Lake Rutundu & Lake Alice at the north eastern slope of Mt. Kenya
If you have a bit time in Kenya don´t miss to discover the hiking area around Mount Kenya. The drive up from Nairobi is stunning, the views of Mount Kenya on a clear day are incredible. The road ends at a gorge, you unload your cars the friendliest, most accommodating staff take over. Your luggage is zip lined across the Kazita Gorge and you must trek it about 10-15 minutes across to the Rutundu cabins.
The cabins themselves are rustic and quaint. You must bring your own coal and fire wood for the night. There is no electricity here, so come prepared even though they provide ample solar lights around the cabin. The place offers the opportunity to unplug from the digital world and truly enjoy this beautiful serene place. Moss hangs like an old man’s beard through the trees where forest elephants roam, and beautiful flowers bloom only to harden into wood pine cones as if under a witch’s curse. Lake Rutundu is right at your footstep and you can fish there for trout.
By morning the ground is frozen, but the skies are clear and the fire is still smoldering from the long night. Leopards are said to lurk in these morning mists as they return back to their mountain dens after nights on the prowl, and the lore of the first western explorers to the region also tell of mountainous dwarf lions with trim manes that wander the lands. The Kikuyu, one of the tribes that inhabit the mountain’s slopes, tell ageless legends of how their god Ngai descended to upon the mountain to create the first human. The shadow of Mount Rutundu shelters the cabins, enforcing an alpine silence.
Rutundu is just 8 km south of the equator, which combined with its altitude means that most days seem like summer, yet the nights are wintery cold. The altitude means the weather can change quickly and while the peak of Mount Kenya is visible at dawn, clouds can swoop in ferociously, shrouding the valley with fog and rain.
When the weather is good, you must hike up to Lake Alice, sitting around 5km above the Rutundu log cabins, around 3,500 meters above level, so if you suffer from altitude sickness the hike can be tough on the lungs. But it is most definitely worth it! The untouched lake in the crater with its crystal blue waters is a sight to see! It involves a couple hours of pushing through giant heather, on a small winding path up to the lip of the crater of Ithanguni, in which it rests. From here, the icy peak of Mount Kenya rises like a beacon in the distance. Staying at the Rutundu cabins is a unique Kenyan experience.
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