Characterized by undulating scenes of semi-arid bush and scrubby grasslands with dots of riparian woodland and palms along the Daua River, Malka Mari National Park was gazetted in 1989 due to its reportedly high concentration of wildlife. The area is considered a site for plant endemism (NBU, 1992) and a potential Important Bird Area.
The park covers an area of 876 km2 and lies along the Daua River on the Kenya-Ethiopia border to the extreme North East of Kenya on the Mandera plateau, Mandera County. Coupled with spectacular scenery, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, birds, aquatic species, important ecosystems and a water catchment that provides refuge for wildlife during the dry seasons.
The park has Old colonial military graves, Old colonial building, Hills steps valleys, Mountains. Ruins e.g. Goro Ade and Colonial airstrip.
It has also riverine, riparian vegetation, small Hills steps and valleys.
Protected Area Type
When to go
What to take with you
- Comfortable Walking Shoes.
- A Hat.
- Sun screen.
- A Small Backpack.
- A Good Camera or Smartphone Camera Accessories.
- A Small Cooler or Backpack Cooler.
- Water bottles for hydration.
- First Aid essentials.
- Binoculars for those who love watching birds.
All others items recommended when visiting hot Areas
How to get there
From Nairobi by Road.
- The first step you take A2 route of northern Tarmac Road to Isiolo and then proceed to Moyale Town on the Ethiopian boarder. From Moyale you take the D504 Road on the eastern side through Yabdus and Sara Hills via Takaba For around 160 km before Diverting to North pass through a colonial military center of Derkale until you reach Bannissa Town distances of 65 km from Takaba. This is the safest and secure route to access the park.
- The second step is driving Through B9 North Eastern road -Thika -Garrissa – Wajir -Mandera Road until You Arrive at border Town Of Elwak in Mandera County .Then you proceed west and take Elwak –Takaba road before reaching the rocky town of Takaba a distances of 140 km. From Takaba you drive North to Bannissa town a distances of 65 km .It’s journey of an estimated distances of 1400 km from Nairobi to Bannissa.
From Nairobi by Air.
- Rhamu airstrip-this airstrip is in Rhamu town in Mandera north constituency and in good condition. To access the Park you need to hire a vehicle and drive west to Bannissa a distances of 140km through Rhamu-Ola-Bannissa road. Currently there is no daily local flight operating in this area.
- Bannissa airstrip-This Airstrip is in Bannissa town and only 12km from the park boundary but it’s not in good condition and it has some undergrowth. Currently there is no daily local flight operating in this area.
- Takaba airstrip. This Airstrip is in Takaba Town south of Bannissa town its 65 km from Bannissa, it’s in good condition and Currently there is local passenger flight operating in this area but Twice a week only on Sunday and Tuesday. They are called Shillow Tours and Buko Travellers.For you to access the Park need to hire a vehicle drive North through Takaba - Bannissa A distances of 65 km until you reach Bannissa town.
- Malka Mari air strip -This is an old colonial Airstrip inside the park and but it’s not in good condition and it has some undergrowth. Currently there is no daily local flight operating in this area.
- Mandera main airstrip -This Airstrip is in Mandera Town. Its operation is under the control of Kenya Defense forces. It’s in good condition, they have daily local Passenger flight provided local flight company Shillow Tours and Buko Travellers.For you to access the park you need to hire a vehicle drive Through B9 road west of Mandera town before arriving Rhamu town and Divert from The B9 to Rhamu-Ola-Bannissa road before arriving Bannissa town. It’s an estimated distances of 270 km of Marram Road.
- Elwak airstrip-this airstrip is in Elwak town and in good condition. Currently there is local passenger flight operating in this area but twice a week only by Shillow Tours and Buko Travelers on Sunday and Tuesday. To access the park you hire a vehicle and proceed west and take Elwak –Takaba road before reaching the rocky town of Takaba a distances of 140 km from Elwak .From Takaba you drive North to Bannissa town a distances of 65 km.
RECOMMENDED ROUTE TO ACCESS THE PARK.
Take A2 route of northern Tarmac Road to Isiolo and then proceed to Moyale Town on the Ethiopian boarder .From Moyale you take the D504 Road on the eastern side through Yabdus and Sara Hills via Takaba .Drive at least 160 km before Diverting to North until you reach Bannissa Town a distance of 65 km from Takaba. This is the safest and most secure route to access the park.
Takaba airstrip. This Airstrip is in Takaba Town south of Bannissa town. Its 65 km from Bannissa Town, it’s in good condition and currently there is local passenger flight operating in this area twice a week only (Sunday and Tuesday). These are Shillow Tours and Buko Travelers. For you to access the Park you need to hire a vehicle, drive north to Bannissa through Takaba-Bannissa Road
- Habitat for Wildlife, birds and aquatic species
Reticulated giraffes, Oryx, lesser kudu, grater kudu, Impalas, Thompson Gazelles, waterbuck.
Some key wildlife species of Carnivores- Lion, Cheetah, Spotted Hyena, Jackals, Leopard and Wild dogs are also found here.
Crocodile hippos and fish are found in river Daua inside the park.
- Home to unique Plant Species and Important ecosystem, water catchment and dry refuge for wildlife during dry spell
The area has been identified as unique plant endidimism. Various trees, shrubs, herbs, Forbes and grass species which includes Delonix elata, Terminalia sp Euphorbia sp; Acacia sp; Mellia vulcansii, Aristida sp; Chloris sp (foxtail grass); .Commiphora sp; Combretum sp; Aloe sp; Sensiveria sp among other species .
Some medicinal plants are also found in the park.
- Malkamari lodge,
- Banisa Guest House
- New people lodge
- County Guest House
Park Entry Fee
Park Fees - Citizen/Residents –
Adults Kshs 250/=
Child/Student Kshs 100/=
Adults - Usd 20
Child/Student - Usd 10
Camping - Citizen/Residents
Special Campsite Public Campsite
Adult Kshs 250 Kshs 200
Child/Student Kshs 200 Kshs 150
Adult Usd 35 Usd 20
Child/Student Usd 20 Usd 15