This is a list of deserts in Kenya. Kenya has two known deserts which are located in very remote areas and are sparsely populated. Deserts experience harsh climatic conditions which support minimal plant and animal life. Most plants found in deserts are xerophytes which have special ways of adapting to extreme conditions.
Xerophytes have deep spreading roots, waxy and thorny leaves that prevent loss of moisture. Some have fleshy stems that store water. These features enable the plants to survive for long without water intake. Common examples of xerophytes include; cactus, acacia, pine and euphorbia.
Here is a list of deserts in Kenya.
1. Chalbi Desert
Chalbi Desert is located in northern Kenya, near the Kenya-Ethiopia border. It is composed of stabilised sand dunes, saline and alkaline sediments which are a resulting formation of the old bed of Lake Chalbi. However, Lake Chalbi dried up and formed part of the extensive Chalbi desert.
The desert is dotted by beautiful sand dunes, inselbergs, ash grey ridges and broken clusters of huts. The desert is inhabited by the Gabbra, Rendille, Orma, El Molo, Dasanaach and Turkana communities.
Chalbi is a perfect destination for desert safaris and adventures. It is a favourable place for camel derbies, nature treks and photography.
2. Nyiri Desert
Nyiri Desert is also known as Taru Desert or The Nyika. It is located in Southern Kenya, between Amboseli, Tsavo West and Nairobi National Parks. A great portion of the desert is found in Kajiado County. Its aridity is caused by Mount Kilimanjaro’s rain shadow.
The desert is dotted with large springs, spaced riverbeds and noticeable game trails. It is also marked by scenic rocky hills, desert soils, gravels and wildlife such as lesser kudus, impalas, snakes, leopards, giraffes, elephants and lions.
Nyiri desert offers marvellous opportunities for adventurous safaris, game viewing, nature treks, photography and camping.