Review: Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park Hike
Its been a long time coming, and now, it’s finally here. Six months down the line and the need to share that wonderful experience has become unbearable. It was my first hike. A day of rookie mistakes but epic nonetheless.
The day began at around 4 am for the Chief Instructor and Head of Logistics but around 6 am for me. I will be giving my own perspective of the hike but hope to get at least another hikers perspective.
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park is in Machakos County. A few kilometers from Thika Town. The off road from Garissa Road to Ol Donyo Sabuk is however not all fun. Dust and a bumpy ride. If you survive the dust then the day goes uphill from there. As with any Park in Kenya an entrance fee is paid. Once inside I assure you to get one of the most memorable hikes of your life.
A warm-up exercise led by the Chief Instructor followed by introductions. A prayer and some supplies later and the hike officially began.
We were around ten and a chase group formed itself and the pace was set. A quick pace. A while later it was decided to veer from the main path and use the foot paths. Best decision as I got to understand footpaths have the best memories.
Halfway up the footpath and the pace slowed considerably. Panting, sweating, thirst and the timeless question, “Are we there yet?”. The talking had become less and less the higher we climbed. The chase group that had formed earlier was replaced by a more experience chase group.
The higher we went the more the pace slowed down. There were now about 3 groups. The chase group, the explorer group and the motivation group. I was in the motivation group. Somewhere around halfway my first rookie mistake cost me. I had come hiking in official shoes and the shoe and sole had decided to break up. I tied the shoe and sole together with some rubber band. Surely, necessity is the mother of all invention.
The breaks become more frequent and I was appointed time keeper. The routine became 10 minutes walking 5 mins break. Some historic sites, amazing photoshoot sites and great teamwork. 9km later and 2145m from where the car was my first hill climb was a success. The most impressive bit was a young boy J who had made it to the top all the way motivating his mum. It was a joy to behold.
A rest, a lot of photos and a team building activity and the descent was made. A tirade of songs and the day ending just got better. More photos, more songs and many hours later we were back where we began. A few stretches and a finger-licking heavy lunch was served.
My Final Verdict:
Experience; 8/10 Difficulty; 5/10
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park has a very wonderful trail. An amazing view and awesome photo-shoot sites.
Great for a first time hike.