Ol Donyo Orok


On your way to the Tanzania-Kenya Namanga border (from Nairobi), there lies a series of hills on the right, right before Immigration. I’ve driven by these hills often, but it never occurred to me that they’d make for a splendid hike.
Ol Donyo Orok; The black Mountain.

Hiking in Tanzania

We left Nairobi CBD at 6:00 am, drove to the border for about 3 hours, then stopped for breakfast at a small art-gallery kiosk.

Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro

We then left for the hills and did a quick introduction and warm-up.

Hiking Mt. Kenya

As with all hikes, the beginning was gentle, with views of the scenic hills we were to tackle.

Hiking Mt. Kenya

Hiking Mt. Kenya

Our first stop, a water point about an hour into the hike, had a stream emerging from within rocks. One of the guides helped me fetch some to drink as I was a little sceptical that my 2.5 litres would not last me the entire hike. The team re-grouped and took a couple of pictures.

Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro



At some point we came across this dry giant that we had to climb. It took lots of team work.



We got to the summit of the hike about 4hours in and the view from the top was nothing short of breathtaking!

The hill across the valley is Longido in Tanzania. My team-mates on this hike crossed over to Tanzania after the hike to climb Longido the following morning. I had to return to Nairobi but from their photos, I really missed out!

Have you ever been on a hike, summited, and the long anticipated descent turns into an unexpected ascent? That was this hike. We ‘descended’ upwards after the summit for some distance.

This hike also had a lot of bending to go under vegetation.

Lots of tree canopies that needed ‘going under’ were present.

A fun part of the descent was sliding and falling. Each time someone fell flat on the ground, everyone laughed and shouted, ‘TOUCHDOWN!’. I doubt there’s any one that didn’t fall.

The hike ended after about 6.5 hours, after which we had late lunch at a new restaurant at the foot of the hills.

The forest is one of the best well-conserved I’ve seen, with almost zero interference from human population. We saw a couple of spooky trees.

Does this not look like a fictional character from an animation?

I’d rate this hike as moderate. Beautiful forest. Cool temperature (mostly) Refreshing summit.

Until next time,
Happy hiking!



CONTACT: akenyannomad@gmail.com

7 thoughts on “OL DONYO OROK; Namanga

  1. Looks so beautiful and I’m sure the view was worth the hike! I also love your pic of the spiky tree and would love to know how it ended up like that …


  2. Ol Donyo Orok is one of the most beautiful hiking destinations. The views keep one wishing to get to the peak to marvel at the panoramic view of natural beauty at the foot of the hill, it is a dream hiking destination for many hikers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s the best thing to explore when you can
    Am dropping down there this month.
    Your pics really helped us find more about the place.thanks


  4. I’d love to visit Namanga Hills soon. How much is guide fees and how can one get a guide. And where is the starting point?


  5. This is very beautiful and I feel like leaving tomorrow to this hike! any program on same you could share please


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