Isiolo is where anticipation and excitement first start to send your heart aflutter. This vital pit stop on the long road north to Ethiopia from central Kenya is a true frontier town, a place on the edge, torn between the cool, verdant highlands just to the south and the scorching badlands – home of nomads and bandits – to the north. On a more practical note, it’s also the last place with decent facilities until Maralal or Marsabit.
Among the first things you’ll undoubtedly notice is the large Somali population (descendants of WWI veterans who settled here) and the striking faces of Boran, Samburu and Turkana people walking the streets. It’s this mix of people, cultures and religions that's the most interesting thing about Isiolo. Nowhere is this mixture better illustrated than in the hectic market.