The end of 71 days of Njaanuary deserves a celebration. What if we did it epically. Would you like a ride on an jumbo’s back? It’s valentines come early! The Elephant Hill Challenge seems like fun.
It is lots of fun when your fellow hikers are enthusiasts who are determined to make it past the most challenging points. It’s an uphill task, you know. But if at all you survived the mental/pocket torture of January, why not see how well you are fitted for the physical challenge?
An Overview of the Elephant Hill Challenge
Elephant Hill is one of the highest points of the Aberdares (over 3400m). The road trip is a mere 90KM from Nairobi to the Njabini Forest Gate. Offcity Travellers is happy to prepare you for the 7 hours (18KM) moderate-difficulty uphill challenge.
The Elephant Hill is a recommendable hiking destination especially for the avid hikers who are just beginning. It presents a moderate challenge.
Did you know that it was at the elephant hill that the Cessna C208 FlySAX plane had a fatal crash? Well, the sad event led to the death of ten people. May their souls rest in peace. The plane wreckage is still on site. Hikers get a chance to see, touch, and learn more about the fateful day.
Flora and Fauna
The vegetation of the Elephant Hill varies as you proceed in altitude. The dirt road allows you to have a view of what grows there, beginning from the grass at the gate to the bamboo forest, and the thickets.
The place is simply spectacular, especially with the colorful flora such as the Giant Heather, Senecio, Giant Lobelia, and Tussock Grass.
The ever-fresh animal trails are evidence of the existence of wild animals. Hikers can trace footprints of buffaloes, elephants, and other animals of the jungle. OffCity Travellers insists that hikers should be equipped with not only an armed escort but also the knowledge of animal behavior and actions to take in case of any eventualities.
The Elephant of the Hill
Ascending from Njabini Forest Gate at an altitude of 2500m to the peaks at 3400m, the hill forms a shape similar to that of an elephant, hence the name Elephant Hill. The various points are demarcated for hikers’ sake.
The most famous is the elephant’s rump christened desperado (point of despair) where most hikers give up the challenge. Contrary to its name, it is at this point that you get a clear view of Naivasha Town, the famous Ndakaini Dam, Sasumua Dam, the peak of Mount Kenya, Lake Naivasha, and the Peak Kinangop.
Participating in the Elephant Hill Challenge is a memorable experience. Due to the continuous change in altitude, such dynamics as temperature and pressure change too. Hikers must, therefore, keep a good pace to avoid altitude sickness.
The elephant task has varying challenges along the way. The law of natural attrition applies, where only the strong survive to see the head of the elephant (the summit). There are temperature changes (from hot to almost zero degrees) and almost sudden rainfall with little warning.
If you are to be the last man standing, therefore, you need to be well-prepared. Offcity Travellers’ instructor advises that hikers of the Elephant Hill Challenge should:
- Wear proper hiking gear- It is advisable to have hiking boots that can traverse the treacherous terrain. Wear warm clothing such as a scarf, gloves, and waterproof jacket in case of rain. Your clothes should be light. Avoid cotton.
- In case of a fog or clouds, it is best to turn back and descend.
- Carry water. You can use a water bottle or a hydration backpack. A few chocolate bars and/apples will brighten your day.
- Maintain a good pace with the rest of the group. Keeping close to the group will enable peer encouragement and enable the rest to help you in case of any difficulties.
- Do some exercises beforehand. Everyone feels fitter than they actually are. It is advisable to do some exercises prior to the actual hiking day. The hike is quite demanding.
- Arm yourself with a good camera to capture the moments and scenic areas.
The February 3rd Elephant Hill Challenge
Hiking is fun when you are in a group of friends and other fun-loving people. Offcity Travellers is, therefore, offering every energetic, explorative, and challenge-loving person the chance to experience this fun-filled hike. Dubbed the Offcity early Valentines, the hike is meant to mark the triumphant exit from the month of torture to the month of love.
It never get sweeter than the feeling of accomplishment during the early days of the year. For more information on the same, visit Offcity Travellers website or call 0720322825.