North Horr – Desert Oasis
In my last post I was in Chalbi Desert on my way to North Horr. We got to North Horr at around 7 pm. I was beat. The first thing I did was sit on a rock and try to figure out the constellations. I failed miserably, I am definitely way better at making out shapes from clouds. The night sky is beautiful; the stars were so bright that it looked like they were holes in the floor of heaven.
After moving my luggage to my room I had a quick dinner (plenty of delicious goat meat) and then went to shower. The pair of mismatched slippers that I found in my room came in handy when it came to showering. The facilities at Northern Palm Shade are very basic. There is a single loo (a latrine) and shower (for 10+ bandas) and they’re both outdoors. I would advise you to carry your own toiletries.
A Banda (a hut with a thatched roof)
There is not much to write about the bandas either. They are made of mud and the roofs are thatched. There’s a light bulb, a double bed, a mosquito net and a chair. That is about it. I remember asking if there was a socket in the room and the proprietor’s reply was ‘Yanini?’ (What for?). It’ll cost you Kshs 1000 ($11) to spend the night there. You can also choose to sleep outside (it so much cooler) .. just make sure you have a mosquito net. Beware of scorpions though.
There is also a bar with a TV, if you feel the need to catch up with local news. You can buy the common brands of beer but do not expect them to be ice cold. There is a generator so I was able to charge my phone and camera batteries.
I think I went to sleep at around 1 am. We were all bonding by the light of the single lightbulb outside the bar. To be honest I was asleep by midnight but I was too lazy to get up to go to my room. I didn’t have the best of nights because my mosquito net didn’t completely cover my bed. I woke up with a couple of mosquito bites in the morning.
I was up by around 6 am the next morning with the help of my human alarm clock, Karue (the photographer). The plan was to walk around a bit and take pictures of the sunrise.
We didn’t walk far; we only made it a few meters outside the gate of Northern Palm Shade. I am not a morning person but I am a huge fan of watching the sun rise. The beautiful sunrise at North Horr is definitely one of my favourites.
We were a bit late for the sunrise thanks to the long queue for the bathroom but Karue was able to capture some fantastic shots.
While leaving Marsabit we spotted a female camel that had pieces of cloth tied on the ends of its teats. We asked Tuko our driver for an explanation and he told us that their purpose was to stop the milk from flowing freely. In his words ‘Maziwa inatirirka kama maji ya mfereji’ (The milk flows from the teats like water from an open tap). That sounded a bit off to me because last I checked camels are actually milked and I had yet to see a camel leaking milk. I asked around and it turns out that the pieces of cloth are there to prevent the young from breastfeeding.
What to do in North Horr *scratches head*… err… camel watch? Meet the locals? If those tickle your fancy then North Horr is THE place to be. I am probably not the best person to ask about what to do in North Horr since I spent most of the time sleeping.
After breakfast we went to see the permanent spring that is the town’s water supply.
The spring is fenced to protect it.
Sign Post at the spring’s entrance
I only just noticed the addition on the bottom of the sign, ‘Hakuna ruhusa ya kuoga’ ( it is forbidden to bathe at the spring) – I totally understand why one would be tempted.
Soon we were back to the harsh desert, off to our next destination Sibiloi National park.
I’d like to thank KarueWachira for allowing me to use his work for this blog post. You can check out his work here.
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Beautiful Sunrise, the orange hues are beautiful. Goodness, I have never seen so many camels in one place. You were to tell us how you got to visit all these places, or will that be on the final post?
Yes I will. All will be in the final post.
LOL at the explanation about the camel, the sunrise shot by Karue is breathtaking!
We all had a good laugh about it.
Thanks Manesha!!! The sunrises in the North are some of the most beautiful I have seen!!
I love the dramatic sunrise.
I’d love to go to North Horr to see the beautiful night sky that you saw. The sunrise is also lovely as captured by the stunning photos. I also love the photos of the migrating birds and camels.
Beautiful photos 🙂
Stunning sunrise! I’m not a morning person either but I’ll get up to watch the sun. It’s such an awe inspiring experience.
Those sunrise photos are spectacular! I would love to go here someday. How neat are those migrating birds and seeing all those camels.What a beautiful place!
I agree with every word Mary said about the sunrise. These photos are breath-taking. I am also a big fan of photos of locals’ faces and the nature. The bird snapshot really took my breath away!
Love the beautiful sunrise images – especially the silhouette. In a way, it sounds ideal to travel to a destination where there’s nothing to do except watch camels. Sometimes it’s nice to do away with travel plans and itineraries.
I love what you are doing Rachel,keep it up!
I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your
blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road.
All the best
Also, “definitely way better at making out shapes from clouds.”
Another set of gorgeous photos, love them all!
Its beautiful. That guy who takes the pictures is a real photographer. I love! Keep on posting.
Is it just me or the place looks so… dry. If I’m to go backpacking there, I’d probably go just for the beautiful sky. It’s a portrait right there.
It is dry..it is in the middle of a desert. It is perfect for camping though, the skies are so clear at night.
I am youth from North: born in North horr, schooled my primary level but studeid high school and college out side and worked in North horr many years. It is very condusive environment,animals(domestic) and wild life to be watched and even now it has a swimming pool you can take to cool your body from hot daytime I love north horr.
North horr is a place known for its beauty.Those who love geography, this is your place.