Hiking at Mount Kenya
I got up at 6am to be ready for my hike starting at 7am. Usually I’m not an early bird but I really wanted to see the peak of Mount Kenya which is with 5.199m the second highest mountain in Africa. It’s said that the best chance to see the peak is on clear days at the early morning between 7 and 10am. At a later time of the day the peak is usually covered with clouds and cannot be seen.
I took a private guide since nobody else wanted to get up that early and so I also had the opportunity to walk at my own pace and chat with the local guide. It was also not too pricy. I only had to pay 1.000 Kenyan Schilling (12.50 USD) for a three hour hike with a private guide. His name is Joseph and he knows the area very well including all local animals and plants. He also works as a guide for the Mount Kenya climbs which take four days. Since we only stay in the area for 1.5 days I didn’t have enough time to climb the peak but only for hiking in the surrounding area of the mountain.
During our hike Joseph was showing me the footprints and excrements of several animals in the area. He was also pointing out several plants such as Aloe Vera and Henna. The Henna plant was very interesting to see and when you rub it between your fingers the green leaves turn into red colour which is used for Henna tattoos around the world. After hiking for approx. 1 hour and 20 minutes we arrived at a waterfall next to which also a cave could be seen. Joseph explained to me that in this place many people got killed during the war for independence in the 1960s which makes this place special for Kenyan people since the Mau Mau rebellions used to hide in this cave.
During the hike we also saw the peak of Mount Kenya as I was hoping for. Compared to Mount Kilimanjaro the peak looks steeper and therefore I guess that climbing Mount Kenya is more challenging.
When returning to the campsite I ran into several other people of my group. Some of them were on the same hike as me but just left at a later point in time. Others were on smaller hikes around the camp or on the back of a horse. Especially my fellow traveller Chris enjoyed the horse-riding since it’s one of his favourite activities and the horses available were in a very good shape.
I arrived back at the camp at 10am and prepared a late breakfast. Afterwards I did my duty which is cleaning the inside of the truck. In the afternoon I was chilling out watching a Kenyan wedding which took place in the hotel associated with the campsite. About hundred people were singing and dancing which created a very special atmosphere.
For dinner Pierre cooked us an interesting and spicy dinner consisting of beans and sausages. Everybody seemed to be exhausted either from travelling or from today’s activities so the circle around the campfire was shrinking quickly. I also went to my tent, where Michelle was sleeping fully exhausted from the horse-riding, and watched a movie on my laptop.