|Distance from Nairobi||About 340km|
|Starting Point||Sabache Camp|
|Ending point||Sabache Camp|
|Walking Duration||5 - 8 hours|
|Terrain||Steep rocky elephant trail most of the way, leveling off at the mountain table top.|
The distinctive flat-topped shape and high sheer cliff drops of the 2,000m high Mt Ololokwe towering over the Samburu plains a short distance past Archers Post in Northern Kenya, never fails to turn heads. Lately this mountain, known by the locals as Ol Donyo Sabache, has become a major draw for visitors looking for hiking and rock climbing adventures off the beaten track, and the views of the surrounding semi-arid plains and distant mountains from the top are breathtaking.
You could start hiking up Ololokwe from Sabache Camp nestled along a seasonal riverbed at the base of the mountain, at an elevation of about 1,000m above sea level, or from any other location close to the mountain. The total hiking duration to the top can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on your pace and whether you are interested in observing the local flora and fauna.
Most of the trails on Ololokwe were created by elephant herds as they periodically migrate up the mountain in search of water during the dry season. The Samburu herdsmen also use them when taking their livestock to the permanent water springs at the top. The vegetation along the trail is primarily dry land bushes consisting of different species of Acacia and Euphorbia plants. Along the trail, you’ll also find large rock clearings that provide excellent views of the small rocky outcrops in the near distance called Nkadoru Murto (nicknamed cat &mouse), and Mathew’s Range.
The top, at 2,000m above sea level, enjoys cooler temperatures, morning cloud cover from time to time, and permanent water springs feeding rivers that start and end on the 1,200 acre mountain top. As a result, there is an indigenous forest teeming with large Podocarpus, Cedar, Strangler Fig among other trees, with “Old Man’s Beard” hanging off some of the trees. A unique flora also found at the top of Ololokwe is a rare giant Cycad that is endemic to this area, and is said to have survived unchanged since the age of Dinosaurs.
If you walk to the South Western edge of the mountain top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, and the tarmac road as it disappears in to the horizon towards Isiolo. The Southern end of Mathews range is also visible from this location.
There is no public transport to this location, so you need to drive there. From Nairobi, take Thika Road and drive to Karatina town. A further 12.5km on towards Nyeri, turn right onto the road to Nanyuki, and drive 170km past Kiganjo, Naro Moru, Nanyuki, Timau, and Isiolo to Archers Post. A further 27km on, turn left onto a 4km dirt road to Sabache Camp at the base of Mt Ololokwe.
The closest accommodation establishment to the mountain base is Sabache Camp, a luxury tented camp facility that also allows campers with their own tents. To stay there, call Dipa on 0726991597, email email@example.com. Other accommodation facilities in the vicinity include Ololokwe Village Guest House.
If you wish to hear the biblical “burning bush” demystified, learn all about the local flora and fauna (including common and botanical names and uses), and be regaled with stories of Samburu culture and practices, then you need to get Mark Lenanyankerra (Cell 0713296835) as your guide.
Camping fee ksh 500/day
Conservancy fee ksh 1,500/day
Guide fee 1,000/day