Activity: Climbing Mt. Oloruka-olesekut
When: 29th May 2021
Service: Let’s Drift
Charges: Ksh 1,000 (monthly subscription). Does not cater for transport Ksh 700 and guide fees Ksh 200.
Terrain: Moderate- Difficult
Local guide: Emmanuel Kaimarish -0704866745
The bull’s hump broke my heart by ripping off my dignity. It literally took away my hiking shoes. Dirty move. Well played. For this reason, it joined the bandwagon of some of my most tough terrains. Still, I continue hiking. Why do I go out to places like this? Why do I do this to myself? Because these places are the ones where feeling comfortably numb is simply not an option. These are the places that make us feel raw and fully human and fully alive. That takes courage. Because its easy to never leave our comfort zone but it takes courage to go in pursuit of adventure and seek our own limits.
In 1975, J.M Kariuki was assassinated by the then government and his body was found near the starting point (Oltepesi) of this mountain. A memorial plaque still honors him but since we finished our hiking late, we didn’t leave our respects. The Maasai community thrives here and a local guide comes in handy in exploring mountains within Kajiado County to avoid conflict and for sustainable tourism.
The journey to Oloroka requires an early departure from Nairobi due to the rise in temperatures that can drain one’s morale. However, on this day, luck was on our side as the mountain enchanted us to a cool weather.
The first 2km had everyone doubt their fitness level. I mean how on earth were we sweaty and breathing so heavily? I thought all terrains start on a smooth road but Olesekut proved otherwise. A rocky affair awaited us. Even Google reviews had not warned me. This is when I questioned the love of the sunset view from Ololosokuan. This love affair was to be short-lived and turn to hate and abuse.
V-shaped gullies gave a great relief from the torture as I marveled at what nature had to offer. Balance. Despite a steep rocky terrain with long grass, acacia trees, leleshwa trees, cactus plants and thorny shrubs, there were hidden green horizons that gave an aura of what we didnt know about been in Kajiado. Oloroka Ranges. The breathtaking views had me stunned. For a moment felt the Aberdare ranges had shifted here- on a summer vacation.
Ngong hills still outdid themselves but the majestic Mt. Olesayeti (poisonous herb) wanted fame as it gave numerous picturesque backdrops. This toxic bond was needed because never have I ever heard of Mt. Olesayeti! Young morans wandered in the bushes guiding their herds which even tried to outdo us in ascending.
The summit of Mt. Oloroka is similar to climbing Sleeping warrior, Ugali and Saucer hills combined. Reason been, the bull has 3 humps. 3 tough hills. And each hill resembles the summit. The 3hour journey to the top was not one to ululate about. Donkey tired was inscribed on our faces. However, another mountain decided to show us who’s the boss, Mt. Olorgesailie or beast is the toughest of all and highest in Kajiado. According to our guide Emmanuel, the beast requires a whole day and even camping to conquer it.
Interestingly, descending was quicker but needed careful maneuver.
1. 3L of water is not enough.
2. Hiking pole is your buddy.
3. Friction between foot, socks and shoes is real. Not even the best of socks can save the situation. Or can they?
4. Old hiking boots will die on you.
5. Ankle support boots need to hug your ankles. Twisting happens a lot.
6. Knees support might help.
7. Pack all the energy snacks you’ll need. Also, share them with the young Morans out there.
8. Long sleeved is the gear. Tattoo artists with various designs are plenty.
We approached Oloroka from Kiserian town towards Oltepesi, southwest towards Magadi sitting on the floor of the Great Rift Valley. This is the toughest route and least explored.