Mt Ololokwe stands out from the arid desert of the Samburu, whether you are driving on the highway or flying into Kalama Conservancy, this mountain will capture your attention.
From the barren plains, a massive rock of a mountain appears apparently out of nowhere. Its beauty draws you in, as you become eager to learn more about it and its significance to the Samburu people.
Mount Ololokwe Location
Mount Ololokwe (also known as Ol Donyo Sabache) is a mountain in Samburu East’s Namunyak Conservancy. Namunyak was founded in 1995 and now consists of six group ranches with a total size of 394,000 hectares and a population of 13,000 people. The mountain rises from the Samburu plains and reaches a height of roughly 2000 meters above sea level.
How to Get There
This is one of the most accessible mountains in Northern Kenya. Nanyuki is only 1 1/2 hours away, Meru is the same, and Isiolo Town is only 45 minutes away.
The A2 runs directly beneath the mountain, making public transportation simple to access. There is no need for 4WD; vehicles, motorbikes, and even bicycles will get you there.
However, if you want to get an early start, I recommend spending the night in either Nanyuki or Isiolo. Otherwise, you’ll be sweating like you’ve never sweated before.
Hiking the Sacred Mountain of Ololokwe in Samburu
Hiking the sacred mountain of Ololokwe in Samburu begins very early in the morning at around 5 am after a hearty breakfast.
You will head out in the wee hours of the morning, invigorated by fresh coffee and some delectable cookies, to climb the Mountain. As you watch the Mountain gets closer and closer, with every step.
You then set off up the steep, tortuous slope, trailed by an armed ranger and Samburu porters.
The experienced porters hike happily as they sped up the route, burdened with your water supply and picnic meals.
Each rest stop provides a better view of the plains before you reach the halfway mark, where we could finally eat breakfast. It was really worth it!
Driving through untidy scrubland, grassy plains, and wooded sections, stopping to admire the amazing Cycads and Cedar Trees that dot the rocky outcrops as you pass by Elephants trumpeting a short distance away.
Finally, you catch a glimpse of the famed granite rock face, indicating that you are about to approach the summit. The view is as expected, spectacular!
You can as well make a stop in one of the Il Moran caves on our way back. These caverns have been a crucial part of the community for decades. The Samburu use the caverns for a variety of rites, including the ‘coming of age’ ceremonial. Thousands of cows have been slaughtered there to commemorate, honor, and record important anniversaries in the Samburu calendar. Despite the cave’s ‘rustic’ appearance, it provides the most breathtaking outlook!
You will continue descending down the ‘hill’ for lunch with a huge sense of accomplishment.