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The Tana River is Kenya's largest river. Its source is the Aberdare Mountains and the craggy snow covered peaks of Mount Kenya.

Having traveled over 1,000km the river spreads out across a massive floodplain. As it does so it creates a maze of tidal creeks and mangrove swamps, salt marshes and dhoum palm islands. There are bush-covered dunes and grassland.

Wildlife of the Tana Delta

This is the Tana Delta, a conservation area of 50,000 hectares. The main river is clad in stretches of thick riverine forest with fig and palm trees. Explorable by boat trips these forests are teaming with interesting birdlife and often shelter buffalo, elephant, hippo and crocodile as well as a host of smaller, shyer antelope and primates.

The Pokomo and Orma are the two main tribes in the area. They have very different backgrounds and cultures and both are very hospitable, welcoming prior arranged visits to their villages.

The Pokomo tribe

The Pokomo are the majority tribe and their lives revolve around the river and its flooding cycles which irrigate their fields and nurture the mango trees that shade their villages.

The Orma tribe

The Orma are Ethiopian by origin and are traditionally pastoralists moving their beehive shaped dwellings across the floodplains wherever the grass for grazing takes them. The beach is a long curve of sand, flanked by dunes on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Water birds and crabs scuttle across the sand. The sea is warm and the surf roles across a gently slopping beach so you can choose the size of wave you wish to tackle.

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Map of the Tana Delta

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near the Tana Delta