Elephant Hill Hike
Safari at a Glance
Elephant Hill Hike
Elephant Hill Hike-The Most Popular Trail in Aberdare Range
The Elephant Hill hike is, without a doubt, the most popular trail in the Aberdare Range. The Elephant hill hike earns different reactions from hikers that dare to attempt it. Some say it is the most treacherous and challenging trail in Kenya, while some say it’s all overrated. Find out why the elephant hill hike is the most sought trail in Kenya. If you plan to hike elephant hill, it is paramount to get this information beforehand.
About Elephant Hill Hike
Elephant hill hiking distance
The Elephant Hill is an elephant-shaped hill located in the Aberdare Range. It is the fifth-highest trail of the Aberdare range trails. The hike starting point lies at the south end of the Aberdares in Kinangop Constituency, Nyandarua County. The hiking trail is 9 kilometers. From the starting point at Njabini gate, 8,203ft or 2,500meters above sea level, to its summit that straddles. The summit is at an elevation of 3657.6 meters 12000Ft. The elephant hill hike starting point takes about two to three hours from Nairobi CBD. The distance is about 104 kilometers from Nairobi to Kenya Wildlife Service Njabini Gate. The park entry fee and clearance are prerequisites at this office before proceeding to the forest trail.
Hike Trail Sections
The Shamba System
The actual elephant hill hike starting point is about two Kilometres from the Njabini gate office. In between is a section of the forest that comprises agricultural farms. Through a cooperative partnership between the Kenya wildlife service and the neighboring communities, the neighboring community owns the farms. The practice is popularly known as the Shamba System. With the shamba system, farmers access state-owned forest land to tend to young trees in this section. They can then intercrop perennial food crops until canopy closure which helps protect against erosion. The community as whole benefits from these sustainable practices. They produce much-needed income while at the same time keeping the forests that are our hiking playing grounds.
Elephant Hill Trekking Trail
The trail leads to a section of ancient indigenous trees. This forest unit comprises ancient trees such as Cypress, Podos, and Old man beard trees. While trekking here through this section brings a nostalgic feel of how many places in Kenya were decades ago. Thanks to human activities. The track is wet primarily because of the grass’s morning dew. An ideal pair of hiking leg gaiters will ensure you remain dry and comfortable for the rest of the trek.
After about a kilometer trek, the sight of bamboo gate signage welcomes you to the bamboo section. The hike through the bamboo is strenuous but well worth it. The bamboo section gets less sunlight due to its ever-covering canopy. Therefore, the trail is primarily muddy. It gets even worse, slippery, and harder to climb with little rain. A pair of solid trekking poles will be of great aid and avoid frequent falls. In addition, trekking poles will help you distribute your backpack’s weight and that of your body evenly. Another must-have while attempting the Elephant Hill hike is a proper hiking boot. One that is light, with excellent grip, hardy, waterproof and breathable.
Elephant Hill weather
The bamboo cover ends at Desperado (point of despair), 3255 Meters (10679.13 ft). The sight of the remaining part of the hike makes many conclude they can not proceed further. Hence the name, Desperado. A lot of people give up at this point. Some even sleep dead after getting here. From the top of Point of Desperado, you can see a neatly hemmed bamboo forest below. Magical views of Sasumua dam in bright weather are a sight to behold. Desperado point is an ideal lunch point before resuming the trek to the Tail.
The journey to the Tail is a combination of a rocky and steep track. While trekking up, you are likely to feel the altitude and slow you down. The weather, too, from the point of despair, changes in seconds. One minute it’s clear, the next you can’t even see ten meters away. It is paramount to learn how to layer for the mountain and the clothes, gear, equipment, and accessories to bring.
Where You Will Visit
This safari explores the following regions in Kenya
- Elephant Hill
What to do in this one day tour
5:00 - Meet at Pick up point; International House 5:20 - Departure 9:00 - Arrive at Elephant Hill 9:15 - Start the Hike 4:15 - Finish The Hike 4:30 - Depart for Nairobi 6:45 - Arrive in Nairobi
Tour package includes:
- Citizens Park entry fees
- Community fees
- Transport Costs
- Hiking Charges
- Security and Guides Fees
Tour package excludes:
- Lunch/ Snacks
- Tips for Guides
- Evacuation expenses.