An NFD Odyssey

The Cambridge Oxford Dictionary describes odyssey as a long exciting journey.  That sums up perfectly our trip in June of this year, to the Northern Frontier District (NFD) – although the journey itself may not have been long, only a few days, the distance traveled was far.  

We had spent a few days in Laikipia, just below the NFD before chartering a plane to take us due north.  On our flight out we passed over the Ewaso Nyiro River which was unusually full, bank to bank, because of the amount of rain that Kenya had been experiencing for the last few months.  As we headed over the NFD we also cruised past the distinctive and beautiful flat-topped Ol Donyo Sabachi (Ololokwe). 

Our first task when arriving in the NFD was to find our camp.  Our perfect location, the dry Sera riverbed.  We were fly camping on our first night in preparation for conquering this great wilderness on quad bikes the following day. 

Camping in dry Sera Riverbed

We always sleep so well out in the bush, the noises of the wild lulling us to sleep.  On our first morning, we spotted 2 elephants wandering past, gerenuk and lots of amazing birds and we also had the unique pleasure of receiving a visit from this whopping spitting cobra.  Of course, we kept our distance! 

Spitting cobra

The best way to experience the NFD is by quad bike.  Although wildlife is more scarce so are humans, this being one of the most remote areas we visit in Kenya.  Racing along the dry river bed taking in this incredible scenery is like taking a step back in time.  This is our intrepid group of explorers and this video gives you some idea of the peace and tranquillity that opens up to you on a quad bike in the NFD. 

Quad Biking in Northern Frontier District

While we were out our team had been working on our camp for the night and as we cruise in the view is amazing, looking at your own star bed for the first time is a sight you will always remember.  After sitting by the campfire, also known as bush TV, you rest surprisingly well in these open tents that allow you to watch the night sky unveil itself, as you drift to sleep. 

Although a few nights out in the bush in this epic scenery is no hardship, it is always wonderful to head back to a hot shower, and more than a touch of luxury.  Our final stop on this trip was the not too shabby Sasaab Lodge.  Located high up above the Laikipia Plateau you can take in the remarkable views towards the jagged peak of Mount Kenya. The lodges position on the river naturally facilitates watching the herds of elephant that come to bathe. It is very easy to while away an afternoon in the ZenZebra Garden (our name for the lodges unique Zen Garden), or as you watch the river race by below you. 

The NFD is one of the most stunning and undiscovered areas of Kenya, that is well worth considering when planning your next safari.  We hope you have enjoyed this look into our epic odyssey.