Excursion, Hiking

Nithi Falls And Lake Ellis Via The Chogoria Gate (One-Day Mt. Kenya Hike) Review

The mountains were nice to us. The trails were beautiful. The falls were amazing. The lake was full of peace. The team was motivated. We all accomplished a lifetime goal!! We did it together!

We left Nairobi at exactly 4:30 am ready to travel the 210 km to Chogoria gate in Mt. Kenya. We started with a word of prayer from our resident pastor whom we had requested to pass a special request to the Almighty to hold the rains for us otherwise we would not access the Chogoria gate. You see, if it rains in Chogoria, you need a special full-size 4*4 offloader to cover the 21km dry weather road leading to the start point. Luckily our prayers were answered. The weather was all nice. No rainfalls.

It took us approximately 4hrs 30Min to get to the starting point with several stops along the way. We armed ourselves to the teeth with all sorts of hiking gear ready to trek the 20 Km trail to Nithi Falls and later Lake Ellis.  The lead guide for the team was @kennedy Mutuma whose vast knowledge of Mt. Kenya played a very critical role.

The team expended the first three KMs networking and capturing the moments by taking tens if not hundreds of photos. It was hard to hold back the excitement of trekking the Highest Mountain in Kenya. Mind you we were only hiking up to Lake Ellis. Well, the fact remained that we were hiking Mt. Kenya.

In our 4th Km, altitude Sickness began catching up with some of the hikers.  Others were questioning their judgment and decision-making abilities of how they ended up there when they could be enjoying the ongoing world cup football matches. Shockingly, this only lasted for a while and was hydrating, and the regular rest breaks proved helpful in managing the high altitude.  The encouragement and support from the team kept them going without losing focus. At this point, the team had split into two with the team “Subaru” taking the lead. As always, I was with the last group encouraging those who felt like giving and ensuring that everyone was okay.

The tranquility, serenity, and beauty of nature taught us how to find happiness in life and in the silence of eternity.  The trails were beautiful and full of life. At Nithi Falls, the sound of the dropping waters and the charming rainbow at the base of the fall offered a perfect place to meditate and reflect on what life is.

At around 1 pm, we were on our way to Lake Ellis from Nithi Falls.  The trekking was quiet with little conversation or chit-chat from the team. The 5km trek from Nithi Falls to Lake Ellis could have felt like 100 miles were it not for the beautiful valleys and chirping of birds bursting through the silence of the mountains. It took us roughly 1hrs 45Min to get to Lake Ellis.

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. Not every lake dreams of being an ocean. Lake Ellis happens to be one of those lakes. The peace, the beauty and the beautiful views make it a perfect camping site and a place of contemplation. The waters were extremely cold, and I would highly dissuade swimming. We took hundreds of photos. Threw tens of stones into the lake to see whether the popular believe that if you throw stones into Lake Ellis, the rains must fall on you on your way down the mountain. Hikers who had new raincoats kept praying that it rains so that they can make good use of them. Wo…oh!

We left Chogoria gate at 7 Pm on our way back to Nairobi.  For the initial KMs on the rough road, almost everyone was glued to their mobile phones scrolling through the beautiful and happy moments they had captured. By the time we were in Embu County, everyone apart from the driver was either in their dreamland or partially asleep.

Life is better in Hiking Boots

Antony Kago

Cushy Adventures

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