Background Information-“This Place is God’s Gift” Marsabit National Reserve covers an area of 1500 km2 and consists of a forested mountain that rises like an oasis in the middle of the desert wilderness and is the only source of permanent surface water in the region.
The reserve has three spectacular crater lakes that provide habitat for a variety of birdlife. One of the lakes, Lake Paradise, is most scenic and famous from early films and writings of Martin Johnson and Vivien de Wattville. Marsabit reserve is also known because of large elephants like the famous Ahmed, an elephant that was provided with a 24 hour protection by a presidential order. Ahmed, who boasted some of the biggest tusks ever recorded, died at age 55, and his body was preserved and is now on display in Nairobi National Museum. Other animals found in the reserve include, greater kudu, reticulated giraffe, buffalo, bushbuck, leopard and caracal. The reserve has a unique and diverse birdlife of over 370 species that include the Somali ostrich, the rare masked lark and over 52 species of raptors. At certain times of the year, a wide variety of butterflies is noticeably abundant.