills towards the Ethiopian border, Chalbi pretends to be a simmering lake; but it is actually an ocean of hot and dry volcanic sand raging from horizon to horizon, with no shelter or oasis to offer respite. When the rains come, the desert turns into a non-navigable shallow lake.
 

Getting There


Located east of Lake Turkana. The settlement of North Horr lies in the desert. Marsabit is the closest major town.
 

Key Attractions


The inhospitable Chalbi DesertChalbi Desert, which in Gabbra language means 'bare and salty', is Kenya's only true desert. Surrounded by volcanoes and ancient lava flows, Chalbi Desert is the hottest and most arid region in Kenya.

Chalbi Desert, with its vast dunes and volcanic mountains is home to traditional tribes, the Rendille and Gabbra, desert nomads who maintain a camel culture (read about the camel on our blog). The discovery of fossilised fish vertebrae and snail shells is believed to be an indication 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 you can come across herds of oryx, ostrich or even Grevys zebra galloping across this great whiteness.

 

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