The rarely visited Nasalot National Reserve provides the intrepid traveller with the opportunity to explore Kenya at it’s most rugged. It is a serene and uncrowded reserve made up mainly of plains. The impressive Sekess Hills that are a continuation of the Cherangany ridges are the only feature that dares to break up the monotony of these plains. The reserve borders a section of River Turkwel to the north and the Wei Wei River to the east. In 1979, the 22,734-acre wildlife area became a gazetted reserve.
1. View Game at Nasalot Hill
Nasalot Hill is the main attraction at Nasalot National Reserve. An outcrop of rock at the reserve’s edge, it is popular with tourists, providing a vantage point to view wildlife. View a variety of game including the elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, impala, grant and Thompson’s gazelle. You can also see eland, lesser kudu, bushbuck, duiker, dik-dik, and of course, their predators, the lion, leopard, spotted hyena and jackal. Olive baboons, vervet monkeys and crocodiles are also present here.
2. Go on Guided Nature Walks
Guided nature walks at the Nasalot National Reserve allow you to experience an essential ecosystem with river valleys and floodplains. The ecosystem supports evergreen forests dominated by fig and acacia trees and many types of papyrus and sedges.
3. Spot Some Birds
Nasalot accommodates over 150 bird species. You can, for instance, see the brown breasted sunbird, carmine and the European bee-eater. The black-headed oriole, great sparrow hawk, violet breasted sunbird, hooded kingfisher, ring-necked dove and bronze sunbird are other species to spot.
4. Go on a Quest of Kenya’s Desert Warthog
The desert warthog deserves special mention because it has eluded nature scientists and conservationists alike for decades. The species lives at the Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Meru National Parks as well as the Samburu National Reserve. It has long been suspected that the Nasalot National Reserve might be one of its habitats, but that remains just a suspicion. If you spot one during your tours, be sure to take a photo. Many interested parties exist who would be grateful you did!
Engage is Some Sport Fishing
The Turkwel Dam provides splendid grounds for sport fishing. Besides fishing for sport, the dam offers a lifeline for the small town centre of Riting in West Pokot. For the Pokot community living here, the dam has become a true embodiment of the famous saying that if you give a man a fish, he will come back but if you teach him how to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime. The town of Riting, in yesteryears, was infamous as a cattle rustling hub. Thanks to the dam, it is now a fishing centre. You can combine your angling activity with a boat ride at River Turkwel.
Besides being a reserve for wildlife, the Nasalot National Reserve, helps to protect the slopes from human encroachment and erosion on the Turkwel lakeside. So when you visit, you will not only enjoy these five activities, but you will be contributing to preserving a fragile ecosystem from further degradation. Remember to check the latest entry rates on the Kenya Wildlife Service website before you hit the 146 KM road trip from Kitale. A visit to the reserve is also possible by air using the airstrip at Tukwel dam and Kaputirr.