My Experience Hiking Southern Aberdares Ranges⛰

Location: Kenya The Elephant Hill is on the southern end of the Aberdares Ranges, about 90km north of Nairobi. The Aberdares Ranges are situated west of the great Mt Kenya in the central highlands between Nyeri and Naivasha, and stretch 70km long from North to South.

Considering the highest summit is about 3900 metres above sea level, I don’t know why it’s even called a hill😂😂 total understatement!

Actually, according to http://www.jambonairobi.co.ke/ “The Elephant Hill on the Southern Aberdares Ranges,is an ideal location for a day hike especially if you’re preparing for the more challenging Mt Kenya or Mt Kilimanjaro climbs. ”

Beginning of 2016, one of my new year resolution was to travel more. So when Director of Elyzza Tours invited me to this tour I couldn’t possibly say no. We travelled around 39 of us in a white tour bus. Of course this meant me waking up early, before 6am on a weekend, which is new. Unheard of. But now as I look back it was totally worth it.

We stopped over at view point and obviously took some pictures 🙂

Isn’t the view behind just breathtaking 👌🏻

On arrival at the starting point (Njabini Forest gate) the excitement really kicked in!

I could see the Elephant hill. At this point am sure your wondering, Why Elephant hill? Apparently, the hill is in the shape of an elephant, though I still can’t see it … Also, the hill is home to many elephants.

To be honest with you, I didn’t think this hiking would be that serious. Thought we were going to walk a bit, then everyone would get tired and we’d head back. I didn’t actually think the target was reaching the peak, I wasn’t ready! Considering some of us had never hiked before…Just like any non-hiker, like me before this experience, you tend to think that hiking is like how you see it in the movies; Easy,fun and a great way to keep fit.

Easy? no

Fun? Heck yes!

The journey began.We walked a few kilometers, nothing much at the beginning, the terrain was moderately friendly. Soon we arrived at the first rest spot. Continued for a few more kilometers with lots of vegetation, including Irish potatoes. Another rest point.

Then the most difficult part of the hike began. Bamboo zone.

 

Way back in my primary school in the rural area, we learnt the parts of a mountain; Including bamboo zone ,Heathe and Moorland … So this is what it meant. Scary bit is when Askari told us that the path we were taking through the forest was as a result of the elephant making its way.

“What happens if an elephant appears?” Someone asks.

“I’ll scare it with the gun”Askari says. He then continues to explain how humans scents and perfumes keep the elephants away. Secretly wishing in my heart that I’d applied more perfume 😅 I don’t fancy meeting an elephant in her habitat…

When we were a couple of metres to the Point of despair, I had given up. Although the bamboo zone was thinning out, the rocky Alpine zone was more unbearable! Hyperventilation. Increased heart rate. Blurry vision. I was slowing down. My head had a terrible migraine. Was ready to throw in the towel. My excuses were;

I’ve never done this before.

Lemme just catch my breath.

Can I please sit down.

Am never hiking again. ..

You guys just go I’m gonna catch up.

Are we there yet?

I wanna go back now.

Please help me up. I just wanted to go back to my place and sleep!😂

Thank God for Robert. Also, the kind soldier kept saying how I couldn’t just sit there and give up. Oh how I wanted to sit with every step I took. So bad. My legs had given up and so had I.

Then all of a sudden I started seeing  the view down and this was motivation enough to reach the top… I was very proud of myself, despite the fact that that I didn’t reach the summits. I felt this was already an overachievement for me considering I wasn’t prepared at all😂 next time I’ll definitely warm up a few days before!

Journey back down was so much fun coz it was mostly,sliding thro the mud on my butt! What’s more fun?😂😂 thank God it didn’t rain,otherwise i would be soaked and muddy everywhere! My shoes were so slippery, resulting in more state of unbalance! Laughed so hard at myself. Kept saying how this experience will make a great bed time story for my kids .

Well, this is me 3400 metres above sea level.

That’s as far as most of us in the group could make it. This point is also known as the point of despair (no explanation needed)

A few people from our group made it to the summit. Congratulations to them!

Special thanks to

  1. God for His grace…this experience really strengthened my faith 👌🏻

    2.Robert Githire (Elyzza Tours) who was very supportive (literally)

https://elyzzagroup.wordpress.com/

  1. The great Askari( wildlife ranger) who cheered me on the way up!

 

  1. My beautiful sister,for her beautiful company and for exchanging turns with the backpack.

  1. My mum for calling in the middle of the hike to check if I was still breathing 🙂
  1. Last but not least, My great teammates who cheered me on, the way down!

Also, to everyone else who made this journey possible, including Siri who woke me up. God bless you all..

Do you want an adventure of your own? Be sure to check this page out (thank me later)

https://mobile.facebook.com/Elyzza-Group-Tours-Travel-697866816901495/

Or contact Robert Githire (Elyzza tours)+254 721 585 333

They have great packages at very affordable prices it’s unbelievable. Also offers for those of you who aren’t Kenyan citizens.

Cheers to more adventures together!🙂

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