Helicopter Safaris in the Northern Frontier District

Original Travel now offers Kenyan helicopter safaris way beyond the tourist trail and deep into the remote heartlands of the Northern Frontier District.


This area, which covers huge tracts of the nation's north-east, is Kenya's last great frontier - full of extraordinary and contrasting landscapes. Remote ranges of tropical forest-topped mountains sit amongst huge areas of arid deserts and the only human inhabitants of this wild landscape are tribespeople living a life little changed for centuries. Desert-adapted animals abound in the north with Grants' Gazelles, Kudu, Gerenuk, Oryx and the rare Golden Jackal particularly striking.

Our helicopter safaris allow easy access to this seriously beautiful part of Kenya - a region far off the beaten track made all the less accessible by land thanks to enormous ravines, spectacular rock formations, volcanic craters and saline water pools teeming with crocodiles and water birds. The Northern Frontier District of Kenya is unspoilt Africa at its very finest, and it is now within reach.

All our helicopter trips are entirely tailormade so can last from a day or two, or - given the necessary budget - far longer but this sort of free-roaming luxury comes, unsurprisingly, at a cost.

Trip highlights that we would highly recommend working into any itinerary would include Lake Turkana, known as the 'Jade Sea' because of its remarkable blue-green water. The lake is one of the largest desert lakes in the world and the climate here is hot and dry with the landscape dominated by volcanic rock and basalt lava flows.

The self-explanatory Central Island has more than a dozen craters and cones, three of which are filled by smaller lakes. For anyone with even a passing interest in the origins of our species, this is where it all began for the human race, with this part of the Great Rift Valley famous for its paleontological sites. Early hominid fossil deposits have been found on both sides of the lake.

The Sibiloi National Park which lies on the lake's eastern shore, is home to huge fossilised trees up to 150 feet long. On the southern shores of the lake there are many rock-art sites with engravings by early man, dating back as far as 7,000 years. Nile crocodiles, a species that has survived for more than 200 million years, are found in great abundance on the lakeshore.

To the south of Lake Turkana lies the Suguta Valley and some of Africa's most dramatic scenery. Think deserts, salt lakes, the evidence of a spectacular erosive past in the form of jagged lava fields and colourful scree slopes. A seasonal soda lake called Logipi is home to thousands of flamingos. The spectacular island in the lake's centre is known as Cathedral Rock and expeditions into the valley are best done in the early morning or in the evening to avoid the intense mid-day heat.

Finally, and away from the soaring temperatures of the deserts we recommend taking refuge in the cool, refreshing surroundings of the montane forests. These silent, pristine forests sit on the summits of the striking cliff faces rising 3,000 feet out of the arid plains. These forests are home to giant cycads, the oldest plant species on the planet, as well as beautiful strangler figs, podo and cedar trees. Follow the trails left by elephants through this untouched wilderness before arriving in clearings that reveal spectacular views over the desert below.It's all a bit 'Lost World' - without the dinosaurs, fortunately.

There are plenty of other places to visit on any exclusive helicopter safari, and our expert Kenya team can talk you through ideas in more detail, or work the flights into a larger Kenya itinerary. With this being a helicopter safari, the possibilities are endless and it really is a case of access all areas.

Consider a helicopter safari for your ultimate honeymoon in Kenya.

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