Category Archives: Hiking

How To Prepare For And Make A Success High Altitude Hike.

If you are like many high altitude hikers and climbers, the ultimate reward is successfully reaching the summit. That is why it is imperative that you prepare adequately before departing for the trek and once you commence the trek, do it correctly. We bring you here some of the pitfalls to look out for so you may prepare adequately.

Altitude

In any high altitude hike, your greatest adversary is Altitude sickness. Altitude Sickness, also called mountain sickness is caused by reduced air pressure and lowered oxygen levels at high altitudes. In the early stages, it is mild and manifests as, light-headedness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, increase heartbeat rate or Shortness of breath.

As you climb higher the atmospheric pressure decreases. When your internal body (pressure) does not adjust properly to the change in atmospheric pressure you may start showing signs of mountain sickness.

Also, the reduced atmospheric pressure causes the air to get thinner and thus have less and less oxygen. Less oxygen to burn means less energy for body metabolism. Again if your body is unable to adjust rapidly to change in available oxygen, you may start showing signs of altitude sickness.

Anyone, no matter the age, sex or physical fitness can develop altitude sickness. But from the above, you can see that someone who lives at a lower altitude is more prone to this malady if and when they are exposed to high altitude.

To lessen the chances of attack or to ameliorate the effects of an attack,

prepare your body (acclimatise) by climbing and spending time in higher altitudes months before the climb. If you live near sea level then travel to a location near the mountain days in advance of the climb. During the climb, ascend slowly taking, taking five-minute breaks with every ascent of 100m. If climbing past the 400m mark, stop for a day for every ascent of 600m. When stopping for the night, descend to a lower altitude when possible.

Be fit muscle wise so that your body demands less energy.

Attitude

If you consider the trek up the summit as a one-off chore to complete and never ever to be repeated (bucket list), then you may want to change your attitude. Walk frequently to a point where you start to enjoy walking. Walking to the summit will entail walking uphill and downhill for up to seven hours a day for a number of days. Naturally, this can be tedious and boring. But if you enjoy the walk, you will not only like the trip, you will notice and enjoy the many breath-taking sceneries along the trail.

Hydration

In the days running towards the hike, take a lot of fluids daily in order to start to hydrate your body. Reduce alcohol intake as it encourages water loss from the body through urination. Some people have a problem drinking while undertaking strenuous exercises. In this case, practise to take water while walking or running and at worst in the breaks between the long walks.

Fitness

Exercises sufficiently to strengthen the muscles of both your external and internal organs. Walking, running, skipping a rope and doing squats will strengthen your lower body muscles, tendons, and ligaments plus the heart, chest and diaphragm muscles.

If you live or work in storeyed builds, the staircase is a godsend. Avoid lifts and take stairs instead. Cycle or walk to work. Swim frequently to give endurance to your lungs, improve breath timing and to boost your body’s ability to survive on little air. Swimming also helps your body learn to cope with changes in external pressure.

But go slow, very slow, on exercise during the last week of preparation to give your body time to recover.

Diet

During the trek, the body needs to burn more carbohydrate for energy than usual. Eat adequate starchy and sugary foods. Drink water. Your body needs it to create energy. Carry with you high energy snacks.

Humour and Sense of Adventure

Even with all the preparations, things will not go according to plan. Your rain gear may fail and you end up with soggy boots or food. The food may disagree with you and you spend as much time squatting in the bush behind boulders as on the trail. You may have to share accommodation with a snoring giant. Take the mishaps in your stride and find humour in the encounters.

Talk to the fellow hikers you meet. By all means, avoid being grumpy. If there is a bad smell following you around, the culprit is not your fellow hikers. It is you.

Weight

Any weight carried uphill, especially on summit-night/day can me monumental even if that weight is part of your body. Cut your body weight to your optimum weight. Also, pack light; have the bare essentials in your day bag. Water is heavy. Do not carry more than you will consume for the day’s journey.

Walking

Do not over assert yourself when walking; walk at your comfortable pace. Start off early so that you may walk slowly and stop to rest as necessary. At every stop sip some water.

On steep inclines, use short steps. Do not climb over150mm in one step. Zigzag uphill to lessen the gradient. It takes longer but you use less energy.

Attire

Acquire the correct attire for the hike. The mountain climate is capricious. It can change rapidly without notice. Please keep warm on the mountain as developing a breathing complication will definitely cut short your trip. Prepare for wind, rain, sun, hail, snow anything.

Break-in your gear. Boots, socks, day bag, underwear or anything that is likely to start pinching needs to be used by you in advance.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also called mountain sickness, is an illness that can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or travellers at altitudes above 2,400 meters.

Causes

Mountain sickness is caused by the failure of the body to adjust to reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. The faster you gain altitude, the more likely that you will suffer an attack. You are also at higher risk for mountain sickness if:

  • You live at or near sea level and travel to a high altitude.
  • You suffer from motion sickness.
  • You have not acclimatized to the altitude.
  • Alcohol or other substances have interfered with acclimatization.
  • You have medical problems involving the heart, nervous system, or lungs.

Symptoms

Mild mountain Sickness

In most cases, the malady is mild. Symptoms of mild to moderate mountain sickness may include any one or more of the following:

  • Light-headedness
  • Headache
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath

The symptoms often disappear when no father altitude is gained or if one descends. However, if one asserts themselves or climbs too fast, the mountain sickness may become acute and life-threatening as it affects the nervous system, lungs, and heart.

Acute Mountain Sickness

Symptoms of acute mountain sickness include:

  • Chest tightness or congestion
  • Confusion
  • Coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Decreased consciousness
  • Inability to walk in a straight line
  • Unable to walk
  • Shortness of breath at rest

Treatment

The main treatment for all forms of mountain sickness is to descend to a lower altitude as rapidly and safely as possible. You should not continue climbing if you develop symptoms without allowing for the symptoms to disappear. Extra oxygen may be given, but the patient must still descend to a lower altitude to allow for acclimatisation.

If symptoms persist, seek medical attention. Acetazolamide may be given by a medic.

Prevention

  • Climb the mountain gradually. Walk even if a road is provided.
  • Insert an extra day in your itinerary for every altitude gain of 600 to 1000m.
  • Hike high Sleep at a low.
  • Stop immediately symptoms are recognised and wait for them to subside
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.
  • Eat regular meals that are high in carbohydrates.

Mt Kenya Packing List

Mt Kenya Trekking, What to Carry

Trekking up mount Kenya to Lenana peak does not require any technical gear or rock climbing skills (barefoot it). All you need is a good pair of legs, endurance and some humour. Nevertheless, there some things you need to carry with you to make your life more bearable. Some things will be provided by your tour guide others will not. It is imperative you find out what is included in your package to avoid duplication or lacking some crucial personal effect while up there.

The mountain climate is capricious. Clouds can appear suddenly, quickly degenerate to soaking rain, and give way to sunshine within the hour. Early morning frost is common every other day of the year. Therefore hikers are advised to take their outdoor gear serious.

Things usually included in the trip package by the tour guide

  1. KWS Park fees
  2. Transport to and from the Nearest town (Nanyuki, Naromoru, Chogoria) to the park gate.
  3. Accommodation while on the mountain (bunkhouses or tents)
  4. Three meals a day whilst in the mountain
  5. Guide, Cooks & Porters

Things usually not included in the trip package.

  1. Accommodation other than on the mountain prior to & after the trip
  2. Hotel meals out of the mountain
  3. Grants & Tips
  4. Personal bites/ energy bars taken while hiking
  5. Alcoholic drinks

Recommended personal effects.

Pack light as the guide may require you to carry or discard some items if your rucksack if too heavy. Start with the must-have items then throw in the luxury items if space and weight allows.

Toiletries
Underwear
Face towel
Soap
Sunscreen
Lip Balm
Hand Sanitizer
Toilet Paper
Wet Wipes
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)

Rain Gear
Hiking trousers or shorts
Rain Trouser
Raincoat or Poncho
Bin liners (for lining bags)
Waterproof (paper) bags (for electronics)
Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric

Warmth Gear
Balaclava or cap (Woollen, fleece or Thinsulate) for your head
Puff Jacket (down, fleece, fibre or Thinsulate) avoid wool
Thermal underwear
Fleece Jacket
Gloves

Footwear
Hiking Boots
Thick socks (3 pairs)
Gym shoes, Sneakers or trainers (for resting in the evenings)
Gaiters**

Sleeping
Sleeping Bag 15°C [4 seasons]
Sleeping mat (if camping)

Trekking Aids
Walking Sticks
Head Torch
Sunglasses
Large Ruck Suck (from 60litres to be Carried by porters)
Small Day bag (20 to 30 litres for your hiking needs)

Optional comfort accessories;
Wet wipes
Personal travel insurance cover
Personal healthy bites/ snacks.
Passport/Identification Card
Prescription drugs
Painkillers
Anti-nausea
WC liner
Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log
Camera, with extra batteries
Power bank
Book reader or book
Board game/playing cards
Sunglasses or Goggles
Vacuum flask
Camel-back water pouch
Stuff bags

Statutory Requirements
ID Passport
Vaccination cards (passing through the airport)

Paradise Lost

  Paradise lost is privately owned outdoor venue located between Kiambu town and Nairobi just after the bypass. The outdoors venue features more than 50km of cycling trail within the conservancy that runs through a forest reclaimed from a coffee farm but one can ride out into the surrounding coffee estates for longer and faster rides. With the wind in the trees and laughter in the air, the fun in of cycling with your friends and family leaves one refreshed. In case you don’t have own bikes are available for hire at sh500 per hour.

Other outdoor activities to fill in your day at paradise lost, especially if you are in a large group such that all members are likely not to be into riding include

  1. Caving: Explore the caves under the waterfall of Gichi stream that runs through the Paradise Lost and experience the thrill of bat watching you pop-eyed us you bed double to struggle and find out what lies around the next corner.
  2. Boat riding: You will love paddling a canoe up the dam as you enjoy a cool drink in the sun. The gargle of the water in the waterfalls at both ends of the dam makes for music to occupy you as wrestle with your boat a venture that leaves and city dweller completely unwound.
  3. Waterfall. Spend some time at the stunning waterfall and let the melody of the falling water soothe you
  4. Picnic: The management of Paradise lost outdoor venue provides wonderful picnicking facilities that are usable all year round. The bandas are roofed and benches provided. You can opt to bring in your packed snacks or prepare your meal at the facilities. Charcoal grills are also provided. There are cooks on the ground for hire to help you prepare a meal.
  5. Fishing: Angling at the dam is a perfect past time. The dam is well stocked with tilapia, catfish and common carp. You bring your own fishing line the setup base at a serene point in the bushes by the shore of the dam and wait for that shake in the line.
  6. Horse riding or camel riding: This fun outdoor activity is available for children and adults alike. Not professional riding but fun all the same.
  7. Nature trails and Bird Watching: If you love natural flora and fauna you will have a feast at paradise lost. The reclaimed flora attracts a host of insects and birds. With a majority of visitors attracted to the dam and the picnic, the nature trail is refreshingly not over trodden leaving the outdoors nature trail enthusiast well compensate.

Karura Forest Hiking Trails

Activity Walking, cycling, running
Location Nairobi, Gigiri
Starting Point Limuru Road Gate
Ending point Limuru Road Gate
Walking Duration 2 – 4 hours
Terrain Muram gravelled foot paths.
Difficulty Very easy walk.

Objective
Besides taking a peaceful stroll through a wilderness in the middle of the city, the objective of walking in the Karura hiking trails is to cover the distance marked in the chosen trail.

Trail Description
The Karura hiking trails combine to a total length of 50km. Some of these trails are shared with runners and cyclists and are marked by numbered posts at every junction to make it easy to complete and not wander away from the chosen trail. There are three trails each coded a different colour: Yellow – 5km, blue – 10km, or Green – 15km.  Any of the trails is easy enough for most people to complete but can be made more challenging by increasing the pace or getting lost.

Deviating away from the designated trails or releasing a dogImage result for karura route marks is prohibited.

Start from the gate on Limuru road then follow the marked directions. You can consult and memorise the map at the gate and note the numbers of the milestones that will take you through your trail as well pass particular attractions, e.g caves, waterfall, beehives or yImage result for karura route marksou can purchase a map and support the Friends of Karura in its initiative to maintain the forest. The walk to Karura caves and waterfalls is about 6km from this gate and is a popular destination to rest and let the gurgle of the miniature waterfall talk to you.

And in talking to your it might remind you that, the serenity of Karura hinds its resilience in resisting organised and organic affronts into its existence, thegreatest of which was during the dying years of the nyayo kleptocracy that saw bloody confrontations between conservationist and wheeler-dealers who were hell bent to subdivide the forest among themselves. To date it is not clear whether the private land titles issued on Karura were revoked. It now covers an area of 2570 acres.

You will also be thrilled by the constant awareness of some animals around you, most that you can only hear but not see, but occasionally you stumble upon some that scamper away.

Image result for karura route marks

Getting There
Despite being so close to the city centre of Nairobi, finding the gate can be difficult. Mainly because not all gates are open on all days and times. The surest way is to target the main gate that is along Limuru road, opposite the Belgian Embassy.

Driving
If driving from the Muthaiga side, you take Limuru Road and turnoff right immediately after crossing the bridge near the Belgian Embassy. Please note that this is a busy highway and therefore allow for ample signalling period.

If using an electronic navigator, put your final destination as Belgian Embassy

Public means
Take matatus to Gigiri, Rwaka or village market (numbers Numbers 11B, 106, 107, 108, 114 or 116 11) and alight at the bridge just after Muthaiga North round about. Please note that there is a road up near Muthaiga north called Karura Road. So be specific to the conductor that you want to alight at the Karura forest gate or just the Belgium Embassy. Also on your way out, be aware that matatus may not stop here to pick passengers, in which case you have to walk five minutes to Muthaiga north shopping centre

Fees

Adult Child
Kenyan and EAC Citizens Ksh 100 Ksh 40
Residents Ksh 200 Ksh 100
Non-residents Ksh 600 Ksh 300

Opening
The forest is open to recreation visitors from 6am to 6pm every day.

Guiding
Friends of Karura – Ksh 300 per 2 hrs.

Other facilities
Picnicking – sh100 per person
Lawn tennis, restaurant, field
Maps at sh500

Kijabe hill – Nathan hill Hiking Trail

Location Mai Mahiu/Longonot
Starting Point Mai Mahiu – Longonot road
Ending point Magina
Walking Duration 9-10 hours
Terrain Grass, human tracks and motorable road
Difficulty Moderate
Elevation gain 650m

Objective

The objective of the hiker on the Kijabe hill – Nathan hill hiking trail is to traverse the section between Mai-Mahiu town and Magina town. It involves reaching the peak of Kijabe hill (2400masl), traversing the old-Kijabe town saddle, then scaling the Nathan hill.

Description

The hike, a combination of Kijabe hill trail and Nathan hill trail, starts 9km from Mai Mahiu, almost halfway to Longonot town. The starting altitude is 2010m a.s.l. and you set off in a northerly direction walking up a gentle incline. The first one hour is silence inducing as hikers figure out their pace up till the railway line where you wheel right and continue north east to the peak of Kijabe hill at 2659m a.s.l. The total walking distance is about 3.2 km and takes 3 to four hours.

A brief rest as you soak in the beauty of the surrounding terrain and reflect on the wonders that created the IDP camp down below. You then walk eastwards down the hill for an hour and stop for lunch under the shades of some giant euphorbia tress.

After lunch you proceed eastwards, cross the railway and approach the sleepy, desolate and almost abandoned old-Kijabe town. The shops at this once vibrant town provide a good place to replenish your water.

Thereafter the trail is mostly flat for almost an hour. Some sections of the hiking trail will be on the road but mostly others will be through forest passing many thickets that are inviting as picnic sites.  The trail changes to a gentle climb through thick forest as you approach the Kijabe mission town until you get into it through some back gates near the mission hospital.

The Eastern escarpment of the Great Rift valley starts to get serious steep and as you  exit Kijabe town at the Wathing’ito bridge. You trek throughhuman settlements, learn a bit of local stuff, take many right-angle corners until you think you are lost. Like many a hike the final stretch is the most demanding. Nathan hill is a steep incline about 200 metres a long that at first looks easy to scale until your start. You walk and walk and the hill never seems to come to an end.

Weather allowing you will be treated to a spectacular sunset on the escarpment before heading to Magina for goat engine soup and Mutura.

Fees

Guide fee

Guiding

Local Community

Longonot Hiking Trail

Location Rift Valley
Starting Point Longonot park gate
Ending point Longonot park gate
Walking Duration 3 hours
Prevalent Weather Hot, dusty and windy. Afternoon showers.
Terrain Very dusty steep trail
Difficulty Moderate
Elevation gain 600m

Image result for longonot hike

Objective
The objective of the hiker is to hike to the summit of Mt. Longonot at 2780masl, then proceed round the crater rim and back to the gate.

Description:
The trail is a short 3.1 km to the rim or 5km trek to the summit. However it is strenuous and may take half-day to trek on account of the loose scree, soil, dust and the steep gradient. This hike is suitable for both a group and a lone hiker. The hike starts at the park gate around 2,150masl. After payment and registration, you then walk on fairly flat ground often with zebras, hogs and other grazers and browsers watching you from a distance, then past the campsite where the climb begins. At first, the climb is a gentle incline that nonetheless takes a toll on your muscles and chest as they try to acclimatise and as you find you pace. This gentle climb goes on for some thirty to forty minutes until you get to the concrete steps where the gradient changes dramatically and the heavy lifting starts. After the concrete steps you arrive at the first hut for a rest.

You then proceed eastwards through the thicket cover, a gentle easy going uphill slope that gradually increases in gradient until you get to the next hut at the rim of the crater. The picturesque caldera invites you to take photos all your labours all forgotten. A short rest is advisable before launching your attempt for the summit. You can either opt approach the summit in a clockwise (5.3km) or counter-clockwise (1.9 km) direction. The circumference of the rim is 7.2km. Whichever way you chose it is a scramble through loose soil that frustrates your every move aided by sharp assents and false peaks.

At the summit you take a well-earned rest as you get treated to the vast open country all around you including the dots of the vehicles snaking their way down and up the escarpment. You may then opt to go down the way you came or walk round the crater rim to the hut and down to the gate.

Options: As mentioned above, the normal Longonot hike is a short 3 hours. This can leave you feeling like your day wasn’t full enough. In the this case you may want to pep up your hike by considering one or both of these two additional objectives

  1. Secondary crater – Take the sign posted detour near the hut at the rim of theImage result for longonot second crater crater. The trails is quite discernible at the beginning but virtually disappears within five minutes of walking  and you start some serious bushwhacking through treacherous terrain with fairly deep ravines.
  2. Crater floor – Walking anticlockwise from the hut at the rim of the crater, look out for the sign post to the crater entry point. It is about half kilometre down the cliffs to the base. You mImage result for longonot second crateray want to do a bit of exploring there e.g. to the hot vents and the strange lock formations

Fees:
The park is managed by Kenya wildlife service and there KWS park regulations and fees apply. At the time of writing these are the charges

Adult
Resident
Non residents – $20

Children – –
Resident –
Non resident –

Guiding:
Guiding is not necessary at mt. Longonot unless you will be going off the beaten track. However enterprising locals will still entice you into. Decide for yourself whether you need a guide. The walking sticks hired by the guides may come in handy though.

Getting there
Driving: Drive to Mai-Mahiu town a town 70km from Nairobi. From Mai-mahiu drive nine kilometres towards Naivasha, until you see the Mt.Longonot National park sign post. Turn into this road and drive on 4 kilometres to the park gate.

Public means:
Take a Matatu to Mai-Mahiu from Nyamakima (off River road. Fare is about 150). At Mai Mahiu board a matatu bound for Naivasha and alight at Mt. Longonot National park turn off. Walk the four kilometres to the gate. Alternatively, if you are in a group, it maybe cost effective to hire a seven seater matatu or taxi from Mai-Mahiu to the park gate. Other alternative is to ride on a boda-boda

 

 

Menengai Caldera

Location Nakuru
Starting Point See options
Ending point See options
Walking Duration 1-8 hours depending on option
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty See options
Elevation gain

The objective of the hiker is to trek up the Menengai hill, then down into the caldera (considered to be one of the largest in the world) up to the floor, and then back up.

This hike has some turnkey options that can be plugged in to make the hike more interesting to the Kenya’s outdoors lover. Whatever the case, it is a good day hike for anyone visiting Nakuru. Menengai hill lies just outside Nakuru town in the Rift Valley of Kenya. That makes it readily accessible by road from any part of Kenya.

Option 1: Nairobi-Nakuru highway to Menengai floor.

Location Nakuru
Starting Point Nakuru town
Ending point Nakuru town
Walking Duration 8 hours
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty Moderate
Elevation gain  500m

Hikers start from Nakuru town, walk 8 kilometres uphill through the posh Milimani estate, past the peri-urban settlements and on to the forest gate. After registration, payment and a brether, the trek is on again. Following the same motorable meandering path, the hiker goes through some thinly forested areas up to the rim of the crater. After a shot rest at the rim taking mementos and absorbing awe of mother nature, it is time for the final assault of the trail. It weaves steeply down into the caldera forcing a semi run.

Once down at the base, there is the option of hiking backup the way you came. This is the common option.

But the more adventurous ones will experience the thrill of scaling the Menengai cliff where demons are said to float in the air at certain times of day.

Whatever you route back up to the rim, a brief rest is in order before starting your trek back into town.

Option 2: Forest gate to Menengai floor

Location Nakuru
Starting Point Menengai forest gate
Ending point Menengai forest gate
Walking Duration 4 hours
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty Moderate
Elevation gain

In case one is not sure about the fitness or time does not allow, the hike can be shortened by driving to the forest gate and walking from there.

Option 3: Menengai Rim Menengai floor.

Starting Point Menengai View point
Ending point Menengai View point
Walking Duration 1 hour
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty Easy
Elevation gain

Starting PointMenengai crater Rim
Ending PointMenengai Crater Rim
Walking Duration1 hour
Prevalent WeatherHot and windy. Afternoon Showers
TerrainDusty steep loose gravel
DifficultyEasy
Elevation Gain

Yet another option is drive all the way to the rim and hike into the crater. It is a steep and short hike that is quite treacherous. Energy is spent going downhill only to realise there is still a journey back up to be had. This version of the hike is less than 1 hour. If you have a day reserved for outdoors it might be good to include other items in your itinerary. Hyrax hill museum just right down the hill is a good place to consider or a picnic with the white rhinos at lake Nakuru.

 

Getting There

Public means:
From Nairobi, take the fourteen or seven seater Nakuru matatus at Nyamakima Stage off River Road. Unless you have something to do deep into Nakuru, alight somewhere near state house, Nakuru to launch your hike from across the road.

In case your preferred hike is option2 or option 3, once in Nakuru, you’ll need to hire a taxi or matatu to take you to the Menengai Crater viewpoint, do your thing and take your transport back

Driving: Use either the mai-mahiu road or the Kimende roads to Naivasha on wards to Nakuru. From the Nakuru Railway Station, drive towards Nairobi and take the first left turn after the railway underpass. Watch for the signposts to Menengai Crater until the forest gate for payment and registration

Fees:
This conservancy facility falls under KFS. They charges a recreation fee

Resident Adults – Ksh 200
Non resident Adult –

Ngong Hills

Location Ngong
Starting Point Ngong town
Ending point Option one 1: Ngong town
Option two 2: Kona Baridi
Walking Duration 5 hours
Prevalent Weather Windy
Terrain Motorable road, human foot paths on grass
Elevation Difference  500m
Difficulty Moderate

NgongHillsKenya.jpg

This hiking trail is in Kajido county but near Nairobi. The hikers objective is to climb Ngong hills, (notice the plural in its name. It is so named because it is a series of hills forming wNgong Hills Hiking/ Walking day Tourhat looks from a distance like knuckles of a clenched fist), all the seven hills of it with each peak a little higher than the next and end up either back at the starting point or traverse to the other side. This hike is suitable for beginners as one can turn back at any point on the trail. The walk is through a gazetted forest reserve under the Kenya forest Service with the highest peak rising to 2460m above sea level.

Route Description
Option one – Return: The hike starts from Ngong town at the northern foot of the hill at elevation of 1960m above sea level. You eastwards on the road leading to the government offices upto the Oloolaiser secondary turn off and right turn just after the police station. The first section, about 2km long to the forest gate, is take n through a motorable road, passing through settlements. At the gate you register with KFS as you take a water break and continue with the same gentle ascent, through light forest, open grass fields and the windmill farm until you get to the road head. Walk past the pilots beacon that marks the beginning of the landing aeroplanes glide path to JKIA.

Follow the footpath into the grasslands as it drops and rises one false peak after another. All along the way expect a fantastic view of the expansive floor of the Great Rift Valley, that contrasts sharply with the bird’s eye view of the Nairobi city. After three or so false peaks the trail leads into a forest area that is awe inspiring in its silence. Tread carefully listening for buffalos until the peak.

Beginner Hikes in Kenya- Ngong Hills

You may lunch or snack at the peak as you grab a well-deserved rest. From here you walk back to the gate and on ward to Ngong town through the same trail.

Option two – Traverse: Take the hike as in option one until you get to the peak. Rest briefly at the peak then walk on following the trail towards to the open grasslands. A good place to rest is the open fields with the view of ole Sekut hills, ole polos country club, and magadi snaking down below. From there is downhill all the way to kona baridi.

Getting There

Public means: Take bus number 111 to Ngong town from the Railways terminus.  If you intend to start your trek from Ngong town, then you are good to go. But in case you prefer to start the trek at the sanctuary gate, hire a boda-boda, taxi or tuk-tuk to take you to the gate.

For the two way hike then you will return to this starting point. For the transverse hike, take matatus from kona baridi to Kiserian and onward to Nairobi through Rongai or Ngong.

Driving: Drive to Ngong town and park within the parking lots of Ngong town (the parking is charged on weekdays). Alternatively you can drive to the sanctuary gate and park there.

In case of traverse hike arrange for someone to drive your car to Kona Baridi allowing for 4-5 hours hike time.

Other Attractions:

Other attractions a group can combine with this hike are

Picnicking at Ngong hills
Roast meat at Ole polos
Swimming at Ole tepesi
Swimming at Ole polos
Swimming at Jordan breeze

Entry fee

The entry fee is paid to to Kenya Forest Service officers at the gate.

Adult – Ksh 200

Escort: Incidents of criminals  robbing valuables from small groups or isolated individuals have been reported on these hills. It is therefore advisable to take armed escort from KFS rangers or Administration police before leaving Ngong town if you are in a small party.

Olesekut

 

Location Kisamis
Starting Point Foot of Ole Sayeti
Ending point Foot of Ole Sayeti
Walking Duration 6 hours
Terrain Loose stones and pebbles
Difficulty Moderate
Elevation gain

The objective of the hike is to get to the summit of Olesekut hill in the southern Rift valley, one of the hills in the Oloroka ridge in the southern rift valley.

Olesekut is the hill bordering Oltepesi on your way to Magadi. The hike is a thrilling day excursion into maasai land. The hill is Maasai communal land and must be respected as such.

Route Description
The trail starts at the saddle of ole sayeti where you walk up a gentle uphill slope along  a motorable road up to the brow of the hill to reveal your intended destination, the ole sekut a distant off to the east. At the brow of the hill you, deviat

e from the road and make your way east following human footpaths and grazing paths up to the primary school. Avoiding the school compound you swing south and head straight for the hill walking past two or so Manyattas.

At the foot of the hill the going gets quite rough with loose stones and pebbles that keep sliding you back a notch with every step. Without a good hiking shoe, this becomes quite a frustration but what is hike without frustration.

As with every hilly hike, the false summit happens when the trail plateaus to reveal stunning views of more undulating hills, gorges, and ridges. Skirting through dangerously sharp cliffs and soft rock you make your way round the first hill and your summit comes into view. The summit is then a quick one hour away from where you are treated to breath taking views of Olorgesailie hill to the south, Ngong hills to the north, the plains of Masai-mara to the west and a spec of lake Magadi.

 

Getting there:-
Public means: From Kiserian, take matatus going to Magadi, Tinga or Kisamis and a light at Kisamis. If you are early enough you may start your walk from here, otherwise take boda-bodas to the foot of the hill.

Driving:
Normally, you pick a guide at Kiserian or Ngong then drive like you would to Magadi up to Kisamis and then on to JM Kariuki murder site. Turn left into a load facing a pass between two hills and on to the foot and saddle of the hills.

Guides
A local guide is essential to hike trail because like mentioned above you will be traversing communal land.

Contact

Paul Kalaile 0714 155872 paulnteyierr@gmail.com
Emmanuel Kaimarish 0704 866745 emmanurish@gmail.com