Walk up Mount Kenya from the north, starting at Timau. It is a longer route than the popular one starting from Naro Moru, in the west, but one avoids the horror of the vertical bog.
It is through moorland and steady slopes. The views are superb and few other walkers are seen. It took us three days to go up and two to come down, sleeping in bunkhouses.
One ends up at the Lenana summit if a walker, however proper mountaineers can go a little higher to Batian or Nelion summits.
For variety, one can descend via the eastern side of the mountain on the Chogoria route through moorland then grassland and finally forest. Watch out for buffalo.
Most of the reputable tour operators could organise this safari. In the ten years living in Kenya this was the most memorable safari - although there were many others almost as good. It is a wonderful country.
Most backpackers in east Africa want to bag Kilimanjaro, so Mount Kenya feels more off the beaten path, and is cheaper to climb too.
As it’s on the equator but rises to 5,199m in effect you go through several climate zones in a couple of days and see plants straight out of Day of the Triffids that only exist here, like the “water-holding cabbage”. From the top you can see for miles over much of Kenya. Take all your hiking gear with you as it can be hard to find there and take plenty of warm clothes and a good sleeping bag — it’s freezing at night.
Lewa is a large private conservancy in the north of Kenya. It was once a cattle ranch, then a black rhino conservancy and is now a more wide ranging (non-profit) wildlife conservancy which is also spreading the conservancy message to the communities surrounding the park. One of these communities is where the BBC's Mission Africa was filmed.
Lewa cannot compete with the Masai Mara in terms of wildlife but does have large numbers of black rhino and lots of other animals, including the cats. They also have huge numbers of birds.
The guides are fantastic and very committed and, because the park is large but has limited guests, the predators (in particular) are left to get on with their lives without 30 Land Rovers filled with people with huge cameras watching their every move.
We loved every minute of our time at Lewa and missed the silence and feeling of being alone in the landscape when we moved from there to the Masai Mara. I cannot recommend it enough.
Lewa's site is www.lewa.org which includes all the information you need.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Search Been there