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.

Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest

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.

Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest view

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.

Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest4


Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest1


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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.

Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest_well preserved log


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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.

Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest large log


Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest log fragments


Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest log2


That is about as much as I can tell you about the Petrified Forest, not much research has been done on the forest.

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Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest2


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If you happen to visit the Petrified Forest make sure you go up the hill, for the best views.

Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest log4


Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest view 2


Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest path

 There is a marked path that you can follow all the way to the top


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Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest9


Sibiloi National Park_Petrified Forest log

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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Linked to Our World Tuesday and Travel Photo Thursdays head there and check them out.

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Hybrid Solar Eclipse; Views from Sibiloi
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Watamu Beach; White sands, low tides & Sunsets


  1. November 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Great photos 🙂

  2. November 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Fascinating!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  3. November 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Looks like such an interesting place to visit, love the photos!

  4. November 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    What an amazing forest. It’s expansiveness is incredible. If you didn’t tell me that those were petrified woods I would think that they were rocks. And thanks for the lesson on “petrification” process. This is certainly an interesting evidence of climate change. Great post and amazing photos.

  5. November 20, 2013 at 5:13 am

    Just added it to my bucket list, stunning. I’m a big fan of hiking <3.

  6. November 20, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Love the closeups of the “rocks” – so organic looking – and the color of the earth….

  7. keniamoja
    November 20, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Excellent pics as usual, you meant to tell me those ‘rocks’ were once plants?

  8. November 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Those pics, I just deleted my post on the petrified forest. It’s just better and easier to post a link to yours. Excellent!

    • November 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      I’d have loved to read it. Do share if you decide to upload it again.

  9. November 21, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Wonderful shots. What a fascinating place.

  10. Manesha
    November 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Hi, Its funny to think that petrified could actually mean “scared/so frightened that one is unable to move; terrified.”..someone scared the trees and they turned to stone. LOL. Anyway i noticed the ground is yellow in color, is there a reason for this? Usually this is because of sulphur deposits from an erupting/active volcanoe…any of those around there?

  11. November 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Funny – when I think of forests, I normally think of dense wooded areas. This post taught me something new as I’m not familiar with petrified wood. Very interesting!

  12. November 21, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Wow, those are extremely large trees that were petrified…I wonder what type albezias? Love the large format photos on your blog!

  13. November 22, 2013 at 12:15 am

    My family just returned from a cross country road trip in the US and when we were in Arizona, we visited a Petrified Forest. It was really neat to see.

  14. November 22, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Another reason to visit Kenya, Rachel!

  15. November 22, 2013 at 7:12 am

    What a beautiful set of photos that really give one a sense of the enormity of the place. I love the starkness of the landscape.

  16. November 22, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Beautiful photos and such a vast area of petrified wood. They look like giant rocks and with a bit of an imagination I can almost make out faces and objects on them. There’s a Petrified Forest National Park here in the US and I’ve always wanted to visit. Such interesting process of petrification.

  17. November 23, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I’ve been to the Petrified Forest in the USA but didn’t realize that they existed elsewhere, too. I enjoyed your photo tour.

  18. December 18, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Wow, great photos!! I’d love to go there when I’m in the US sometime!

  19. […] week I am taking you back to the Sibiloi National Park in Northern Kenya – commonly referred to by Anthropologists as the Cradle of Mankind. Koobi Fora […]