Hike to Mt. Kasigau


Today was finally the day that we faced the challenges of Mt. Kasigau. Our morning started very early at 6 o’clock when we had breakfast and after that we stepped on the bus and started the drive towards Kasigau. The road to Kasigau was quite bumpy but we got to see some cool stuff along the way. For a large part of the drive we drove through one of the largest sisal estates in the world. Sisal belongs to the agave genus and it has a wide range of uses. The most common way of using sisal is rope and twine. Along the way we also got see some more giraffes and this time they were a lot closer and there was quite many.

Sisal estate along the drive to Kasigau.
Giraffes on the way to Kasigau.

We got the bottom of Kasigau at 9:20 and we geared up and got ourselves mentally ready for the challenge. We were told beforehand that the hike was going to be tough, so the atmosphere was somewhat tense at the beginning. But as we got further from the start the mood changed to happy and relaxed which made the experience a lot more fun. From the start it was clear that this was going to be more tricky than usual. We got into the forest and started to hike our way up the slopes of Kasigau. The rainy season has been really prolonged this year which meant that the trail we were using was covered by plants and trees in some places. Our guide had his work cut out for him because he had to chop down a lot of plants for us to be able to go through. Slopes of Kasigau were at places very steep and slippery which meant that we really had to be careful and climb slowly. Luckily the forests had a lot of trees and roots to offer which made climbing easier.  Along the way we saw again interesting plants, trees, and insects. But the most common sight was spiders, they were everywhere in all shapes and sizes. Most of them were quite small but some were really big and looked quite intimidating.

One of the biggest spiders we saw on the way up.
Some large insects were also found on the way up.

As we got further and further, we really had to push each other and give support for everyone so we would make the summit. As we got closer to the summit the ground started to level a bit. This was a nice little break from all the climbing as we got to walk on some flat for a change. And it turned out that it was nice to have a flat part before we started the most steep and dangerous climb towards the summit. The ground at this last section was really wet and muddy from all the moisture from the clouds and rain which meant that using trees and roots as support was essential. After the steep part ground started to level out which meant that the peak was close. Finally, we reached the highest peak of Mt. Kasigau after of about 4,5-5 hours of climbing. At the summit there was quite thick cloud cover which made seeing the views pretty difficult. Also the plants were higher than usual at this time of the year which made it tricky to see all the way down.

Foggy trails near the summit.
Steep slopes of Kasigau.

We took a nice long rest at the summit and enjoyed some snacks to give us fuel for the long way down. We started at about 600 meters above sea level and the summit was roughly around 1600 meters above sea level. We climbed about a 1000 meters up which was felt in everyone’s legs. After the long rest we got up and started heading down. We took a different route down which quite a bit easier but still steep and slippery in places so careful and calm descending was the way. Along the descent we got to a much better viewpoint which gave us a wide perspective of the vastness of surrounding flat areas. On the way our guide also told us some interesting facts about the trenches built on the mountain during WWI by the British.

View from the viewpoint on the way down.

We got down from the mountain safely and nobody was hurt which was a success. During the final parts of the descent, we met some local women who do some traditional weaving of basket from the sisal fibre. We got some nice basket from the women which cheered the groups mood. Our bus driver also hopped on a bike to get the bus to us which meant that we could rest our tired legs for a good time. The bus arrived we all quickly hopped on and started our way back to the station in Wundanyi. We got the station at around 20:15-20:30 and all of us were exhausted but the completion of the hike was really rewarding.