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#27 Mount Marsabit & Kaisut Desert

Though born of volcanic fire, Marsabit is a cool, green and forested realm, often swathed in mist. Rising like a mirage above the surrounding burning deserts of Kaisut, Korr and Chalbi, it is the natural attraction for the Borana, Gabbra, Rendille, Samburu, Konzo and Burji. This makes Marsabit town the biggest settlement over a distance of hundreds of kilometers and its market holds picturesque stands with traditional medicines and staples. But Marsabit's biggest attraction is its national park, with lush cloud forests and the hundred or so volcanic craters and cones that dot the mountain and its surroundings. Efforts are under way to bring back the conservation area to its former grandeur. Until then, its crater lakes – the best known is Lake Paradise – and sightings of an occasional elephant and other game remain the major spell.