At the Peak of Elephant Hill – Elevation 2600m to 3630m asl

It was in 2016 when I got a call from my Elder Cousin. He wanted me to accompany him and 3 of his friends on a Hike as a photographer. I hadn’t done any significant outdoors activity apart from my various Media contracts. I was looking forward to the trip.

To be frank, I wasn’t prepared for the hike, equipment wise. I just had my jacket, my sneakers and my camera bag. The rest of the team had all their mountaineering gear on but it didn’t phase me. It was sunny and looked like the day would end well.

You can still see Thika town in the background.

We got our KWS guide, a very quite officer who seemed to mind his business, he’d been back from escorting another group up the hill and he didn’t look tired. So that reassured me it wasn’t going to be hard… I forgot that this was his job. Without much activity we got to where the tree line started. It was sunny and the weather seemed calm, we got to our 1st resting point where we had a few snacks. Before we proceeded on with the climb.

Team climbs on. Still haven’t left the tropical forest

When we got to the Bamboo Forest, that’s when I realized we were not near our end goal.

As usual we were geeking out with my cousin who seemed very interested in flora and fauna at the different elevations.
Unique flora species higher up the hiking path.

You could notice the flora change as we ascended higher. Apart from a few elephant droppings and a few Syke and Columbus Monkeys there was little evidence of bird life & wildlife. The weather was still calm and sunny and my energy was still high albeit a little exhausted.

As we got higher clouds started gathering and we could see them creeping in. The team rested in between the climb. There was no sign of the clouds being storm clouds. Was I wrong.

As we went up we met a lot of hikers who were ascending as the weather continued to worsen. A few were too exhausted to continue although the peak seemed near.

The weather got cooler as we were nearing the peak and the clouds caught up with us. As per our KWS Guide, it hadn’t rained for a few weeks but never trust high altitude weather.

The fauna change to shorter pine shrubs .

I was feeling the cold now and only my body heat from the exhaustion seemed to keep me warm. I hadn’t hiked in over 7 years and I just had to start with Elephant Hill.

The scenery was nice though, a sea of green covered by misty clouds. But within a short while the rain clouds had caught up with us.

It was raining hailstones by the time we got to the top. And descending wasn’t easy either with the rain and my sneakers.
And this is the trip that made me think of starting this site. African Explorer Magazine. Where we Africans can share our travel stories. This is also the photo of y elder cousin once we got to the top. As you can notice, it is the photo we are using as our logo.

Do you have awesome stories of your African trips? Would you like to share with the rest of the world? Get in touch with us via email.

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Written by AfricaExplorerMagazine

African Explorer Magazine is a publication being run by African Media Professionals, Explorers, Scientists, Researchers and Writers. Our Media Platforms tells African Stories from an Africans Perspective.

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