On The Road, Kenya


The longest road in Africa, from Moyale to Isiolo, Kenya — May 21, 1998

Highway A2 runs from the Kenya border town of Moyale, across the vast Dida Galgalu Desert, and down to the oasis town of Marsabit, where you can find the rare and famous reticulated giraffe in the nearby resrve. Along the road you’ll eoncounter people from the Samburu and Rendille tribes, often in their traditional look with ocrhe-colored braids of hair, spears, shields, beads and leatherwork and fabric outfits. If unlucky you may also run across the Shifta, or road bandits, often from Somolia. As Paul Theroux put it, “They do not want your life, bwana. They want your shoes.” To protect you, or at least give that impression, the Kenyan military will most likely attach a soldier with loaded weapon to your vehicle, and trucks will travel in convey for saftety, though in practice the convey breaks up moments after it begins. Form here the road continues south to Archers Post, Isiolo, around Mount Kenya and onto Nairboi. Also note, the white dot in the center of the photo is a skull.

Note 5/21: The section between Isiolo and Moyale in northern Kenya (dubbed 'the road to hell' by overland travellers) has recently been completed creating a smooth crossing across Kenya.


Shooting guns on the road to Isiolo, Kenya — May 21, 1998

Photo by Todd Monge

Our protective soldier during the drive from Moyale to Isiolo, Kenya — May 21, 1998


Crossing the river, Chuka, Kenya — May 23, 1998


Swimming in the river, Chuka, Kenya — May 23, 1998


Countries visited - Africa 1998 - 1999

Africa route map

Our scehdule

I am not sure how it all got started. It wasn’t a magical spark of lightning that began the cataclysm, nor was it the supreme words of a higher being sending us on our way. Somehow, though, the powers of the universe contrived enabling our journey through the Heart of Africa.

It began quite innocently as an alleged trip to Bulgaria and Romania. This idea was eventually vetoed and placed “on hold” for future girlfriends. Zap—a long awaited spark was kindled—The Middle East: Yemen, in particular. And the visas were applied for, the air tickets purchased; and on a fine March 4th day we were on our way aboard a gleaming Air France 747 en route to Cairo, Egypt, via a five day layover in France.

We never did make it to Yemen, nor the Middle East for that matter; we headed South, instead, into the Heart of Africa, and what follows is the story of events as they unfold.

Egypt Ethiopia Eritrea Botswana Tanzania Madagascar Namibia Zambia Kenya Zimbabwe South Africa Uganda Malawi Mozambique