I highly respect hikers. I mean seasoned hikers not those who walk in Karura forest or hike Ngong hills once in two years. Summit seekers impress me. The way they tackle one mountain after another makes hiking seem easy. Some people like, Munyaka from Bucketlist Adventures, Dennis from African Outdoors, Gitonga HikeManiak, Ng’ang’a Kamau from Wildsprings Adventures, and Duncan from Xtrym Adventures among others have conquered Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro several times. Others have gone further to attempt Mt. Meru, Ruwenzori and I won’t be surprised if they challenge Mt. Everest. The reason why they impress me is the fact that I have been wanting to summit Mt. Kenya for 4 years and up to now, I haven’t. Surprising right? Sadly, I do not know what holds me back. I mean, I am physically fit, I know how to prepare for a mountain, I have hiking gear save for a few items and I have guide options. I hope before the end of this year I will come back with a story of how orange or purple the summit of Mt. Kenya was.
Why do I want to climb Mt. Kenya?
Late last year, Ng’ang’a Kamau (also mentioned above) derailed me with a day trip to Mt. Kenya. I could not understand how we can manage to hike Mt. Kenya through Chogoria route and come back to Nairobi on the same day. From Nairobi to Chogoria gate is 210 Km. Both ways, we are talking about 420km; then add hiking time. Well, he was convincing enough and together with a few friends, we set out a date for the hike. We left Nairobi at 4am and by 7.30am, we were at Chogoria town.
We picked our guide there and proceeded to the gate. Driving to the main gate is an uphill task and considering the high altitude change, the vehicle must be tough to make it. I could see the beauty of this mountain even before getting to the gate.
We arrived at the gate and a KWS ranger welcomed us.
This route is the reason I want to climb Mt. Kenya. The beauty starts right at the gate.
That is why am curious if the beauty goes all the way to the peak. Since it was a rainy season, we needed to be fast to avoid getting rained on.
The walk was rejuvenating. Jumping over small streams, enjoying the scenery, passing through forested areas and catching breath was all in a day’s work.
After walking for a while, the guide suggested we climb up Mugi hill. This is a beautiful hill within Mt. Kenya area on the Chogoria route. Mugi hill is steep.
Having walked for a while before getting to it, we needed to climb with a slow pace.
As soon as we got to the top, the mist arrived and covered the entire mountain. It looked like wallpaper. We couldn’t see more than 10 meters far.
The cloud did not take long before it passed. This gave me a chance to capture a few pictures before climbing down.
Our guide did not come to the mountain to play. He started pacing asking us to keep up.
After some minutes, my long time wish was fulfilled. My all time favorite lake was in front of me; the gem that is Lake Ellis. Coincidentally, my son is called Ellis :). I believe you now understand the connection.
This lake has a beautiful shape with hills around it. It never dries up and has a beautiful camping venue. There is a belief that if you throw a stone in the lake, it would rain. I was not willing to try that due to fear of rain.
We sat here to enjoy snacks and refreshments. Sadly, this is the far we could have gone up the scenic Mt. Kenya.
We started our journey back and to my surprise, we used a different route. It offered a different landscape and vegetation. We spotted a herd of Elands from a distance.
What I did not know is that there was another magic lying ahead. The mighty Nithi falls. This waterfall is long and beautiful.
We had to hike down a steep slope to get to the bottom of it.
If you are a waterfall enthusiast, this is a must see.
After the falls, I did not have any energy left. This is where no one talks to another. You just walk like a half-dead person.
Before getting to the gate, we encountered some buffalos and waterbucks. We did not have energy to run leave alone to fight back. Luckily, they ran away in the woods.
I do not remember the last time I was that tired. However, it was worth it. You should try it too. You can go with an organized group or on self-drive. If you require a guide, I can recommend.
Now you know why I want to climb Mt. Kenya to point Lenana. Someone help me!
Until next time, keep travelling………
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