We are now leaving the dry rural part of Kenya to approach the more lush region of the country with its highlands, waterfalls and of course Mt. Kenya. After a couple of days in the region our destination is Isiolo, a little town in the middle of no-where, with its long-deserted road that will take us to the border with Ethiopia. The desert we are crossing is the Gal Gali Desert. It’s a huge desert full of volcanic stones, sand, and very little vegetation where only people like the Samburu and other local tribes are able to survive.
This is the stretch of remote road that we were worried about due to rumors of bandits. For that very reason, the Road is very tiring to drive because your head is always alert and at the same time still pretty technical to handle with our big motorcycles even if the Chinese are now in the process to re-building it. We spent the majority of these days riding therefore the best is to post a few pictures and a little video on top of this page for you to watch and hopefully enjoy.
Gal Gali Desert
Baboons observing us during a break
Typical filling station
Me trying to negotiate an escort.
Woman selling “miraa”
More Dusty Roads.
The only shade we encounter for long time.
Kenyan – Ethiopian border. We are absolutely exhausted.
We do to.
Our first Ethiopian meal
We leave the comfortable set up of Jungle Junction in Nairobi early in the morning after a big nice breakfast direction Eldoret. Our decision is to get to the direction of Lake Turkana which is one of Kenya’s most remote northern regions. The reason being is that we want to get the feeling of the region and after talking to some locals decide whether we want to cross into Ethiopia from the Lake Turkana route or get back to the most popular route from Marsabit to Moyale. The road is pretty nice even if the traffic is full of little taxi bus (Matatu) that drive dangerously all over the road. Driving in some part of Africa makes driving in Naples a piece of cake. We reach Eldoret in the evening travelling across the rift valley on roads that vary from 1500 Mt to 3500 Mt above sea level and also crossing the equator line.
The following morning the plan is to reach Lake Baringo. The road is a beautiful winding road that reminds me of parts of Ecuador. We arrive in the little town of Iten which is known to be the home of the champions. Many people from all over the world come here to train with the Kenyan marathon team. The Kenyans have always been number ones in this discipline. We reach Lake Baringo traveling on an awful road full of put holes that seriously challenge the wellbeing of our motorcycles. The place we chose to spend the night on the lake is called Robert Camp. The scenery that we find upon our arrival is magical. The lake is known for its amazing fauna, especially bird watching. The Lake is also home to many hippos and crocodiles.
Being in front of this Lake was impossible to resist on hiring a local with a boat. We wanted to go see birds, hippos and crocodiles closer than we could have done by land.
The following morning we decide to take a small road that was taking us north of the Lake to a cross-road where we had to make a decision whether going toward Lake Turkana or going back to the Marsabit – Moyale Road to reach the Ethiopian border. The cons about taking the Turkana Road, after speaking with some military personal were greater than the pros considering the absolute scarce supply of gasoline and the presence of some bandits in the area. We keep following this small road for about 20 Km when we find a few huts in the desert. It turned out to be a very small settlement of Pokot. A native tribe that reside in the area. The Pokot mainly raise cattle and cultivate tobacco. They are also fantastic craftsman. This tribe is one of the least urbanized tribes in all of Kenya and this makes them maintain some very old traditions such as circumcisions for the boys and sadly also infibulation for the girls. Many girls also have lost their lives at a very young age due to this practice. Stopping at this village was never the less a true african experience that we will never forget.
Back In Usa River Tanzania to pick up our motorcycles and start our journey north toward Nairobi in Kenya. It is a strange feeling to be back to see the children we left behind a month ago.
We have to congratulate Cherie and all of her staff for the fantastic work they are doing at the Tumaini Children Foundation.
It is time for us to start our journey toward the Kenyan border which is about 150 Km from Arusha. The border town is called Namanga. The exit from Tanzania and entering into Kenya are pretty straight forward process, even though in Kenya the custom agent was requiring the Carnet de Passage for our motorcycles to enter the country which we did not have. After a bit of negotiation we were allowed to enter anyway under a temporary import permit that is valid for one month.
Our first goal is to reach Kitengela, where Leo Murotto and his wife Maria along with their daughters Lucia and Jessica, friends of my sister, are waiting for us and have offered to host us for the night. Leo’s family started Urafiki medical centre five years ago. Urafiki Medical Centre is a real ambulatory and pharmacy dispensary that provides the inhabitants of the area a great help in curing usual health issues such as dental,birth, and other more common issues. Thanks to their equipped lab, they are able to diagnose more critical diseases such as tuberculosis, aids, and cancer. Another great concern of theirs, is to look after the many malnourished children in the area. During our dinner together we were able to really understand the difference Leo and his family are making. Really a great job. WOW Matteo and myself are very impressed.
The following day we are in need to reach Nairobi in order to service our motorcycles and changing tires. Our destination is the KTM dealer in Nairobi. Not far from the dealership is Jungle Junction where we had already planned to stay a couple of days in order to meet and exchange stories with other over landers. Jungle Junction is the perfect place to rest and repair your bike in case you need it. It offers great accommodation, great food, and knowledgeable mechanical help. Unfortunately there is no one that is traveling from North to South therefore we are not getting any news on road and general safety conditions. All people who are here at this time are in the same situation as ours, traveling from South to North. In Particular a swiss couple that has been on the road for 3 years now. Nikole got pregnant while on the road and gave birth to their son Kevin in Thailand. Read their amazing story here.