Mt. Kipipiri is an underappreciated volcanic mountain that sits in the Central region of Kenya. Its exact location is about 34 kilometres from Lake Naivasha and 130 kilometres from Nairobi. It sits on the Wanjohi Valley or as it was called pre-independence: the Happy Valley. The mountain is not as impacted by human activities as its more famous counterparts so the hiking trails may not be as direct. Here is everything you need to know:
What to wear
Mt. Kipipiri shares a climatic system with the central highlands including the Aberdare Ranges and Kinangop. As such, the area receives lots of rain and the temperatures are lower than in most urban centres. You should carry warm clothes especially for the climb as the temperatures can go to as low as 2-9 degrees Celsius. Also, wear proper hiking boots with thick soles that have proper treads for the muddy and marshy trails.
Duration of hike
The total time to go up and down the Kipipiri Mountain is approximated at 8-9 hours. The ascend takes longer and you may have to take a few stops for rest and to enjoy the vicinity. In case you do not live within the mountain’s vicinity, you have the option of camping at the Kenya Forestry Service campsite that is set near the foot of the mountain.
What you will see
Mt. Kipipiri being almost non-manipulated by human activity is full of natural beauty and wonders. Throughout the hike, you will see features such as small streams and rivers, small and large valleys, hundreds of different plant species and of course, the wild game that calls the mountain home. Among the wild animals expected are the colobus monkey, buffalo, and the occasional elephant. There are also a wide range of birdlife.
How to get there
Mt Kipipiri is easily accessible by road from both Nakuru and Nairobi. Your last stop will be the small town of Geta from where the hiking will begin. This is also where your cars will be parked during the hike. The drive from Nakuru and Nairobi can take 3 hours and 2 hours respectively because of the rough roads after driving off the highway. This is why you are advised to prepare for camping after the hike to avoid driving back under exhaustion.
The Kenya Forestry Service monitors the Mt. Kipipiri hike. As such, the entry fees are (in Kenyan shillings) 200 for citizens, 400 for residents and 600 for non-residents. Apart from that, you may also need to tip the hiking guide separately for their service. Finally, if you do choose to camp then camping charges will apply.