Elephant Hill – The Ultimate Hiking Destination

by Monicah Wangari
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Quick Update

Location; South Kinangop, Nyandarua County. 

Distance and duration; 95 Kms (2.5 hours) from Nairobi.

Cost; If one uses a tour company, the charges ,may range between Kes. 3,000 – 3,500 per person. This is inclusive of transport to and from Nairobi and park fees. The price may or may not include snacks. Seeking clarification in advance is advised.

Hike Duration; approximately 5 hours to summit and 3 hours to descend. A total of 8 hours. A full-day hike.

I did a highlight on my Instagram stories of the experience.


“It always rains at Elephant Hill,” Winnie Rioba was sure to give us a heads up a few times. I was ready for it.

I am already accustomed to the hiking lifestyle and I had packed must-haves in my backpack; water, a few snacks, gaiters, and a raincoat. These are part of what every hiker needs. Gear makes or breaks your hiking experience.

We left for Elephant Hill at 520 am from Nairobi and got there by 820 am. Elephant Hill is part of Aberdare Ranges and is located in South Kinangop, Nyandarua County.

Upon arrival, chilly weather welcomed us. The fog was so dense, we couldn’t figure whether the hill resembled an elephant or not.

The hike is divided into a few parts. First is a long stretch before getting to the starting point. Then Starting Point – Bamboo Forest – Point of Despair – The Tail – The Summit. The summit is 12,000 ft above sea level.

Some of the attendees experienced altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is when you feel lightheaded, slight headache, and/or nauseous. It is recommended for one to take lots of water all through the hike, to alleviate the symptoms. Normal recommendation on how much water one should carry for a hike is 2 litres. However, if the altitude sickness persists, it is advisable to descend.

All the levels served with their different sceneries. Elephant Hill is one of the hills with consistent tall vegetation. I was especially excited about seeing the bamboo trees. They hug from the top. And make these beautiful sounds. 

After the tail towards the summit, it got very windy and rocky. At this point, one must tread carefully lest you slip and fall downhill. It rained little hailstorms which was my second experience with that precipitation in a hike. Read about my experience at Dragon Teeth.

I realized that if there are enough sceneries, you will stay distracted from how hard the climb is. 

The descent was a bitch. Nobody was talking unless one slipped, fell and we gave apologies hoping we wouldn’t be next. The long stretch was a torment. 

When they wrote up on that wood plank the ultimate hiking destination, they meant it. I second them. It’s the one hike of many which strained me both physically and mentally.

While on the long stretch back, I reiterated how I’d never go back. But honestly, having well-rested, I think I’ll do elephant hill again in the future. It was beautifully challenging.

I did a highlight on my Instagram stories of the experience.

Here’s the cycle of hiking. The excitement during planning up to the hill’s point of despair. Struggling to get to the summit because that’s the reason we went yeah. Cursing the whole way back through the descent while fantasizing about getting to the car and home eventually to shower and rest. Looking back and feeling proud and grateful for the achievement. Start planning for the next hike. 

I’ve already planned for my next one and I can’t wait to share with you my achievement.

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Njeri Kimani April 6, 2021 - 12:26 pm

Just wow 👏. To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.

Monicah Wangari April 8, 2021 - 3:11 pm

Hey Njeri,
You can say that again 🙂

Hiking Kenton and Nathan Hills - Themkare.com May 28, 2021 - 9:34 am

[…] after hiking Sleeping Warrior and Ugali Hills. My legs hurt for three days straight after summiting Elephant Hill. I had altitude sickness (headache, no appetite, puking) the day before summiting Mt […]

Sarah June 4, 2021 - 7:00 pm

I want to go but you know how me and descents go 🥲

Monicah Wangari June 4, 2021 - 7:48 pm

Lol yes. But hey, go still. You will have stories for us 🙂

Trekking Mt. Kenya For Five Days - Themkare.com August 23, 2021 - 2:49 pm

[…] Hills (this I did with a different group), Ngare Ndare, Sleeping Warrior, and Ugali Hills, and Elephant Hill. We climbed Elephant Hill the weekend before Mt Kenya. It was brutal and it made me question my […]

What you need to know ahead of any Hike - Themkare.com September 25, 2021 - 12:51 pm

[…] That’s why I love hiking. It gives you a chance to observe yourself in new situations. Elephant Hill, Rurimeria and Mt Kenya tested me beyond my […]


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