Northern Kenya boasts some of the most diverse wilderness in East Africa. From the ice-tipped jagged peaks of Mount Kenya, down the cascade of green foothills on its base, through pockets of forest, out onto the vast, desert landscape all the way to the Jade Sea – Lake Turkana, Northern Kenya is a land of beautiful contrast.
The Northern Frontier includes millions of acres of unspoiled and protected wilderness and some of the purest landscapes left in the world. While exploring the North, and visiting some of the most exclusive and luxurious lodges in East Africa found in the area, you can also experience some of the wildest and most unique safari adventure activities on offer.
Here are our top 5 wildest adventure safari experiences…
1) Quad bike safaris
You may have heard of classic walking safaris, horseback safaris and even camel safaris. Kicking it up a notch, you can now do quad bike and buggy safaris with Lattitude Adventures. This involves agile and almost amphibious buggies and quad bikes maneuvering through any terrain. Clearly not your average safari activity, this is a fun and adventurous way to explore the wilderness off the beaten track. Camp overnight with hot showers and even a portable swimming pool, before setting off again following ancient elephant routes through areas only visited by nomadic tribes.
2) Trek the sacred Samburu mountain
Northern Kenya is home to the Samburu – colourful, nomadic people incredibly adapted to living among the wildlife and harsh wilderness. While staying at Saruni Samburu, trek the flat-topped Ololokwe Mountain just behind the lodge – the Samburu sacred mountain. A whole new world lies atop, vastly different to the rugged landscape below – giant fig trees, ancient cycads, natural springs and sheer cliff faces where birds of prey roost at night. The mountain is central to the tribe’s traditions, where water from the springs and fallen wood from certain trees are collected for different ceremonies. Lead by Samburu warrior guides, this encounter with one of Africa’s last remaining tribes is a privilege.
3) Walk among the treetops and swim in glacial pools
The Ngare Ndare Forest is a high altitude equatorial cedar forest on the base of Mount Kenya, protected by the local community that live on its edge. The Forest Trust allows a few visitors a year staying at nearby partner safari lodges to enter and explore the forest. Winding roads through the trees take you to the Canopy Walkway – a high bridge suspended in the air among the treetops. Spot rare birds, butterflies, wild orchids, Old Man’s Beard thriving off the pure air and elephants walking along the stream below. Meander a bit further into the forest to the secret Blue Pools – beautiful and freezing pools and waterfalls fed by the glaciers of Mount Kenya.
4) Fishing the Jade Sea
It takes a rare breed of adventure-junkies to try this Kenya adventure experience with Iolaus – tailor-made fishing excursions to the ‘Jade Sea’. Those who journey through the heart of the Turkana desert, where camels are the only traffic, and brave the heat and isolation of this volcanic, moon-like landscape to seek out Nile Perch lurking beneath the green waters, are rewarded with huge catches and fiery sunsets. Fishing the world’s largest desert lake is about as intrepid as it gets.
5) Paragliding the foothills of Mount Kenya
The Eden of safari activities is definitely Borana Conservancy – offering mountain biking, horse riding, guided walking, heli excursions and more. At certain times of year, when the conditions are just right, the Borana hills turn into paragliding paradise. The views from Borana Conservancy stretch from Mount Kenya to the northern mountains over a hundred miles away, and there is no better place to enjoy the view than from the air. Fly tandem with Hunter Marrian of Paraglide Kenya and encounter Kenya’s wildlife and wilderness in one of the most thrilling ways possible.
If you’re planning an adventure seeking trip to Northern Kenya, be sure to chat to our safari experts about what’s on offer.