It’s a beautiful Saturday morning as we pick our Maasai guides at Suswa town. Chocking dust finds its way into the bus, leaving a layer on our clothes; the surgical masks help with filtration to some extent. The dirt roads have deteriorated over time and we had to drive across dry river beds in some sections-flash floods in the area are notorious for sweeping away roads. Some locals had gotten wind of the bus and decided to barricade the road with rocks. The older Maasai guide was tasked with negotiating with the locals who finally let us through after about 20 minutes.
The drive to the starting point from the Suswa town takes slightly over two hours. This is heavily as a result of the impassible dirt roads. By the time we started our ascent, it was about 10:00 a.m. and the fiery sun was blazing gloriously. Taking in the breathtaking landscape around us, we disappeared into the trees. I came to learn that Mt. Suswa lies in the Mt. Suswa conservancy and spreads across three counties – Kajiado, Narok and Nakuru.
This is one hike I had been looking forward to for a long time and I was excited about experiencing Mt. Suswa’s beauty and fury. The ascent is mild and unending but quite a friendly terrain. We get to summit at about 1:00 p.m. and enjoy our lunch after snapping away the perfectly rugged views.
The irony about this hike is that the decent is the uphill task. Loose rocks lie in waiting and some are hidden in the long grass along the steep descent. Absolute concentration is required to avoid falls and ankle injuries- Acacia tree thorns are numerous too and one has to keep dodging them. I do not mind descents but i particularly did not enjoy this one. We had a hiker in the group who twist their ankle twice. There were more injuries in our other group that was behind us.
Heavily pregnant clouds threatened to pound on us and should this have happened, there are high chances we would have spent the night in the wild. Luckily, we just got a drizzle to cool down our bodies as civilazation welcomed us back. The curious children approached, followed by their dog and as their culture demands, they bowed and the Maasai Moran touched each of their heads as a sign of blessing them.
We completed the hike at around 6:15 p.m. and it was not until 2 hours later that the other group of hikers arrived. As we waited in the bus, some boys came by and one of the hikers gave them leftover sandwiches and sausages from lunch. I was intrigued by their genuine innocence and curiosity. They deliberated about the sausages and agreed to peel them off. The sausage peels were given to their dog and so was the ham-they ate the bread :-).
Tips to hikers
- Carry your headlamp to hikes – you never know when you’ll need it.
- Invest in the right hiking shoes and socks. The hikers who got injuries all had sneaker shoes.
- Carry some pain killers with you. The medic could be further ahead or behind in case of an injury.
- Cut your toe nails – some descents are very unfriendly.
Thank you Kiprono for allowing me to use some of your images and Relive compilation.