I’m still trying to gather credible information about some of the people (specifically the Gabbra, Dassanach,Turkana and Watta) of Northern Kenya and I would love to share bits of their culture in one of the upcoming blog posts. If you’re curious about anything please leave your questions in the comments section.
Ok! Now back to my series on Marsabit County, this time we’re still in Sibiloi National Park. If you missed out on the earlier post about the park you can catch up here.
The Petrified Forest is approximately 5 km away from the Karsa Gate (the main entrance to the Sibiloi National Park). There are signs inside the park so it shouldn’t be too difficult to drive there.
To the best of my knowledge the Petrified Forest is the only one of its kind in Kenya.
Petrified wood (from the Greek root petro meaning “rock” or “stone”; literally “wood turned into stone”) is the name given to a special type of fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation. Petrified wood is formed when the organic matter in plant material is gradually replaced by minerals. This process is called permineraliztion. The plant material gets buried by sediment and mineral rich water flows through the sediment replacing the original plant material with inorganic matter such as silica.
The minerals form a perfect copy of the original substance including cell structure and fibres. This forms a 3 dimensional structure of the original organic material. A forest where such material has petrified becomes known as a petrified forest.
The Petrified Forest was discovered by researchers in the early 70’s. It is approximately 7 million years old and is concrete evidence of climate change in the Lake Turkana Basin.
That is about as much as I can tell you about the Petrified Forest, not much research has been done on the forest.
If you happen to visit the Petrified Forest make sure you go up the hill, for the best views.
There is a marked path that you can follow all the way to the top
In the next couple of posts I will cover more of what you can get up to while in Sibiloi National Park.
The best thing about my second trip is that I was able to learn much more. I was fortunate enough to meet Abdikadirhe (a curator at the Loiyangalani Museum). Abdi has worked at Koobi Fora before and he gladly answered my questions about the different fossil sites. Thank you Abdi for sharing some of your knowledge, you were such a joy to speak to.
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