Kenya // The Central Highlands //

The high park

The high moorlands have some exceptional walking and include three peaks, Lesatima (the highest at 4001m) in the north, Il Kinangop (3906m) in the south, and Kipipiri (3349m), an isolated cone outside the park above the Wanjohi Valley in the west. They can be climbed relatively easily, given good weather conditions. It takes about three hours to climb Lesatima and two hours back down again. Sandai organize climbs, or ask the Mountain Club of Kenya in Nairobi for details. El Paraiso can also arrange guiding. Hiking in the park is allowed only with the approval of the warden, so apply in good time. You may be required to take a guide (whom you’ll have to pay).

Unless you’re planning several days of walking, fishing or camping, the most straightforward visit to the moorlands is to spend a day driving through from one side to the other between the main gates, Matubio and Ruhuruini. There are two other eastern gates further from Nyeri (Wandere and Kiandongoro) and two at the remote north end of the park (Shamata, accessible from Nyahururu, and Rhino Gate, from the B5 Nyeri–Nyahururu road), but there’s no reliable route through the park between north and south, and the small circuit of tracks in the north is very rough. Driving via the park from Naivasha to Nyeri (or vice versa) is easy enough in good weather with 4WD. If conditions are less than ideal, however, and you get stuck, you could be in for a long day, or a miserable night. You need to check road conditions with the rangers at the park gates. Surfaces are mostly red murram, though there are also a few, very steep, rocky sections. It’s usually permissible to wander a short distance from your car, though the lion situation changes from time to time.

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