William Hills Hike

I arrived at the Bata shop near Hilton Hotel Nairobi CBD at 0706hrs, six minutes late at the meeting point where I met Jackson the organizer of the Hike by Kenya Outdoors. Jackson showed me to the van parked opposite the Bata shop where I met my hiking colleagues for the first time. We were not a big group, but from my understanding it is the smallest group the Agency has ever catered for, 14 in total. The number for me was not an issue, I was excited for the hike it has been two years since my last hike and I was looking forward to this one, besides it was my first time for the William Hills.
As promised we left Nairobi City a few minutes to 0800 am, we took the Waiyaki highway through Westlands via Limuru towards Narok. I always took this road on my way home to Kisii, seen the numerous Hills of the Mau Escarpment along the way but knew nothing much about them. Now I had an opportunity to attach every hill to a name and get to hike one of them.

The Arrival
We arrived at The Soldiers Catholic Church which is a long Narok Mai Mahiu Road where we were joined by John who was to be our guide for the day, a very Jovial and knowledgeable young man probably in his early thirties. He not only knew the names of the hills, but the history behind every hill. William Hill was named after an English explorer/elephant task businessman who was attacked long before independence by the locals. William was buried on that Hill and so the William Hill. I would have loved to see the sport where he was buried but never got to ask that question, I will make a point of asking the next time am there.


Journey begins
The arrival marked our end of vehicle travel and the beginning of foot travel. After a short introduction, we set out for the hike. We took a slopping flat road on our left about 10km to the base of the hill. I call it a sloping flat because when on it ,it is flat, from the hill summit you can see how it slops gently to the base of the hill.The weather was convenient, neither too cold nor hot and the sun was behind the clouds. It had not rained and we had no fear of wet surfaces, perfect day for hiking. We walked for about 02 hrs to the base of the hill, near a river and the first sign of settlement in the area most likely because of the source of water. The area is part of the great Rift Valley and is prone to dryness most of the year round. We were in luck to enjoy the green scenery during this wet season. The settlement has a few buildings not more that eight, one of then an Anglican Inland Church, and a village hotel (not the typical hotel you have in mind) it is more of a shade but the lady there served us with the nicest mandazi and tea with a smile. We waited here for other group members who had lagged behind before we started the ascent.

The Climb
The first few meters and was reminded that the last time I did a hike up a hill was two years ago. I was not unfit, but I was not as fit as I used to be back then, more so the sun had decided to come from behind the clouds and bit down on us. More water is what I could think of, I was however able to to keep up with the leading pack. One hour up the hill and we came across a flat of about 1km strech, we went slightly down to Osotua Capmsite. We had a break here before we started up the Hill once again.
Osotua Campsite
The hill was more steep here and the climb slow as expected. I was not as fast as I was before, a few steps and a rest, the best thing about the climb was the scenery behind us. The view of the rift valley was breath taking. This is one of the most exciting part of hiking, the scenery, it is one thing I can never exchange for anything. On our way up we met five teenage boys coming down the hill, I guess part of locals residing downhill , they were quite amazed as to where we were headed to up hill, a clear indication that not many hikers come over here.

The Summit
I finally made it up the hill to the Summit and the satisfaction of every hiker was written all over my face, and the view? I cannot put words to it, it was simply amazing. We took our snacks as we waited for the others. I came, I saw and conquered. That is how my passion for hiking was re-born after two years off the field.

The descent
The descent was faster and shorter on the opposite side of the hill. On this side there was more live, houses and farms. We made our way to the road through the farms to our waiting van by the road. We had one last stop in Limuru for a late snack before we were back to Nairobi. We arrived Nairobi at around 1900 hrs, tired but content. William Hill is one place that should be in your bucket list when visiting Kenya.



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