HomeDestinationsAfricaKenyaNorthernMarsabit Town – Desert Outpost

Marsabit Town – Desert Outpost

I recently got the opportunity to travel to Marsabit County (a region in northern Kenya). It’s a bit of a long story but I promise I will explain everything in my final post. So please stick around.

Our journey on day one was meant to start off at 6 am…HAH! Fat chance thanks to African time, we were leaving Nairobi at around half past 8…possibly half past 9. Armed with a map and a booklet with info about our final destination (which is a whole 3 days travel via road) I was pretty excited. I had no idea what to expect so that sort of made everything so much better. I’m much more accepting of bad situations when I have no expectations so I was pretty much ready for whatever.

Marsabit County_Map of KenyaThe National Museum provided us with a tourist map of Kenya and a brochure 

I was trying to catch up with my sleep during the first part of the journey but after our first stop in Karatina, I was lively enough to take some photos of Mt Kenya as we drove along the Nyeri-Nanyuki Road.

Marsabit County_View of Mt.Kenya along Nyeri-Nanyuki Rd1


Marsabit County_View of Mt.Kenya along Nyeri-Nanyuki Rd2Views of Mt. Kenya from the highway (Pardon the quality of picture, taken while vehicle is in motion)

Our next stop was in Isiolo for lunch – I was too hungry to take any photos … hopefully next time.

After lunch our next stop was to be Marsabit town (our final destination for the day). A bit past Isiolo you will pass by Archer’s Post. Look out for Mt. Ololokwe to your right (it’s featured in the Niko Na Safaricom ad)

Marsabit County_View of Mt.Ololokwe along the A2View of Mt.Ololokwe as we were driving along the A2 to Marsabit town

We passed by several villages (towns) before getting to Marsabit. The most memorable one is Merille. This is because the tarmac ends there. The untarmacked  is not at all bad, the dry climate helps keep it in reasonable condition.

We got to Marsabit town by around 6pm, the town of Marsabit is an outpost of urban civilization in the vast desert of northern Kenya.

It wasn’t what I had always had in mind. When I think of Northern Kenya I just think of hot dusty dry places. Yes it was dusty, but not as hot and as dry as I had expected. The town is surrounded by hills and is pretty cool in the evenings.

Marsabit Town_Main StreetMain Street in Marsabit Town

Our first stop was at the County Government offices for some official business. The best part of that stop was the cold sodas that they gave us; the next best thing at the offices was the sign below.

Marsabit Town_Sign at county offices1Interesting sign at Marsabit County Offices


Marsabit Town_Sign at county offices2Just so you know, they ‘abhor’ corruption.

The accommodation was … let’s just say it wasn’t good – if you are looking for accommodation in Marsabit town I would not recommend JeyJey Centre. The only good thing about the JeyJey Centre (where we spent the night) was at least my bed had a mosquito net.

Marsabit Town_Jey Jey CentreThe JeyJey Centre

Once I settled in my room, my friend and I decided to take a walk around town. We just followed the main street then took a detour when we saw the church.

Marsabit Town_Equity Bank The main bank

Marsabit town is like a typical small town. There are no matatus operating within the town and the main mode of transport is motorcycle taxis commonly known as bodaboda.

Of all the buildings I saw in the town, the Catholic Church definitely stood out.

Marsabit Town_Catholic Church1View of church from the gate


Right opposite the gate of the church another funny sign …

Marsabit Town_Ubwa Kali signUbwa Kali sign (beware fierce dog)


We took a walk into the church compound

Marsabit Town_Catholic Church2Marsabit Catholic Church


Marsabit Town_Marsabit Catholic Church3Plaque at the front of the church


Marsabit Town_Catholic church hallChurch Hall with the basketball court in the foreground


After taking a couple of photos of the church we eventually decided to walk back to JeyJey centre. We didn’t need to ask for any directions since the ‘hotel’ was off the main street. It is pretty hard to get lost within the town even with a bad sense of direction like mine.

Marsabit Town_DuskMarsabit Town at dusk

The next stop will be the Marsabit National Park.

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Post by R.M

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Marsabit Nat. Park - Frontier Oasis


  1. marto
    October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    Looks like a quiet and peaceful town, unlike the war zone we see in the news.

  2. Silvano
    October 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    Not a bad place, would probably do with more investments especially tarmac roads.

  3. Marisol
    October 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm — Reply

    Nice blog. It’s great to see Kenya throught the eyes of the locals.

  4. October 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm — Reply

    Great shots. Love the vibrancy of the colors and the clouds.
    Kenya’s on my list for next year. Can’t wait to see it!

  5. Hiro Kanno
    October 10, 2013 at 12:24 am — Reply

    I was in Kenya 2 yrs ago doing some archaeological work,and Marsabit is one of the places I visited while on my way to Turkana.
    Nice blog!

  6. October 15, 2013 at 9:27 am — Reply

    I sure have always been misinformed about Marsabit all this time! I never once imagined that it is this beautiful. My bad for the ignorance and thanks for the post.

  7. October 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm — Reply

    Hi there, I discovered your blog by way of Google whilst searching for a comparable topic, your website got here up, it seems to be great. I’ve added to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.

  8. October 16, 2013 at 10:15 am — Reply

    I don’t know too much about Kenya or see many posts about it so it really is wonderful to read these from a local’s perspective. That church compound is pretty.

  9. Cate
    October 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm — Reply

    Thanks, thats very informative, dint think Marsabit had a church.. nice pics too

    Nice blog

  10. March 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm — Reply

    You had such a great opportunity. I’ve heard a lot about the town of Marsabit, a desert in Kenya. Its culture is so interesting.

  11. September 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm — Reply

    please next time you come to Marsabit, kindly be our guest at Jirime hotel & Resort (www.jirimehotel.com).

    Thanks for your beautiful pics of Marsabit.

    • March 21, 2016 at 5:35 pm — Reply

      i was in marsabit between the years 2003/2005.wheres is jirime hotel located?

  12. Wario
    October 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm — Reply

    The shrine at the top of some hill in Marsabit is the most outstanding. The church you saw is smaller. Next time look up, you’ll see the Magnificent Maria Mfariji Shrine.

    • October 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm — Reply

      I definitely will the next time I am there.

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