THE SLEEPING WARRIOR

Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.

Greg Child

2019 has been a great hiking year. I found a new hiking squad that has been consistent, super fun and always coming up with new hiking destinations. We have done three hikes together and made a lot of beautiful memories along the way. The idea of hiking the sleeping warrior/ugali hills first came up from one of us during our first hike together in Ngarendare forest in May this year.

Initially we were to make all the arrangements without the help of a travel agency but thanks to a few unreliable tour operators we decided to join a group (Matembezi traveller’s club) that happened to be hiking the same place on our proposed date.

I am not a big fan of group activities due to the dynamics of getting everyone in sync. It is really hard to get everyone to respect the group dynamics and keep time. We were supposed to leave Nairobi at 6.30 AM but the bus and a few people were late. We used the Nairobi-Mai Mahiu route which is quite scenic, made a brief stop at the view point and another at Buffalo mall Naivasha for supplies.

We then had to wait for someone at the Gilgil weigh bridge so by the time we got to the starting point for the hike it was 11.00AM. It was already hot and in my head I was like here you go again Mukuhi the master of hiking in the sun!!!

The hike started at the shores of Lake Elementaita… A beautiful, blue and surreal start. I saw flamingoes for the first time in my life though from a distance.

Unlike my previous hike at Mt. Ololokwe, the terrain here was friendly because we didn’t have to go up any steep hills… Well at least not for the first 10Km. We hang out, took photos walked, watched the rich bird life in the lake, walked some more and at some point got diverted to some hot springs which turned out to be the joke of the day. Let’s just say they have nothing on Lake Bogoria.

The squad

After the short stint at the hot springs the walk started to become exhausting and the sleeping warrior hill seemed to be drifting further away instead of getting closer.

Back story… If you look closely at the hill from a distance it literally looks like a sleeping man (head, neck and torso) so someone decided he is a warrior hence the name sleeping warrior.

The sleeping warrior from a distance
Close up

By the time we got to the base we were tired and hungry so we took a short break then proceeded to conquer the hill. It was a tough and unpleasant experience for 2 reasons:

1.The sand was loose so we kept sliding or sinking in the sand.

2.The was no clear path to follow and the shrubs made it really hard to move without injuries.

I was afraid of falling and getting bruised by the shrubs. Luckily it wasn’t a long climb. (no photos were taken during the ascent)

The most fulfilling part of any hike for me is always the view from the top. This one did not disappoint. We had a few moments to take it in and socialize.

My friend Nur and I celebrating our hard work

We started our descent and were all psyched for the next hill. It drizzled a bit and for the first time in my hiking life I had fun going down the hill. When we got to the base we learnt that we had to walk for about 30 minutes to the next hill (Ugali Hills) and that is the point when I decided I had had enough.

Instead of going up Ugali hills, my friends and I decided to walk back to the bus. We met a few kids from the local village whose only sentence seemed to be “give me biscuit.”

As our hike came to an end and we were treated to a beautiful rainbow at the end of the hiking trail. It almost felt like an apology to my now aching body and to remind me to always appreciate beauty in nature.

Ugali hill

Conservation bit…

Lake Elementaita is a salt water lake in the great Rift Valley Kenya. It is home to over 400 species of birds, different fish species, insects and vegetation. The litter problem has been common in all the places I have gone hiking and this was no different. To keep hikers from throwing plastic waste in the lake and its environs, there are two very cool trash points but given the size of the lake I hope there is more. This is one of the cleanest hiking trails I have ever been to but sadly some people from our group discarded their water bottles and we had to clean up after them.

What a beautiful prayer!

Snapshot

1. The sleeping warrior/Ugali hills hike is an easy day trip from Nairobi but if you like you can set base either in Nakuru/Naivasha or one of the hotels at the shores of lake Elementaita.

2.Make sure you have proper hiking boots with a good grip to avoid falling as the sand at the hills is loose.

4. If you can, wear a long sleeved top to avoid getting pricked by shrubs or getting a rash from the plants.

5. Carry lots of water… It is a long long walk. Grapes and apples always come through for me.

If you have been on this hiking trail, feel free to add more observations.

As always thank you for reading.

Go out and experience nature and remember to share…

Love & love

Mukuhi

CLIMBING MOUNT OLOLOKWE

Life is meant for spectacular adventures. Let your feet wander, your eyes marvel and your soul ignite.

SLVCwriter

For those who have been following my very inconsistent blog, Mount Ololokwe is not new on these streets.

Mt. Ololokwe 2017

I first saw this table mountain in 2017 on a random road trip to Marsabit with my friend. We took a few photos as we drove by and moved on without giving it much thought. Getting to the top of the mountain never really crossed my mind at that time but fast forward to March 2018 my interest in hiking was born…

After my Mt. Longonot summit, I felt confident enough to go for more hikes so my friends and I planned a hiking trip to Mt. Ololokwe. We set out early from Nanyuki but everything about that day was just wrong. We got stuck in a lugga (dry sand river bed) then I started feeling unwell within the first 10 minutes of the hike. I struggled up to the halfway point and then we had to call it off and go back down.

My end for 2018, the breakfast rock

Later that night, we had a puncture, lost our spare wheel and were stuck in the cold up to 3AM the next day before we figured out how to get home… Despite the streak of bad luck and mishaps, I promised myself I would go back to the mountain and hike to the end (I actually wrote ‘hike Mt. Ololokwe to the end’ on my 2019 planner).

In August 2019…I connected with a group of photographers and film makers from Nanyuki who felt that we should do a hike/photography challenge. Since I had been to the mountain before, these amazing guys gave me the honor of planning the trip and to watch it come to fruition was a dream come true.

We got to the base of mountain in time for the most beautiful sunrise. We made our payments, got a guide (sadly not Jackson from 2018) and then we were on our way.

Everyone was in high spirits which kept us motivated on our way up. We would stop occasionally to take in the view, film and take photos…

When we made it to the “summit” I literally felt my body become light and although I was trying to play it cool I was overwhelmed and felt such a huge sense of accomplishment. Standing on that mountain top looking out to miles and miles of empty spaces was pure magic.

We had a mini team building led by the amazingly talented Alex Kibaria of Kibaria travels (check him out for amazing travel deals) then we had a photography challenge led by Gptech photography, Niki Robert’s and Ben-son photogram.

In pursuit of the perfect photo

I thought getting to the summit was the hard part but turns out I was wrong. Going down was tough. I felt like I couldn’t control my body but at least I was in the company of my witty new friend miss Maureen. The stories kept us going all the way to base camp where we were treated to a really delicious meal prepared by Sabache camp.

Side note

I didn’t like our guide for this hike… He came off as rude, acted as if he was bothered by our questions,refused to go at our pace and didn’t take us to the very end of the mountain.

The guide…

Apart from that I had an amazing hiking experience which cannot fully be captured in these photos.

I hope you like them as much as we did.

A group photo at the base of the mountain…
A group photo at the top of the mountain
The view

If you ever want to visit Sabache camp, call Dipa +254726991597… He will organize everything for you…

Thank you for reading…

xx

Mukuhi.

LAKE SIDE CITY TRAVEL DIARIES

There is a big world out there, you do not have to feel stuck in your tiny corner of the planet. You do not need to ask permission or wait for someone to tag along. Go seek adventure and see who you can become.

Anonymous

I have been putting this post off for a very long time now. I first considered visiting Kisumu as a tourist destination in 2016. I loved it so much that I have gone back every December since then. Over the years, I found excellent information on all the good spots to visit on OCD and safari 254. I visited some and saved some for the next visits but so far here are my best finds…

A Lake Victoria sundowner

If you are big on sunsets like me, I don’t think you will find a more magical experience than catching the sun set at the shores of Lake Victoria.

My first experience was at the Kiboko bay beach resort (sadly this is now closed) but you can still have the same experience at the neighbouring establishments… Hippo point, Kisumu yatch club or Jambo Impala eco-lodge.

Kiboko bay sunset – 2016
The most magical moment of my life- 25/12/2016
Can you see the Kibokos? (Hippos)

I also had beautiful sundowner moments in Homabay, another lake side town 112 kilometers from Kisumu city. I found a good view point at the Homabay pier but that is all this town has to offer as far as tourism is concerned. The area around Homabay is also very prone to hyacinth therefore not the best views of Lake Victoria and of course no boat rides during hyacinth season!

Worlds shortest boat ride -Homabay 2017
Sunset view… Homabay pier 2017
Acres of hyacinth- Homabay 2018

Rusinga Island has hands down the best lake views. I doubt hyacinth ever makes it to this side of the lake but rumor has it that when the Mbita bridge opened, hyacinth migrated to ‘other places’. Rusinga Island lodge is quiet, serene and unpolluted and the best place to set base. Catch the sunset at the pier, watch out for fisher men setting up for their nights work and listen to the crashing waves in the evening but be ready for some serious mosquito bites.

I have read that the best way to experience Rusinga Island is by taking part in the annual Rusinga island festival. I have not been on the neighbouring islands (Takawiri and mfangano) but I hear they are worth checking out.

A Rusinga Island sunset-2018
The drive through Rusinga Island
Rusinga Island lodge-2017
The pier-2018
Fishermen – 2018
Brides maid duties-2017
2018

Kisumu museum

There is not much to write home about here. I believe the national museums of Kenya could do so much better but my guide Salim from Meru made the experience worth while. I loved the aquarium snake park and I also loved Mzee Odero’s homestead which depicts what a traditional luo homestead should look like.

At the end of the compound tour, there is a group of very lovely traditional dancers who hail from the local community. You get to join in the dance and support them by leaving a tip.

Kisumu Museum garden – 2018
A snippet of Mzee Odero’s compound

Kit Mikayi

By the time I got to Kit mikayi, it was day 5 of my trip and I was starting to feel a little homesick. These feelings disappeared as we drove into the area because it reminded me of home. The open spaces and rock formations of Laikipia north except there is a story behind this particular rock.

Kit Mikayi directly translates to the first wife. The story goes that a man named Ngeso would visit the rock every morning and whenever village elders came looking for him, his wife would tell them that he went to see his first wife(the rock).

The guide was excellent making sure I was safe showing me where to step and since this was a solo trip he was also my excellent photographer.

I got to join in yet another dance with the lovely people of kit Mikayi. This dance was very special because they inserted my very Kikuyu name in the very Luo song.

Can you spot the shape of the kenyan Map?
Africa
This moment will stay with me forever…

I have made a lot of good memories on this side of the country. From goofing around in the rice fields of Ahero, to taking scary boat rides in different sides of Lake Victoria, attending a church service at Oyugis and enjoying a sundowner at the beautiful Rusinga Island. Beautiful experiences await you in the lake side counties. Give it a try.

As always, thank you for reading.

A special shout out to my favorite cheerleaders…

Leave a comment.

XX

Mukuhi.

4 YEARS A SUNSET CHASER!

If you are in a beautiful place where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset, then you are living like a lord.

Nathan Philips

On this day four years ago, I hit publish on my first ever blog post. I neither had a clear sense of direction as to what I wanted my blog to become nor what my motivation was but I knew it was always going to be about nature. Refer to my first post here and see how poetic and cliche I was but still… If I was to go back I wouldn’t change it.

A few months in, life happened and for 6 months I silently battled depression. I have never been one to open up about my struggles so the blog and photography became my escape. My friend had given me a Nikon coolpix camera which really came through for me. I took it everywhere with me and literally never missed any sunset.

As time went by, I started a bit of travel here and there but I was quite limited in terms of resources. The universe is interesting because it sent me friends and networks that have taken me to places that previously only existed in my wildest imagination. I don’t think there is a time in my life I have ever been as disconnected with the world as then but nature, a little bit of travel and sunset chasing kept me sane and quite literally became my saving grace.

People start blogging for different reasons… I guess in my case I needed an avenue to express myself and escape from my problems. Over the years I am glad it has evolved to a platform to feed my growing passion for travel, hiking, appreciating nature and in my small way promoting conservation education.

I remember standing on random Nairobi rooftops waiting for the sun to go down because in that short period when everything turned golden I felt a sense of hope. Anyone that has gone through depression understand that hope is usually in short supply and you need just enough grace to survive the day.

2015 tested me and also taught me a lot. I still chase sunsets, landscapes and wildlife and even if I am at a good place in my life, they still give me hope.

Here are some of my favorite sunset photos taken over the years from a number of places I have been lucky enough to visit. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

How do you connect with nature?

What has nature done for you?

Leave a comment.

Thank you for reading…

Xx

Mukuhi.

DEAR DAUGHTER

Dear daughter,

2018 has been a year of many firsts… see at the beginning I told myself I wanted to travel more outside my county Laikipia so that I can see and appreciate other parts of Kenya and today I am proud to say I have done my best.

I started with our immediate neighbor Nyeri in search of Zaina waterfalls in Chania forest. With a group of friends, the plan was hatched and brought to life. It was such a beautiful experience standing like a little footnote at the base of that towering waterfall, so good that my friend called someone that had offended her and forgave

😂

. Nature is powerful like that.

At the base of Zaina falls.. .
Chania village, the trail leading up to the falls .
My friend’s forgiving moment

I then went a little further to Naivasha where my love for hiking was born. Unprepared as my friend and I were, we hiked through the gorges at hell’s gate all the way to the devils bedroom. We then conquered Mt. Longonot, not an easy hike but we made it after 6 hours of walking, crawling and breaking my tooth! At some point during the climb when I couldn’t feel my legs and I couldn’t breathe, I found myself wondering if it was worth all the trouble but the view from the top and the sense of achievement silenced all those thoughts.

Fischer ‘s tower-hells gate national park
Hell’s gate gorge
The view from Kilele Ngamia, Mt. Longonot summit
Naivasha Rocky resort eco-lodge

Proudest moment 2018

The most trying hike was Mt. Ololokwe (The mountain of God) in Namunyak conservancy Samburu county. I worked out and did my research in preparation for the hike but you see daughter, sometimes even the best laid plans can go really wrong. We did not get to the base camp in good time because we got stuck in a lugga (dry Sandy riverbed) and as a result we were going up one of the toughest mountains in the unforgiving samburu heat. I was so beat after the first few minutes that our guide Jackson had to carry my luggage and allow me to rest every five minutes. I hope like me you will be resilient in face of challenges and dehydration

😂

and when you set out to challenge yourself, you will not give up the minute it gets a little tough.

Later that night on our way back, we got stuck for almost 7 hours in the cold Meru county because we had a flat. None of us knew how to change a tyre so we had to ask for help from strangers. What followed is a long story but the moral of it all is dear daughter, be a hands on girl. Learn how to do things like changing a tyre because It may save your life or a night out in the freezing cold.

Mt. Ololokwe
Jackson
Maureen
Another proud moment

Postcard

After this experience, I decided to hang my hiking boots for 2018 but the bug had bitten so hard that when I got another hiking opportunity I went for it with open arms.

Mt. Kilimambogo wasn’t supposed to be tough based on what I had read but again, we had to hike in the scorching sun because TIA (this is Africa) where 9 o’clock could mean 9.30 or even 11 o’clock.

Dear daughter, please learn to always keep time and if you are ever running late communicate to the other parties, apologize and whatever you do, never act like being late is okay.

I did a lot of other fun activities in my usual places. I went for the second Grevys rally and earned my badge as a citizen scientist. This time I went to a new place in Laikipia north (Tumaren camp) where the landscape, sunsets and wildlife makes your jaw drop in awe…

A tumaren sunset
Reticulated giraffe -Tumaren camp

The Grevys ball-Mt Kenya safari club

I could go on about my adventures to new and old places but allow me to focus on the lessons I picked along the way from Laikipia to Suguta marmar, Lewa to Olpejeta, Nanyuki to Doldol and many more…

1. Always leave a place better than you found it. Don’t mess with the flora and fauna, do not litter, collect more than your own litter and if you see someone messing with the environment, call them out but always remember to be polite.

2. If you become a hiker like me, research your destination , work out so that you are ready physically and mentall. Be patient with your hiking buddies and never quit.

3. Be in the moment, focus more on making memories but remember to take photos because photographs are a return ticket of a moment otherwise gone.

4.If you go to conservation areas, stick to the designated tracks, don’t scare away the animals or harrass them because after all you are in their space.

5. Make friends along the way . Im the last couple of years I have been able to go to places that only existed in my dreams thanks to those friends.

6. Always catch the sunrise and sunset… It is the most magical moment when everything turns golden and for a few minutes the world and its problems donot exist.

7.Every year go some place you have never been.

As I conclude, I will leave you with some of my best photos from 2018 and a quote by Sarah Jessica Parker from the movie New year’s eve. I have personalized it a bit because let’s be honest we are in Laikipia not Times Square New York where the tradition of dropping a ball at midnight takes place.

We will get there some day though… Dare to dream daughter.

Here is to more travel, adventure, books and learning in 2019.

“
before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by, to remember our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken, the times we opened ourselves to great adventures
or closed ourselves for fear of getting hurt, because that is what new year is all about. Getting another chance, a chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more and to stop worrying what if and start embracing what will be. So when it clocks midnight, let us remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other and not just today but all year long.”

Happy new year!

Thank you for following me on this journey.

Love and love

Mukuhi.

Water buck-Olpejeta
Favorite elephant potrait -olpejeta

M is for McDonald’s
Doldol
Art in a dead tree
Chimpanzee portrait -Olpejeta
Feeding time -David sheldrick wildlife trust
Kori bustard-Mugie conservancy
Elephant crossing -Mugie conservancy
Lake Naivasha
Gerenuk -Mpala research center
The equator -Olpejeta

WORLD RHINO DAY 2018

If you are not overflowing with love, compassion, and goodwill for all creatures living wild in nature, you will never know true happiness.

Paul Oxton

In 2010, World wildlife Fund-South Africa announced the first ever world rhino day in South Africa, the following year, two conservationists from Zimbabwe, Lisa Jane Campbell, and Rhishja Larson embarked on a campaign to publicize September 22nd as world rhino day. Since then it has become a global event and grown bigger every year with different individuals, organizations and governments coming together to celebrate rhinos in their own unique ways.

The aim of world rhino day is to raise awareness on the plight of rhinos which over the years have become threatened due to habitat loss, poaching among other man-made threats, come up with the necessary funding, conservation model and celebrate the strides that different organizations and individuals have made so far.

There are five rhino species; black, white, Sumatran, great one-horned and Javan. The statistics according to save the rhino international are as follows…

  • Javan -67
  • Sumatran rhino-less than 80
  • Black rhino- 5,040-5,458
  • Great one-horned rhino-3,500+
  • White rhino- 19,666-21,085

In Kenya, we only have the black and white rhinos. There are two subspecies of the white rhino, southern white (still plenty in the wild) and 2 northern white rhinos which are not exactly a Kenyan species. The northern white rhinos were brought to Kenya in 2009 from the Czech Republic but now only two females remain at Olpejeta conservancy which sadly means they are extinct in the wild and there is a very small chance that they will ever reproduce again even via artificial means.

Here is what you can do to celebrate this day:

After the death of Sudan, the last northern male white rhino, a lot of information and misinformation-filled the Kenyan press. In this era of fake news and social media forwards, take time to get accurate information on rhinos and other endangered species. Also, take time to read up on different conservation efforts and find out how you can contribute or help in conservation.

Visit a local park to interact and learn more about wildlife from experienced wildlife biologists/scientist and guides. Once you are equipped with the proper information you will understand better why conservation is so important and possibly educates others on the same. I always say when it comes to conservation there is no small effort because it is the little things that make a big impact.

I am also a strong believer that despite all the threats, wild animals should be just that
wild. Conservation areas should not over-commercialize endangered species conservation to a point they confine animals to petting zoos just so they can raise money.

I will leave you with a few photos, all from Olpejeta conservancy and Lewa wildlife conservancy which by the way has had zero rhino poaching in the last 4 years thanks to working with communities and security forces to protect the conservancy.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed doing the edits.

Happy world rhino day!

Please leave a comment or question.

Also, find me on Instagram @kuhiwanjohi @proudly_laikipian

XX

Mukuhi.

 

Baraka

The departed Ringo, abandoned by his mother but didn’t survive long enough at the hands of humans

Another Baraka portrait

A southern white rhino-Olpejeta Conservancy

Sitting rhino- Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Postcard perfect- Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Living Wild and free-Olpejeta Conservancy 2018

DSC_0021 2.jpg

72 HOURS IN NAIVASHA

DSC_0553 2.jpg

And if travel is like love, it is in the end mostly because its a heightened state of awareness in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips like the best love affairs never really end…

Pico Lyer.

After a very long period trying to plan for a trip to Naivasha and failing terribly, my stars finally aligned during the Easter holidays 2018. To most people, especially those who live in Nairobi, Naivasha maybe a clichĂ© destination but I had only been there once during my university days and it rained half the time so I didn’t enjoy my trip or explore as much as I would have hoped to. I was also younger and not as passionate about travel and nature as I am now.

There is a lot to see and do in Naivasha so how do you fit it all in? Here are just some of the things you need to do during your 72 hour-long Naivasha adventure.

DSC_0394 2.jpg

FIND A CHILL SPOT BY THE LAKE

After coffee at the cutest cafĂ© near the Naivasha bus terminus, our host arrived and took us to Buffalo resort, a simple yet beautiful spot at the shores of Lake Naivasha. The plan was to go for a boat ride possibly to crescent Island but we couldn’t since we got in late and there were hippos everywhere. The view from the shore was amazing, the sunset was a little underwhelming but we had fun taking photos, playing around and finally settling down for a drink. We chose to sit outside to take in the view which as it turns out would be rewarding even after night fall. Imagine sitting outside at night, out of nowhere a dazzle of zebras casually strolls by followed by 2 giraffes and a herd of buffaloes which does not exactly go away but rest under a nearby tree
such was our treat at the buffalo resort. It was a classic Shakespeare ‘on a night like this’ moment (Merchant of venice kids would get this). We had so much fun making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and generally just being in the moment.

We later checked in at our hotel, Southern Lake Junction Rocky Resort which was all shades of gorgeous with unique architecture and furniture. The staff were also super hospitable and friendly.

DSC_0411 2.jpgDSC_0507 2.jpgIMG_20180330_174115 2.jpg

VISIT HELL’S GATE NATIONAL PARK AND OLKARIA GEOTHERMAL SPA

We went down for brunch at around midday in the most beautifully curated garden setting I have ever seen and later went on an excursion to Hell’s Gate National Park. On our drive through Hell’s gate, we enjoyed the expansive ranges, spotting a few wildlife here and there but the most outstanding feature for me was Fischer’s tower, a 25 m volcanic plug named after Gustav Fischer, a German explorer who visited the gorge in 1882/1883. It is an excellent spot for rock climbing and an instructor is always available but we had other plans for that day.

DSC_0591 2.jpg
The view…

DSC_0557 2.jpg
Fischer’s tower

I liked the drive through but I was more excited about getting to the Ol Njorowa gorge, a 24 km stretch of pure natural magic. Our taxi driver got us a good deal on a guide to take us through. If your negotiation skills are not that good you are bound to be overcharged and it gets worse if you are a foreigner. The first part of the hike was a little scary as we were going down a steep valley with a lot of water. We had to remove our shoes to navigate the treacherous terrain but interestingly our guide was like a magician
his shoes never came off and never got into the water!

The walk through the gorge was both intimidating and exciting but we made it to the end despite the scary stories of people who have lost their lives there as a result of flash floods. The last stretch was a super tough climb where we had to use some ropes to pull ourselves upwards but the view was amazing and so were the gift shops at the top which were surprisingly fairly priced. We got ourselves quite a number of beaded items which we get at triple the price in Nanyuki!

DSC_0631 2.jpg
Walk though the gorge

DSC_0673 2.jpg

DSC_0656 2.jpg
Everyone here had their own photographer but they posed for mine.

DSC_0629 3.jpg

DSC_0629 2.jpg

 

The other part of our day took us to another side of the park, Olkaria geothermal spa, the biggest natural spa in Africa! If I was in high school I probably would have been interested in learning more about the science behind the electric generation using steam but my focus was the swimming pool which lived up to all the hype I had been seeing on social media. I loved the feel of the water on my skin so much that I almost cried when the whistle went off to mark the end of swimming hours! It was another opportunity to sit and be in the moment so we did not take any photos here.

Since we were such balls of energy after the spa treatment, we concluded day 2 at the Delamere miniature golf (also no photos).

DSC_0683 2.jpg
Views on the drive to Olkaria

 

MOUNT LONGONOT-A MEMORABLE HIKE

Day three was the most memorable both for the experiences and the lessons learnt. We set out early and by 9.00 Am, we began our climb although it heated up pretty quickly after that. By the time we got to the first rest area I was literally dying. I was out of breath and I felt like my heart was somewhere between my chest and my head
talk about hard hiking lessons!

I was determined to get to the crater in the hope that the view would make me forget all the pain and loss of breath on my way up. I had to occasionally walk in reverse which weirdly made me feel better and also gave me a chance to enjoy back view. The last 50 meters were the most trying and hilarious since I had to crawl my way up with my friend’s voice in my head telling me how awesome the view from the top was. We made a few friends and took some clichĂ© photos at the sign which if we had read we would know we had a pending 7.2 km hike.

IMG-20180402-WA0005.jpg
When we thought the hard part was over

 

IMG_20180401_100029.jpgDSC_0700.JPG

DSC_0688 2.jpg

We made it to the summit, Kilele Ngamia, took some more photos and felt like the kings of the world since it was our first ever summit. From here we could see hell’s gate and Lake Naivasha.

DSC_0751_1536659103981.JPGDSC_0745 2.jpgDSC_0756 2.jpgIMG_20180330_224753.jpg

 

Shortly after beginning our descent, I fell and broke my tooth but since there was nothing much I could do at that point we sat, took a few selfies, enjoyed watching hawks flying about. It would have been great to sit and rest and wallow in self-pity but we had to keep going. 5 hours later, we made it back to base.

You would think our day would end here but we still had the energy for a bit more of exploration around before calling it a day.

SAY GOODBYE

Most of day four was spent at the hotel garden in denial that we had to go back home.

IMG_20180402_130410.jpgIMG_20180402_120516.jpgIMG_20180402_111558.jpg

DOWNSIDE

Sadly like almost all places i have been, litter is a big problem at lake Naivasha, Hell’s gate and Mt Longonot national park. I was appalled by how casually people dispose plastic bottles despite there being designated litter points. I have said it on this blog before and I will say it again… KWS needs to ban single use plastic from the parks. That is the only way to beat the plastic menace

The lake has also receded significantly , illegal fishing is the order of the day and some tourist get too close to wildlife especially the hippos which not only endangers them but also the hippos. Remember when a Chinese tourist was mauled by a hippo and KWS hunted it down later and killed it? Those are the kind of situations that should never happen. I always advocate for responsible tourism. Be a conservationist in your own little way and you will be surprised how much difference it can make.

SNAPSHOT

  1. Mt. Longonot is 2,776 meters above sea level. That is 3.1 km walk to the crater and 7.2 km round the crater so brace yourself for a 15 km walk (took us 6 hours)
  2. Both Hells gate and Mt Longonot national parks are KWS parks that have a cashless system at the gate so make sure you have your card or Mpesa for ease of payment.
  3. Olkaria geothermal spa is part of the Hells gate national park therefore you need to pay the park entrance fee and an additional 400 to access the swimming pool.

 

We had amazing amazing days in Naivasha away from work and everyday challenges.Thank you Nyakio for letting me take you on this adventure with me.Thank you David for being an excellent guide and thank you Rocky resort for being a little piece of heaven on earth on our short stay at Naivasha. We will definitely be back soon.

until the next adventure,

Keep the travel and conservation spirit alive.

Mukuhi Wanjohi