Category Archives: Maasai Land Hiking

Walking and trekking place within Kajiado and Narok counties

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

Ololosukuan (Savannah Sunset Resort)

Location Kibiko, Ngong
Starting Point Savannah sunset resort
Ending point Savannah sunset resort
Walking Duration 1 hour
Terrain Rocky
Difficulty Very Easy
Elevation gain

The purpose of this hike is to spend an hour or so enjoying the natural habitat of the private conservancy.

Outdoor enthusiast will find Ololosukuan, also called savannah sunset resort, fascinating. Within a very small area, you get to experience the thrill of hiking, riverine walk, and nature trail as the birds chirp all around you.

But is not only the die-hard outdoist find this place thrilling. Its proximity to the city makes it attractive to city residents wishing for a quick afternoon away from the concrete jungle. Moreover it gives a not so enthusiastic hiker a chance to climb 5 metres and assess ones fitness.

The Ololosukuan fun hike starts at the resort bar (after ordering meat and drinks). You walk down over a couple of boulders past the bar and suddenly disappear into the bushes and suddenly emerge at the campsite at the centre of the conservancy. You then make a further sharp descent, round and around a massive boulder onto a track that leads out of the bushes into the grazing fields. From here you may walk along the fence past the home with a tractor packed outside (I have seen there for donkey’s years), till you reach a road. Turn left at the road and move on to the riverbed that is mostly dry. Turn into the river bed and walk upstream on and out of the river bed ascending gently to the waterfall and back to the road.

Warning: Do not try the riverine walk during the rain season.

Back on to the campsite you will get to marvel at the nostalgic undulation of the southern hills such as Ole Sayeti, Ololroka, Olesekut and Olorgesailie. Suswa crater will be visible to the West-Northwest. The sun sets very fast so if you are a sunset person, better be on the lookout. If you are lucky to be around when night falls, you be treated to the melody of crickets.

Getting There
Public Means: Board bus number 111 at railway terminus and alight at Ngong town. Walk Kibiko stage near the Oloolaiser water fending point and from here either take the Probox matatus, a tuk-tuk or Boda-Boda.

Private means: At Ngong town, turn into Kibiko road near Ngong Matonyok and drive to the end of tarmac (2km), and past Kibiko secondary(2.5KM), Kibiko shopping centre (3km), and to the Savannah Sunset Resort (6KM) just before tunnel one of the SGR.

If you are using an electronic navigator put destination as savannah sunset lodge

Guide
Resort staff

Fee
Sh100 per person