The Pamoja Research team from Royal Institute of Technology and Aalto University is actively traveling and getting to know East Africa. Recent report from John, Irena and Federico tells us the story from their trip to Mount Kenya.
Since the early days of planning the trip to East-Africa we were sure that we wanted to go hiking. The first option was Kilimanjaro, but since it seemed to be a lot more expensive, due to the distance from Nairobi and more hiking days. So we ended up choosing the second highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kenya for our destination. The route we took was Sirimon- Point Lenana- Naro Moru.
The hike took us 3,5 days. On the first day we gained about 900m of altitude. I had some symptoms from the altitude on the second day, but luckily in the end my body got used to the 4200m. altitude. Day 3 was the best and the hardest, in total 14 hours. We started the day at 3 am. In order to experience sunrise at the summit, point Lenana 4985m.
I felt really lucky having the possibility to experience Mt. Kenya and the national park. What made the hike even more interesting were the different vegetation zones in different altitudes and opposite sides of the mountain. But nothing was as breathtaking as the last 20 minutes of climbing and reaching to the summit while the sun was rising. And finally, you reach the top! Breathtaking!
After the euphoric feeling vanished, I realized that how privileged we really are. Mount Kenya and the surrounding national park are the wonders and richness of Kenya, but who are the people that can afford to experience that? Entering the national park was 50€ per hay for foregners and 27€ for residents. During the whole trip, we saw one Kenyan group and all the others (excluding the guides etc.) were foreigners.