It was a chilly Saturday morning and leaving bed was tempting debatable. While debating whether to wake up or extend the sleep led to us being left behind by the bus and had to catch up with the help of motorbike. No make-up or double deciding what to wear but grabbing whatever that was easily accessible to the hands.
We were heading to the northern circuit for our field trip and this time, our companions were the first years. Being a fourth year class, travelling with the first years was the best decision ever. Of course they were already in the bus minutes earlier with massive notebooks ready to grab all the knowledge out there. They helped us to picture our younger selves years back and evaluate whether they have been any growth or just wastage years. It provided a reality check up.
After managing to fix our simple bags in between the huge suitcases carried by our companions, we took our seats ready to head to Aberdare National Park. This was our first destination and it was a very long journey from Narok County as we had to travel through three counties.
Narok County has very unique landscape and abundance natural resources, despite staying there my four years in campus, I never got enough from the magnificent view. The meadows are so tall and roads snake their way through them. The special monkeys grace the road as they scratch each other’s back, feed each other while enjoying the view of the vehicles and people passing by.
Our first night was spent in Nyeri, a very awesome town to spend a night in. The accommodation and meals was cheap. It’s not crowded like other cities in Kenya and the night are silent, clubbing is very minimal. We retired to bed early since we needed enough energy for hiking both Aberdares and Mount Kenya.
7 am found us in the bus, it took us roughly forty minutes to get to Aberdare National Park. At the reception we enjoyed the sight of very beautiful strong horses and a small museum that contained very useful historical objects. The procedure didn’t take long and we made our way into the park. The park is heavily covered by different vegetation. I love plants especially the indigenous species, they are the genesis of life and Aberdare is my favorite place with exactly that.
Elephants in Aberdares are much smaller compared to the ones we are used to in Narok. This is so because elephants in Aberdares are the forest elephants while those in Narok are the Savanna elephant. Their adaptations to their area structure leads to their sizes. Other animals included the African lions, leopard, baboons, monkeys, and abundance bird species, among others. We then headed to Mount Kenya.
For a long time I had enjoyed hiking and climbing the beautiful mountains via YouTube, and here I was to actually do it. These are two very different worlds and its true, the real hiking and climbing is the best once you gain the rhythm. The amateur me was in a dress and some open shoes, totally unprepared for the hiking. But one day, I must go back and do it right. The bus helped us cover the first few kilometers up the mountain and we hiked the rest. Myself and a few friends of mine never made it to the highest point and had to surrender at some point where we went ahead and turned our lemons to lemonade as the others soldiered on. In our midst we had a talented deejay who mixed songs for us as we waited for our friends to come back. It was a party in the wild. I guess both groups had fun.
As we ascended back to our bus, we laughed, made jokes and bond since ascending is much easier than climbing. The lucky ones who made it to the top shared the sweet beautiful moments and photos. The mountain had a very fresh atmosphere, air filled with monkey chanting, bird’s songs, whispers from the trees and the spring waters was so sweet.
We had to spend the second night in Nyeri again. Our feet were sore and we were dead tired so that night there was no much of storytelling rather guys slept almost immediately after taking dinner.
Our journey to Samburu started at around 8 am. You could see the difference in the vegetation cover, it was becoming drier as we drove towards Moyale town. What shocked me is the activeness of this town, it’s a 24hrs operating town. And accommodation is in surplus but many of the have weird rules, how do you tell me to leave my valuables with a watchman who only has a simple stick. It took us almost an hour to get a real good hotel to spend the night, we also bought the dresses worn by women in this location and some souvenirs. Food was great and temperatures were very high.
On our way to Samburu National Park, we encountered a hitch whereby our bus broke down. We were lucky it happened at the gates and not inside the park. The driver checked and evaluated that the situation, it was a big mess so we had to keep ourselves busy as they sort the issue out.
We visited the nearby manyatta and enjoyed the samburu cultural activities. There was an ongoing wedding ceremony and we were allowed to join in. We danced, jumped and sung, imitating the natives who kept giving us the best smiles ever. They were great people and hospitable to us. After several hours of dancing and singing, the ceremony came to an end and we dispersed. One group decided to head to the nearby river for swimming while the group, we headed to the Samburu National Park office located at the gates. Since our bus was far from being usable, we decided to tour the park verbally. The wardens and rangers were helpful with information and we learnt a lot from them. They were also kind enough to spoil us with a humongous delicious lunch and comfortable mattresses.
Our bus got fully fixed at around 6pm and we could no longer make it into the park. Despite that hiccup, we enjoyed a lot in Samburu and of course I have to go back to Samburu and complete my trip into the park.
Our next destination was the Meru National Park, home to the award winning movie Born Free. It hosts a lot of amazing wildlife from elephants, zebras, rhinos, lions, leopard, monkeys, cheetahs and a number of bird species. The sad thing was when we came across an elephant carcass, poaching victim. The tusks were missing on the elephant’s head. It was a huge adult elephant, a clear indication that our wildlife are still in danger of extinction if we don’t succeed in fighting poaching. Be the voice to our voiceless treasure.
Meru town offered us a good busy night and a climax to our trip. Our trip to the northern circuit was one hell of a trip to be repeated someday with no hurry.
Kenya is a blessed country with abundance natural resource which at least of extinction if we don’t collectively protect them. Use any chance you have to ensure that the future generations get to enjoy what we are enjoying at the moment as well as visit the different areas and see the wonderful wildlife .