We took off at sunrise from this little oases on lake Turkana and headed off north towards the Ethiopian border. Most other Africa Overlanders take the road via Marsabit but other travellers coming down from up North told us that this road is terribly corrugated and knock everything out of machine and men for the 412 km of gravel road
Our bikers which are 2 days behind us later reported as follows:
Marsabit – Moyale =12 hours. (For 412 km ) Doug lost bolts in rear sub frame blou draad repair executed. Roger had 3 tyre bursts. Camel jockeys tried to attack us with stones and knife…
In retrospect we were indeed very happy to have taken the less frequented road but had to rely heavily on our Garmin devices as the maps which we had do not show all the tracks.
The first 40 km was over rocky lava stones which sometimes reduced our speed to 25km / h. Just before North Horr we reached the Chalbi Desert and found ourselves surrounded by sand as far as the eyes could see. There were a few tracks which we followed but we soon realised that we heading too much East instead of North East as requested by our Garmins.
We therefor turned accordingly towards North through the desert sands and soon picked up other tracks before reaching North Horr.
With the guidance of some locals we were now directed to other tracks taking us through the Dida Galgala Desert up to Forole which is a little town on the Ethiopian border. We hoped to get through this town into Ethiopia which would be quiet a shortcut to compared to the Moyale option.
After much desert driving we arrived at this little town but to our horror the friendly border commandant told us that we need to go through Moyale as we need to stamp out our carnets – something which he is not authorised to do as there is no customs office in this town.
According to the map we would need to go back down South to Marsabit and then onto the road we wanted to avoid.
The Border official however tols us that there is a bush road along the Ethiopian border which is mainly used for border control and he suggested that we use this as it would bring us out just some 80 km south of Moyale in a town called Sololo . We entered the GPS data of Sololo onto our navigation devices and the official guided us to the track.
It was again like driving through the desert and sometimes we were in deep sand. Cars in front were covered with huge dust hanging behind them and one could only guess the distance to the car in front.
After about 100km we reached the main road from Marsabit to Moyale and we now had to drive this terribly corrugated road for the next 90km. As Lipstick was running low on fuel we had to use one of the spare Diesel tanks from the roof top.
We arrived at 18.15 in Moyale and found out that the border is closed and would open 7 am the next day.
Hereafter we proceeded to the Kenya Wildlife Camping Site and set up camp with the usual braai ceremony.