CONQUERING ELEPHANT HILLSaturday, May 21, 2022 04:00 am to Saturday, May 21, 2022 06:00 pm
Elephant Hill, roughly 100 kilometers from Nairobi's city center, is labeled "the ultimate hiking destination" for good reason. The "hill" is ideal for a novice hiker looking to conquer more difficult terrain and acclimate to higher altitudes. The 9-kilometer Elephant Hill climb begins at the Njabini Forest Station gate, at an elevation of 8,202 feet (2,500 meters), and concludes at the summit, at an elevation of 12,000 feet (3,658 meters). Hiking at a leisurely pace, the full walk up and down takes 7-10 hours.
Some interesting facts about Elephant Hill; It has a never-ending bamboo forest that starts from an elevation of 9,622ft/2,933m above sea level and rises to an elevation of 10,679ft/3,255m above sea level. The towering bamboo canopy ensures the trail remains annoyingly wet, slippery, and poorly lit. It is important to be adequately prepared for slips and falls, so wearing a comfortable, waterproof, well-treaded hiking boot is a good idea.
The occasional mound of elephant dung and fresh footprints constantly remind you that you are walking through a wildlife zone. No need to worry though: wild animals naturally keep off the trail, and anyway, you will always be accompanied by an armed guard.
Most hikers give up at this point, hence its uncanny name A Point of Despair. The trail becomes tougher and tougher as you transition from the moorland to the rocky zone, which features scattered shrubs and giant lobelia. Caution is advised while trudging through this terrain, as even a minor fall could cause serious injuries.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Distance from Nairobi: about 90 km.
Starting and Ending Point: Njabini Forest Gate
Walking Duration: 7 hours
Terrain: Dirt road, swampy trail, a bamboo zone, rocky zones.
Trek Difficulty: Moderate to High You need to be reasonably fit to do this climb.
- Transport to and from Njabini KWS Gate in a tour van
- Professional guide and Park Ranger
- Professional Photography
- Park Entrance Fee
- A Snack
What You'll Need for This Hike
- Identity card
- Bring comfortable hiking shoes and, preferably, hiking boots.
- An extra layer of warm clothes. It can sometimes get very chilly up there.
- An extra pair of thick, woolen socks, just in case the trail is wet, you can change into the dry ones.
- Enough drinking water, 2 liters minimum.
- Snacks and lunch
Most of all, come with an open mind. The trail is not the easiest one!