Kenya’s Malka Mari National Park is a national park that is located in the country’s northern region along the Daua River, which forms the boundary with Ethiopia. Its size is roughly 1,500 square km. It is the nation’s least utilised national park and is reachable via the Mandera Airport. The majority of the park is made up of semi-arid bush land, scrubby grassland, and riverbank woods. The park has vegetation that are local to the area.
The Somali giraffe, crocodile, hyena, agama lizards, antelopes, vultures, dik-diks, seven Nile crocodiles, zebra, and genet are a some of the creatures that call the park home. There are more than 20 bird species can be seen here, including the rare corvus ruficollis, streptopelia decipiens, cichladusa guttata, and ploceus dichrocephalus.
Malka Mari received the designation of Category II park from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1989.Malka Mari National Park, which is characterised by landscapes of semi-arid bush and scrubby grasslands with splotches of riparian woodland and palms along the Daua River, was established in 1989 apparently because of its high concentration of wildlife. The region is regarded as a potential Important Bird Area and a location for plant endemism (NBU, 1992).
Malkamari fort, valleys, and hills are among the Malka Mari National Park’s top attractions. These natural features offer stunning and alluring scenery, making travel and tourism worthwhile. Undoubtedly the most distant national park in Kenya is Malka Mari National Park.
The Gurreh community of nomadic herders makes up the majority of the park’s population, despite their small number and widespread dispersion. At the southernmost point of Malka Mari National Park is Karache Urane. The Awara Plains, on the other hand, are located in the southern region. The park’s northern limit ends at the Kenya-Ethiopia border. Malka Mari National Park’s outermost regions can therefore act as important tourism destinations.
How to get to Malka Mari National Park
It should be made clear to tourists that travelling by road to Malka Mari National Park is quite challenging and takes a very long time. The first step is to go to Isiolo through the Northern Road’s A2 route, and once there, continue on to Moyale, which is located on the Ethiopian border. After travelling for around 160 km via the Yabdus and Sara hills on the D504 route on the eastern side from Moyale, you will arrive in Banissa, a semi-permanent settlement with an airport.
The Wajir route is another alternative that motorists have as an option. To get to Wajir, there are two roads. The first one follows B9 from Mado Gashi, and the second one departs from Dadaab in the north-eastern region of Garissa before continuing along B9 to Tarba. Before arriving in Banissa, a visitor ought to travel 200 kilometres farther north along the D500.Visitors should think about using another alternate route to go to Malka Mari National Park due to the lengthy distance and poor road conditions in the country’s northeast. The finest choice for a visitor to think about is to charter a plane. Malka Mari National Park can be reached by one of two airstrips. The first airstrip is in Bannissa, and the second is a little one that is located inside the park.
It’s exciting to see the wildlife at Malka Mari National Park. You can go on game drives or guided safaris to see a wide variety of animals such as elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, and other species of antelope. Being calm and patient will help you see more wildlife in their natural habitat and boost your chances of seeing them acting naturally. Never approach an animal too closely or do any acts that might endanger or disturb it. Enjoy the breath taking interactions with the amazing animals of the park.
Spotted hyenas, antelopes, zebras, Dik-Diks, genets, gazelles, giraffes, grey wolves, mountain lions, Reticulated giraffes, Oryx, lesser kudu, grater kudu, Impalas, Thompson Gazelles, waterbuck. bobcats, moose, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and Nile crocodiles along the Daua River are just a few of the wildlife that may be observed in the park.
Hot air Balloon safaris
A fascinating and distinctive way to view wildlife and scenery from a new angle is through hot air balloon safaris. Hot air balloon safaris are available in Malka Mari National Park. It is also available on other National parks in the region such as Maasai Mara National Park and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and in several of Africa’s national parks and game reserves.
You will normally take out early in the morning during a hot air balloon safari because that is when the wildlife is most active and the weather is cooler. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the spectacular scenery, herds of animals, and occasionally even predators in their natural settings as you soar silently through the skies.
Crocodiles infested Daua River
The River Daua, which runs across the park and acts as a habitat for Nile crocodiles, supplies a steady source of water for the park’s fauna. To view these species, visitors are led to the river. You will be able to observe their feeding practises, childrearing practises, and self-defence techniques.
It has been determined that the region is a special plant endidimism. There are many different types of trees, bushes, herbs, grasses, and shrubs, including the Delonix elata, Terminalia sp, Euphorbia sp., Acacia sp., Mellia vulcansii, Aristida sp., Chloris sp. (foxtail grass), Commiphora sp., Combretum sp., Aloe sp.
The park also has a few medicinal plants.
Malka Mari National Park is made up of large savannah areas of grasslands with sporadic trees and bushes that are found throughout the park. Numerous herbivores and predators live on these broad grasslands. There are wooded portions in the park where the trees are more closely spaced apart, offering protection and habitat for different bird species and smaller mammals.
The park has hills and rocky outcrops that provide sweeping views of the surroundings. Additionally, certain unusual plant and animal species can be found in these places. Riverine woods are found along the banks of rivers and other waterways, and they serve as crucial habitats for a wide variety of bird species and aquatic life.
Wetland environments, which are important for supporting a variety of birdlife and other species that depends on these habitats for food and water, form part of Malka Mari National Park.
A large variety of wildlife species are supported by the park’s rich and varied ecosystem, which is created by the park’s different landforms. However, entrance to and activities in the park may be restricted or limited due to local security issues.
When to go
Visitors are free to visit the park throughout the calendar year. The rainy seasons fall on the months of March and April for the Short rains and long rains of November and December are the best times to visit and enjoy the green vegetation. 4×4 car is recommended
What to carry with you
- Stylish Walking Shoes.
- A Hat.
- UV protection.
- A Miniature Backpack.
- An excellent camera or smartphone accessory.
- A backpack cooler or small cooler.
- Bottles of water for hydration.
- A first aid kit must-have.
- For those who enjoy observing birds, binoculars.
- Everything else is recommended when visiting hot areas.