The amazing beauty of Samburu is worth the long drive out-of-town which takes about seven hours with one stop over at Nanyuki.
The roads are done to perfection which makes the drive down all the more enjoyable. I could have gone with my little Suzuki and we would still have made it just fine.
Ol donyo Sabache is located on Namunyak Conservancy it emerges from the centre of the desert plains like a fine work of art correctly put in place to complement the sight and sounds of the landscape.
Sabache eco-camp is not what I expected, upon arrival all I saw was little huts I had been told of a spectacular ecological hotel but the simplicity of it all was shocking though for campers it is all you need. I had two Masai guards help me set up tent they proved to be of great help throughout the stay. The morning greeted us with great joy and the mountains embraced us as we started our climb to the top.
I tried to keep up with our guide Olole he just seemed to bounce off the ground with long easy strides. The group from Mountain Club of Kenya was great for company the conversation made the steep,rocky climb interesting. Half way through the journey I caught sight of elephant tracks, how I wished I could have seen them. It took four hours to get to the top, as some members of our team had suffered bad sports-related injuries and had to take it slow.
The summit presents to you breath-taking scenery, I paused to ask how such beauty could possibly exist with a view that extends over Sera and Kalama Conservancies. Carefully laid and crafted smooth rock for a floor painted in shades of brown, black and grey–it truly is a sight to behold. As I lay on this natural warm bed my thoughts wandered to a safe place of peace, serenity and hope for a better tomorrow. I was quickly awakened by hunger seeing as everyone was munching away, I had nothing lesson learned always carry a small back pack in case of anything.
A decision was made to abandon our quest to camp on the summit and make our way down to base camp. The darkness started to set in and the rain was coming down hard, the cold set in so you can tell our excitement when we heard the sound of the donkeys braying as we descended but upon reaching us they confirmed what we all knew was inevitable they were soaking wet! All the food, clothes, tents were drenched there were no two ways about it we had to make it down in the storm.
A thick dark cloud cover came over us and our Samburu friends were visibly getting sick all they wore were shukas and the cold was getting to them.We tried our best to help drive the donkeys with them but half-way through they had enough and refused to move this means everyone had to carry their own luggage and continue the long trek with the burden of luggage, it did not help that mine was the heaviest it really took a toll on my already injured ankle.
Our torches begun to run dim those of us with the more sophisticated ones were leading up front. The struggle was really for those with injuries the constant falls, slips and slides talk of adventure we were right in the middle of a live movie.
I cannot explain my excitement when I finally saw my car at the base camp I hugged her like a soldier back from war, we did not have a change of clothes everything was drenched and nowhere to sleep as our tents were dripping so we decided to make do with our cars. I still do not know how people sleep in cars I tried all positions but failed miserably so I decided to sit up and count stars till first light.
I was the first one up since I did not sleep I found some Samburu elders sitting round a fire and I joined them as they told tales of beloved Samburu. I heard how the elephant family was right next to us as we came down the mountain maybe too afraid of the moving light but they quickly came on to the path after we passed thank God.
The young Samburu boy was left up the mountain all night with the donkeys to protect them this was like a right of passage he had to show himself strong as protector.
They soon went to fetch him and when they reached camp his peers congratulated him. I gave him a jar of yoghurt and my lunch box of sausages he was well pleased I wish I could have done more.
I soon started up my Pajero Galloper she had consumed illicit “brew” from the local petrol station. I regretted fueling there but after a few chugs she started fine and we left Ololokwe the sacred mountain of the Samburu that speaks of things yet to be heard.
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