Activity: Exploring the 7 Ponds, Aberdare Ranges
When: 14th August 2021
Service: The Alpine Troupe
Charges: Ksh 2,280
Distance: Approximately 12km
Duration: 6 hours
Altitude: 3,831m ASL
Football. Fantasy Football. Football Fans. Arsenal. EPL. The season is back and this is the banter that echoed in the jungle. For a moment I expected a mimic of Peter Drury since he is the only genius I know of that makes football lively but instead all I got were names of people whom I didn’t fathom fitted in which team. You see, I used to love Man U and hated Arsenal for all the aches it gave its fans. Now, I just don’t care anymore.
Anywho, back at the Aberdare’s the 4 hours drive from Nairobi was foggy, misty and sunny. They say “welcome to Kenya and experience 4 seasons in one day. Foggy winter morning, sunny summer lunch, rainy monsoon afternoon and mild spring night.”
To get here we used the Njabini route, same as the one used when approaching Rurimeria and Table Mountain enroute Wanjohi shopping center. The starting point of 7 ponds lies between the starting points of the 2 mountains. Sandwiched indeed.
The 7 Ponds are actually seven in number, thus their common name. They are natural ponds that make the Aberdare’s even more magical. I’ll confess that the trail is the easiest I’ve done in the Ranges reason been THERE WAS NO BOG. I’ve never felt this happy and stress free. Yes, bog somehow makes my maneuver a little bit wobbly.
The first trail was crossing over the reserve electric fence which prepared us to be shocked. This terrain had Hagenia abbyssinica trees that created some oomph of luxury. Their red, yellow and brown leaves decorated the ground making earth not hard. It was the softness in each step that introduced us to the shockingly steep ascend. The lush canopies blossomed flowers from all angles and snails slowly crawled under.
That terrain was long since we all started doubting our Strava and Garmin watches. “We’ve walked all this long for just 1km?” Geolyn Carvin came into play. The topography shifted at 2km when Giant Heather’s gave us the Alice in Wonderland vibe. The rich aura would have made great pictures but drizzling and fog joined the party.
Mushrooms, Lobelia giberroa, Lobelia telekii, Gladioulus watsonioides and Everlasting flowers gave an outstanding show. However, altitude gave an audience. Things were getting colder. Layering up was needed.
The moorland opened up giving way to tussock grass and the Lobelia’s family. The sun glared giving way to the 7 Ponds. For a moment it felt like a beach but in the Ranges. The first 3 were scattered leading to the other 4 that were closely aligned. This felt like heaven. Beautiful is an understatement. The ponds gave a reflection of the sky to the Lobelia surrounding them.
The boulders gave a reclined beach lounge chair setting that if time was not of essence, I would have basked longer. However, after an hour break descending was waiting. The beauty of it all is that the descend was a walk in the park. One that needed careful contemplation to avoid injuring the knees. At 4pm were were done and dusted. Got a snail shell for my souvenir collection.