HIKING THE EBURU FOREST

I got a chance to hike in Eburu Forest with Sirikwa Wildlife Trust (who I’ve hiked with before, at Olorgesaillie). The plan was to hike Mt. Kipipiri but we got news on the eve of our hike that there was a fire there. This hike was a little similar to the Kijabe hike, in terms of diverse vegetation/temperature.

Team Eburu (58)
Our journey there, along the Naivasha-Nakuru highway, took about 2.5 hours.

The hike started with an introduction to the forest by officials who would also serve as our guides. As there are animals, like buffaloes, we had one armed security guard.

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There were clearly defined paths in the beginning.
Team Eburu (202)
And then things got thick (literally).
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And thicker. If you never hike through stinging nettle vegetation, you’ll never know what it feels like to ignore an itch to preserve energy for a hike.

About three hours into the hike, the guide saw fresh buffalo footprints and summoned the whole whole team. We had to switch our route, and take a longer one, to bypass the animals; and this is how all the drama began.

We got lost, deep inside the forest. TWICE! Have you ever hiked up a steep hill, only to get to the top and get the news that that was the wrong hill?  I had wondered why one of our guides, a Maasai man, was hiking with a panga (slasher). Turns out, when there’s no route, he turns to the slasher to give way. We were atop a steep hill and needed to get to the river at the bottom; so he slashed the thick vegetation ahead of everyone and we followed. This particular part of the hike was so steep, we all went down while seated!

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Hiking downhill while seated.
Team Eburu (443)
Some areas were so steep (1:1 gradient) and we basically had to jump.

The forest has different types of vegetation, from very thick nettle vegetation, to sections that had mostly trees and finally a sparse growth area.

Team Eburu (618)
We also hiked over and under trees.

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Team Eburu (156)

Team Eburu (643)

Some of the challenges we faced (that made it all the more fun) were buffaloes and the stinging nettle vegetation. It itches badly when it rubs against the skin and while I personally had fully covered up, the plant  occasionally pierced through my clothes.

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The last part of the hike was particularly beautiful.

Team Eburu (634)

The hike took a total of about 6 hours (for the entire team. We were not really in a hurry.)

Team Eburu (278)
Some sunset trials 🙂

Until next time,

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Contact: akenyannomad@gmail.com

 

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