Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lake Simbi Nyaima

Lake Simbi Nyaima in Karachuonyo, near Kendu Bay Town, is famed for its culture and other attractions.

Simbi Nyaima has proved its worth as a tourist destination. It lures local and international visitors yearning for beautiful scenery and strange tales of its formation.

In Dholuo, “Simbi Nyaima” means the village that sank.

Geologists say it is a crater lake formed about six centuries ago.

They also believe that the lake came about as a result of earthquakes accompanied by volcanic eruptions.

However, locals tell a completely different story regarding the lake’s origin.

They believe it was a result of the villagers’ greed and arrogance.

Legend has it that there once existed a community on the site.

The village, however, disappeared in a violent storm when residents refused to shelter and feed an old woman who sought refuge there, creating a large depression that formed Lake Simbi Nyaima.

The water from the lake is believed to be medicinal. Locals say it can cure many diseases.

Legio Maria sect members flock the lake for body and spiritual healing.

One can smell the lake from more than 40 kilometres away.

Lake Simbi Nyaima is a seasonal home of migrating flamingos.

They arrive from lakes in the Rift Valley region, such as Nakuru, Baringo, Natron and Elementaita. The birds come to the lake every year.

What strikes almost every visitor is how the flamingos locate the lake, owing to the great distance between it and the other lakes.

The road network has improved greatly and it only takes 30 minutes to drive from Kendu Bay to the lake.

It would take about an hour to drive from Homa Bay Town to Lake Simbi Nyaima using the Homa Bay-Kisumu road.

Visitors can get refreshments and be entertained in the many hotels nearby like the Big Five in Kendu Bay Town and Tourist Hotel in Homa Bay Town.

Other interesting places near Lake Simbi Nyaima include the Kanjera Archeological site and Kendu Bay’s Old Town, where Arabs settled as early as 1920.

MT Suswa

Mt Suswa is a magnificent volcano endowed with some of the most unlikely and amazing formations occurring in nature — a double-crater volcano with a shield-shaped cone covering an area of about 270 square kilometres.

Its inner volcano soars to an altitude of 2,356 metres above sea level at its summit.

The inner crater is covered by a forest, which is home to wildlife such as baboons, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, civet cats, wild dogs and rock hyraxes.

This inner collapse also forms a moat-like trench surrounding a central island in the crater, creating a breathtaking view.

The outer crater, estimated at about 10km in diameter, is dotted with Maasai homesteads. Of great attraction too are the lava caves on the outer crater.

There are over 30 entrances, most of which are collapsed roofs into these caves. Fig trees and other types of vegetation mark the location of some of these openings.

These caves are home to large populations of bats that are said to travel as far as 30km in search of food at night and then retreat to the caves in the morning. As you walk or crawl through the caves, you can see the bats hanging from the roofs of the caves, waiting for nightfall.

Another interesting location in the caves is the “Baboons’ parliament”, where a large troop of the primates take shelter at night from predators.

A conservancy was established here to halt the massive degradation of the Mt Suswa ecosystem and promote sustainable use of its resources.

Tourism activities here include hiking, cave exploration, camping and wildlife tours.


Maasai elder Jeremiah Saitabao walks with students holding flaming torches during a tutorial for younger Maasai men at Suswa caves

Suswa is a sacred place for the Maasai community and is made up of an extinct volcano and cave systems. Maasai in Kenya believe that the inner crater is god’s dwelling place

Mt Kenya Trekking, Sirimon Trail.

Location Mt Kenya  Nationa Park and Mt Kenya Forest
Starting Point Sirimon Mt. Kenya National Park  gate
Ending point Sirimon Mt. Kenya National Park  gate
Walking Duration 4 days
Terrain Forest, Bamboo, Alpine and snow
Difficulty Difficult
Elevation gain 2340m

The aim of this hike is to reach point Lenana on Mt Kenya. The approach is from the West of the Mountain at Nanyuki, and the trail starts at the  Sirimon Gate. It is considered the route with the highest success rate by guides and peak baggers.

The hike usually takes four days, but one can elect to spend one extra day for acclimatisation before the ascending to the summit. Sirimon is on the leeward side of the mountain so the trail is not as we as the others. The ground is predominantly rocky.

The first two days are fair, but ascending to Point Lenana (on summit night) can be trying but manageable.  Accommodation is either camping tent or mountain huts.

Day 1: Sirimon gate (2645masl) – Old Moses camp. ( 3,385masl)

Time 3-4 hrs, Distance 9km, Elevation gain 740m.
From the gate, the trek climbs gently through a magnificent rainforest to give way to bamboo at the road-head. The human/animal track passes through a giant heather zone before reaching the high altitude moorland and on to  Old Moses camp.

This is a gentle trek with an elevation gain of 650 metres over a 9km walking distance that takes 3 – 4 hrs.

Day 2: Old Moses (3385masl) – Shipton camp (4260m).

Time 7 hrs, Distance 13km, Elevation gain 875m.
You break camp and leave early for a 13km trek that takes seven hours at moderate speed gaining of 900 metres in elevation. The trek will see you cross several small streams, including Ontulili and Liki.  The Moorland starts at Liki and the climb gets steep as you continue uphill through the panoramic Mackinders Valley.

Optional Day: Shipton Camp – Acclimatisation Day
An extra night may be spent at Shipton for better acclimatisation. The day is spent taking a short walk to Oblong tarn (4570m) and Hausberg tarn 4560m uphill climbing to 4500m and back for lunch and rest and early to bed in preparation of early morning wake-up.

Day 3(a): Shipton (4260m) – Point Lenana(4,985m)

Time 3-4 hrs, Walking Distance = 2km, Elevation gain 725m

Wake at 2:00 for tea and biscuits to leave camp at 3.am for an attempt on the summit. The trail is predominantly scrambling on frozen treacherous scree (that can get worse if it defrosts before you climb). If all goes well you should reach point Lenana just before sunrise at 6:00 am.

The climb takes 3-4 hours.

Day 3(b): Point Lenana(4,985m) – Old Moses (2,650m)

Time 8 hrs

After the summit, you descend back to Shipton for breakfast at around 9:30 a.m and a short rest. Then you descend further to Old Moses for the overnight stay.

Day 4: Old Moses- Sirimon Gate2 hrs, 9km

After breakfast, descend on through the thick indigenous forest to Sirimon gate for you transport to Nanyuki

Getting There

If using public transport from Nairobi take Matatu to Nanyuki preferably before 7:00 am as the journey takes at least 3 hours. Arrange for your guide to meet you at the bus station for gear inspection and last minute shopping. Then take hired transport to the Sirimon gate.

On your way out, arrange for your guide to organise transport to the Nanyuki town where you may take lunch as you depart to your destination.

Forest Challenge 2017

Outdoor enthusiasts will be happy to learn that East Africa Wildlife Society in conjunction with Kereita Wilderness has announced the 2017 forest challenge.

Just as a reminder, the E.A Wildlife Society Forest Challenge is a conservation awareness event that uses fun outdoor sporting activities within the forest to engage and attract people to forests. This, in turn, raises awareness for the need to rehabilitate water towers and other critical forest sites.

This event is now in its fourth edition. It will feature diverse obstacles for the participants with varying levels of difficulty. The lined up activities include: Balloon Reach, Slippery Hill, Dark Tunnel, Mud Crawl, Spider Web, Name Search, and Ditch Walk.

Cost

Individual Ksh. 4000
5 Member team Ksh. 18500
10 Member team Ksh. 35000

Rates include: Transport to and from Kencom Bus station, entrance fees to Kereita forest, bottled water, fruits, and snacks.

Not included: personal effects and gearInline image 1

So, will you be the first to the thrill of the zip line?

Programme of the Event

Day: 9th December 2017
Time Activity
8.00am Caravan Departure from Nairobi
10.00am – 10.30am Arrival at Event Venue
10.30am – 11.00am Team Rules and Safety Instructions
11.00am – 3.30pm Forest Challenge 2017
3.30pm – 4.30pm Speeches, Awards Presentation and a Brief Tree Planting Ceremony
5.00pm Departure to Nairobi

For booking and registration, contact: 0734 600 632, 0722 202 473 or communications@eawildlife.org

 

 

Checklist for trekking Kilimanjaro

For most Kenya outdoor enthusiasts, the ultimate is to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Many people considering trekking Kilimanjaro ask what the best route is. “Best” can mean anything. But perhaps most people asking this question mean which route guarantees success.

Marangu route should be the easiest route to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. But it has the worst success rate because climbers are least prepared. The Marangu route takes you at a gentle pace through rain forests, moorlands and the alpine desert at the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi.

To ensure success summiting Kilimanjaro, one needs to anticipate the difficulties and make plans to surmount them.
These are:
1. General fitness
2. Endurance fitness.
3. Altitude

1. General fitness: Establish that the body is fit enough to withstand sub-zero temperatures and other vagaries of outdoor living for five to six days. It is also important to note the body’s ability to adapt to the abrupt change of diet. Hand in hand to this is the mental attitude and willingness to go through it.

2. Endurance fitness: In general the body should be able to withstand four contiguous days of uphill walking for five to six hours daily while carrying about six Kilograms of gear. This calls for strict regimes of exercises that can be done in the house, field or gym, such as cardio, squats, jogging, treadmill or skipping rope.

3. Altitude: Hiking and trekking at least once every two months preferably in altitudes over of 2500 metres e.g. Ngong hills, Longonot, Oldonyo sabuk, Kinari forest, Elephant hill, Kipipiri, mount Kenya (preferably to Leanna point) will give the body the much-needed acclimatisation.
It is important to deliberately choose at least one wet season hike in order to test rain gear.

Below is a list of items that one needs to collect and test in advance in order to make the climb as friendly as possible.
I have used the key below to rate the items

Key
**** Crucial to have
*** Important to have
** Good to have
* luxury

ITEM Description QTY Cost (Ksh) Total cost(Ksh)

Clothing

Raincoat or poncho with hood**** Waterproof enough to keep off heavy rain 1 7,000.00 7,000.00
Warm jacket**** Water resistant and breathable- can be made of down, Thinsulate or fleece. Down and fleece dry much faster than wool 1 15,000.00 15,000.00
Long Sleeve thermal vest*** 3 2,000.00 6,000.00
Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric 5 2,000.00 10,000.00
Waterproof trousers, breathable (side-zipper recommended)*** 1 8,000.00 8,000.00
Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)**** 1 9,000.00 9,000.00
Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended) 2 2,000.00 4,000.00
Underwear (boxers or briefs)*** moisture-wicking fabric recommended
choose something that allows you to change in the presence of women
3
Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)**** 1 1,000.00 1,000.00
Brimmed Hat, baseball cap for sun protection*** 1 500.00 500.00
Warm Headwear**** Fleece or woollen cap. If you choose one that covers the sides and neck then you don’t need the balaclava and scarf 1 1,000.00 1,000.00
Balaclava or scarf** 1
Hiking Boots**** High cut, warm, waterproof, broken-in, half or one size larger to allow wearing excess socks. 1 15,000.00 15,000.00
Gym shoes, trainers or sneakers*** To wear at camp 1 4,000.00 4,000.00
Socks**** Thick, woollen or fleece. You might want to get a pair to use when testing boots 6 200.00 1,200.00
Gaiters** Effective in keeping water, pebbles out of your shoes and the lases in place 1 1,500.00 1,500.00

Equipment

Sleeping Bag*** rated +10 to +35 0F.
Go for mummy type (with hood) as opposed to rectangular because it fits close to the body leaving less chance for cold spots.
1 7,000.00 7,000.00
Headlamp, with extra batteries**** for summit night 1
Rucksack*** Enough for porters to carry your equipment in. Kili porters are allowed to carry only 15 Kg of your gear. Line it with garbage bags for extra water resistance. Use stuff bags to separate things e.g. socks and underwear, sleeping bag, toiletries, T-shirts, rainwear, used clothes etc. 1 5,000.00 5,000.00
Backpack**** with waterproof cover for you to carry items you may require during the day and delicate items like electronics and glass. 1 5,000.00 5,000.00
Sunglasses or Goggles*** Snow blindness can be catastrophic after Gilman’s point. Test glasses that you can wear on your spectacles 1
Vacuum flask* To carry hot water to use after 5000 metres 1
Camel-back water pouch*** Two litres capacity. Your potter can carry the extra water 1 2,000.00 2,000.00
Small Towel*** lightweight, quick-dry 1
Stuff bags* to keep gear dry and separate e.g. a pouch each for shoes, socks and underwear, sleeping bag, wet towels, garbage, T-shirts, rainwear, used clothes etc. 5 200.00 1,000.00
Other
Toiletries****
Prescriptions***
Sunscreen***
Lip Balm***
Hand Sanitizer***
Toilet Paper***
Wet Wipes***
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)***
WC liner*
Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)*
Camera, with extra batteries*
Power bank* from 10000mAh. Keep devices in Aeroplane mode to conserve power. 1 10,000.00 10,000.00
Book reader/ePad*
Board game (if in a group)*
Cost
The direct cost of the trip from Nairobi are as follows
To JKIA and back 1 10,000.00 10,000.00
JKI-JRO return ticket 1 40,000.00 40,000.00
JRO-Moshi and back 1 9,000.00 9,000.00
Trip Charges covers hotel accommodation, accommodation on the mountain, porters salaries, food, travel to the park gate 1 40,000.00 40,000.00
Tips for sharing with your climb partners per the whole trip.
– Support Crew sh300-sh400
– Cook sh600-sh800
– Chief Guide/guide sh1,000-sh1500
– assist Guide sh600-sh800
1 4,000.00 4,000.00
Statutory Requirements
Passport
Yellow fever Papers
For prep hikes https://www.facebook.com/groups/hikerske/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/123821337675197/
For hiking gear www.nairobisportshouse.com
www.kingscollection.co.ke
http://www.sportsdirect.com/
https://www.thenorthface.com/
https://www.jumia.co.ke
http://www.yaya-centre.com/?portfolio=extreme-outdoors