By Kenneth Jura | Kenya
Les Wanyika’s song “ Safari ya Samburu” cannot fully exemplify how spectacular Samburu county is. This song a Zilizopendwa, it was a classic, explains how Les Wanyika’s journey to Maralal was. Maralal is Samburu County’s headquarters.
Samburu is scenic, spectacular with all the “S” superlatives and adjectives to describe how lovely the terrain and the people are. We stopped briefly at Naivasha then proceeded to Gilgil then Nyahururu. The road to Nyahururu is full of unseen and unmarked speed bumps, you risk running over them due to frequent rains that pound Nyandarua County. At Nyahururu we had our lunch then after an hour we hit the road again, at Rumuruti we bid bye to the tarmac and the red, dusty earth road gave us a long firm handshake welcoming us to the long drive to Samburu. From Rumuruti we played Ping-Pong on our seats passing the expansive Mugie Ranch. Along the way giraffes stood to crane for better leaves as well as look at the strangers who after a while would alight to take photos with these long, sticky animals. Just before the turn to Lake Baringo, we alighted again to ogle at the waterbucks that sat overlooking the sinking sun on the horizon.
At Suguta marmar a barrier was lifted by a young police recruit who asked us if we had that day’s newspaper. I must admit I was astonished that a cop wanted newspaper as opposed to “chai” (bribe) that his city counterparts are used to. My colleagues regretted why we did not buy at least a copy. We encountered another barrier on the stretch between Suguta Marmar and Maralal town.
We embarked on duty on our second day each time marveling at the Samburu culture and its people. We travelled to Mallaso on our second day. Mallasso has a picturesque terrain, in fact it is the same place that Safaricom shot its “Niko Na” advert.
The following day we travelled to Losuk ward in Samburu county where we enjoyed the hospitality and uniqueness of the Samburu people as well as the various cultural and economic challenges that they faced. That would be best addressed in a different forum because this one is simply to appreciate Kenya’s beauty.
On our final day we traveled for two hours from Maralal-Kisima-Wamba road passed a small shopping center called Lorruk then further onto the floor of the Rift Valley. Many times we forgot that a cellular network ever existed, from Lorruk river we snaked our way up to meet with Lodokejek trading center then onto Lodokejek primary school. From here we picked the school’s headmaster to take us to the remotest part of Samburu county a place called Loshoo. We were reliably told that Loshoo was the “end of the road” literally. Along the way elephants had felled several trees with their poop dotting the dusty,stony road.
Several days after our arrival in Nairobi I attended Samburu night at Bomas.
Samburu is indeed a butterfly county.