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Discover Kenya’s Four Highest Points

Discover Kenya’s Four Highest Points
MOUNT KENYA “A place of summer at daytime and winter at night”
Mount Kenya creates a gorgeous sight in Kenya. It is the second highest mountain in Africa. A hike up the mountain gives a splendid tour that is full of interesting bird species, plants and animals. Regardless of the mountain lying along the equator, the mountain tops are covered with snow glaciers.
The mountain has several peaks named after Masai chiefs. The three outstanding peaks are Batian-5,199 metres, Nelion -5,188 metres and Point Lenana -4,985 metre. In 1963, on Kenyan independence Kisoi Munyao raised the Kenyan flag at the top of the mountain. In the early 1970s the Mount Kenya National Park Mountain Rescue Team was formed, and by the end of the 1970s all major routes on the peaks had been climbed
God’s Mountain is what the Kikuyu community refers to this stratovolcano mountain created millions of years ago. They believe their God lives in the mountain. Even today a group of elderly men go around the mountain offering sacrifices to cleanse the mountain from any pollution.
Although many routes can be used to climb the mountain, Lenana peak is more accessible but for experienced technical climbers, peak Batian and Nelion will give an unforgettable challenge.
Mount Elgon -“The Border Mountain”
Uganda and Kenya share the glory of having the land mark mountain. It’s named after the Elgeyo tribe, who once lived in huge caves on the south side. The major peaks are five and “Wagagai” is the highest point (4320 meters) and entirely located in Uganda.
The Caves are what majorly define the beauty of the mountain. The biggest Kitum cave is 200 meters long and 30 meters wide. It is habitually visited by wild elephants that lick the salt exposed by gouging the walls with their tusks. In 1994 Mt Elgon became notorious following the publication of Richard Preston’s book “The Hot Zone”. It was associated with the Marburg virus (the Virus is in the same taxonomic family as Ebola) after two people who had visited the cave in 1980 and 1987 contracted the disease and died.
It’s cool heights offer relief for humans from the hot plains below and its higher altitudes provide a refuge for flora and fauna.
Mount Longonot
With a peak of 2780m, Mount Longonot has a very rare feature. On the sides of the mountain are V-shaped valleys and ridges with little vegetation, on the other hand a forest of small trees covers the crater floor, and small steam vents are found spaced around the walls of the crater.
The mountain is home to various species of wildlife, particularly zebra, giraffe and buffaloes and hartebeest. Leopards have also been reported but are extremely difficult to spot
The mountain with the round encircling crater got its unique name from Maasai word “oloonong’ot” meaning mountain of spur
It’s located southeast of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya.
Mount Kilimambogo- Buffalo Mountain
Most of its surface is covered by a forest inhabited by grazers such as buffaloes, monkeys and antelopes. At highest it stands at 2145m above sea level.
Hikers take pleasure in 10km climb to the top. All along the way up, one encounters eye-catching array of flora that thrives here undisturbed by human exploitation. The hike takes between 2 to 3 hours depending on the level of fitness. However, proper caution is provided to prevent any attacks from buffalos. Lord William MacMillan was the first American to see the mountain. As a result, he owned the mountain. Former US President Theodore Roosevelt and British Prime minister Sir Winston Churchill were hosted by Lord William during their Safari to Kenya. Close to the peak is the grave of Lord Macmillan, his wife and their dog. Also, there is an extra grave of one Louise, who started working for the Macmillan’s when she was age 13 until her death.
Fourteen Falls is a gorgeous landmark about 3kms from the mountain. As the name indicate there are 14 falls found along Athi River, an attraction not to be missed when you are in the locality.

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The Wonders of the Great Rift Valley

Every place in the planet has a story to tell. In Africa, The Great Rift Valley stretches 6000 Kilometers’ from Ethiopia to Mozambique and is over 35 million years old. It was formed when extreme heat and pressure forced a 1,000 mile-wide bubble of molten lava to the surface. The enormous valley has breath taking animals, lakes, gorges, craters, springs and many more undiscovered places.
Today, the Great Valley Rift is one the major tourist attraction in East Africa. In Ethiopia one of remarkable place is the Danakil/Afar depression. The Afar Depression includes the Danakil Desert and the lowest point in Africa, Lake Asal (–155 meters or –500 ft). Dallol is also part of the Depression, one of the hottest places on Earth with air-temperature record of 64.4 °C. Thousands of years ago, this low-lying area was a salt lake which has subsequently dried up and resulted in a big plain of salt which covers an area of more than 10 square kilometers and from which salt has been extracted since ancient times. It is estimated that there are 250 million tons of salt
In Kenya, the valley is bordered by escarpments to the east and west. The floor is broken by volcanoes, some still active, and contains a series of lakes. Some of the soils are fertile from relatively recent volcanic activity.
Lake Bogoria is one of the unique lakes. The 30 sq km lake is still volcanically active, and the Western shore is lined with spouting geysers, spurting steam and bubbling geothermal pools. Water springs at the lake edge attract an abundance of birds and wildlife. The most outstanding bird is the flamingo. This birds feeds primarily on algae which grow only in alkaline lakes. Although flamingos are blue-green in colour, the algae contain the photosynthetic pigments that give the birds their pink colour. Though many hills are found in different areas of the rift valley, Mount Longonot has a very rare feature. On the sides of the mountain are V-shaped valleys and ridges with little vegetation; on the other hand a thick forest occurs within the crater. In the early 1900s, Mount Longonot erupted, and ash can still be felt around Hell’s Gate. Hell Gate has very beautiful gorges that descend into hot springs and in some places you can find rocks that will burn you.
The formation of the Great Rift Valley ensured some of the most famous places on Tanzania map .In Tanzania along the valley exist the second longest and the second deepest lake in the world. Lake Tanganyika stretches 400 mile( 676km) and is 3 miles deep. Many fish species inhabit the lake including 250 different species of East Africa cichlids. Scientist believe the cichlids evolved into many species due to the dare need to survive the harsh environment created by other fish species and animals. Ngorongoro is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic crater. Its 610 meters deep and its floor cover is 260 square kilometers. The Great Plains of the Serengeti, formed during the early stages of the formation of the Ngorongoro Crater, today host one of nature’s greatest happenings – the great wildebeest migration.

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Africa

Africa’s Big Five and their Exceptional Features

Africa’s Big Five and their Exceptional Features
When one starts of thinking or researching on an African safari, the “Big Five” often crops up. The “Big 5” refers to the African: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, elephant and Buffalo. A Safari to most countries will give you a chance to see all these animals plus other abundant animals not highlighted, we will look at a case of a Safari to Kenya
ELEPHANTS
It’s the biggest of big five in Africa. A single glance of an adult elephant leaves a very spectacular memory that is unforgettable. The most interesting part of its body structure is the ears, they can weigh up to 110 pounds. Due to their weak eye sight, the ears are used as recognize substances around them. Elephant walk using their toes. One might ask how the toes support weight of upto 8 tones. Well, it’s simple the toes are cushioned with a layer of cartilage. This cartilage reduces pressure on the bones and makes its walk to be silent regardless of its size.
Socially, it’s noteworthy how the elephants portray to be social mammals. In one of Kenya’s oldest and most gorgeous national park, certain female elephant illustrated great intelligence and integrity by guiding her family for over 30 years. As the leader she is expected to make major decision on matter such as where to graze, when to migrate during drought and even protect the young calves from attack. Unfortunately the courageous “Malaika-Angel” died in 2009 and the rest of herd truly mourned her departure. It’s believed that the oldest female in the herd replaces departed one.
Elephants have a life expectancy of 70-80 years. Per day an elephant can consume between 150-170kgs of vegetation. Averagely its water consumption is between 14-26 gallons. Their trunk is very vital during feeding. Water is filled in their trunk first, then transferred o the mouth.
Like most events, firsthand experience always leaves a mark. A visit to Kenya will definitely literally bring you to interact with these animals.
RHINOCEROUS
Although black listed among the most endangered species in Africa, Scientist believe the rhino history can be dated 5million ago. The very huge animal has been like a gold mine to many poachers in Africa. The major market is china where they believe its horn has medicinal value. Currently it’s estimated that only 4200 black rhino are alive.
The black and white rhino are very interesting species. Contrary to what their name indicates, their difference isn’t based on their colour.
The white rhinos have wide mouth and are found in grassland and savannah. This makes them to be a pure grazer. Black rhino’s colour ranges from brown to grey. They have narrow pointed mouth and are both gazers and browsers. This is enabled by their pointed lip.
BUFFALO
Africa tales refer the animal as the “crying animal” or “the black death”. Some Africans believe that the animal literally sheds tears when it sees human being. Averagely the black beast kills upto 200 people per year.
Savannah-type buffaloes weigh 500 to 900 kg with males normally larger than females, reaching the upper weight range. Its head is carried low backline. The front part of the body is heavier and more powerful than the back. Therefore front hooves of the buffalo are wider than the rear.
They live in swampy areas and grasslands. The strongest male in the herd is the one that mates, this bull must fight and scare off other bulls .In the dry season, males will depart from the herd and form bachelor groups. Two types of bachelor herds occur: ones made of males aged 4 to 7 years and those of males 12 years or older. During the wet season, the younger bulls rejoin a herd to mate with the females. They stay with them throughout the season to protect the calves.
LION
The Father of lions, George Adamson had great experience with Africa lions. He took care of orphaned lions hoping this would lead to generation of lions. Unfortunately the same animals that he took care of have drastically reduced from 420,000 to around 21,500.
Lions are the fiercest animal in the jungle.10–14 is the number of years they can live in wild, while in confinement they can live longer than 20 years. In the wild, they live for fewer years due to injuries sustained from repeated fighting with rival males
Compared to other cats, lions are oddly social. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Female lions typically hunt together, however males have a tendency to take over the kill once the lionesses have succeeded. Male cubs are excluded from their maternal pride when they reach maturity.
The male lion is unique, it’s easily recognized by its tresses, and its face is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture.
Although lions don’t hunt human beings, in1898 in Kenya’s Tsavo national park reported cases were published on how man-eating lions killed railway workers. 28 officially recorded railway workers building the Kenya-Uganda Railway were taken by lions over nine months during the construction of a bridge over the Tsavo river in Kenya
LEOPARD
Many people are unable to differentiate between the cheetah and leopard. The cheetah has a narrow waist, run faster, rarely climbs the trees and does not eat carcasses. However, Leopards commonly rest on trees branches; they can carry a dead animal up to 50kgs on a tree and can feed on the carcasses for four days. In addition Leopards are distinguished by their large heads, long body and short legs
Due to their shyness it is extremely difficult to spot them in the jungles of Africa
Each spot on a leopard is unique—similar to the fingerprints of humans. These spots are circular in leopards found in Eastern Africa. Leopards are very cautious and like to follow close and run a relatively short distance after their prey. They kill through suffocation by grabbing their prey by the throat and biting down with their powerful jaws. They rarely fight other predators for their food. Male leopards are larger, averaging 60 kg – 91 kg and females weigh about 35 to 40 kg.
not eat carcasses. However, Leopards commonly rest on trees branches; they can carry a dead animal up to 50kgs on a tree and can feed on the carcasses for four days. In addition Leopards are distinguished by their large heads, long body and short legs
Due to their shyness it is extremely difficult to spot them in the jungles of Africa
Each spot on a leopard is unique—similar to the fingerprints of humans. These spots are circular in leopards found in Eastern Africa. Leopards are very cautious and like to follow close and run a relatively short distance after their prey. They kill through suffocation by grabbing their prey by the throat and biting down with their powerful jaws. They rarely fight other predators for their food. Male leopards are larger, averaging 60 kg – 91 kg and females weigh about 35 to 40 kg.
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Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert

Have you ever thought of taking a trip to the desert? This is usually out of many people’s minds due to the extreme weather or imagination in mind. A tour to the Sahara desert is a life time experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime. It is a journey well worth the effort and you will have fond memories to last you forever.
Depending on the country of travel in the northern part of Africa one can experience a walk into the sand dunes of Sahara desert
A tour to the Sahara desert can also move around using 4×4’s and Land Rovers or opt to travel certain areas on foot if you would like to see them more closely.
Imagine yourself on top a camel, trekking through the Sahara desert. Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert. There is nothing around you and all you can hear are the footsteps of the camel on the soft sand. The sky is vast and clear in the day and filled with millions of bright stars at night. It is a very peaceful experience, one rarely known to most travelers.
On your walk you will have a chance to explore this magnificent desert landscape – if you’re feeling energetic you can climb the dunes for sunrise or sunset to watch the light and colour of the sands change. As the stars come out you can often hear the rhythmic beat of tribal drumming carried on the still night.
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The Maasai Community of East Africa

In open fields of Kenya and Tanzania, along The Great Rift valley live the Maasai People. One of the easily notable community, their traditionally bright coloured leso/kikoi (sheets), beaded elongated ear lobes, a walking stick, machete and sandals made from old car tires is what is easily identified about a Maasai. They came from north of Kenya through the Great Rift Valley. Some even belief they have an ancestral origin from Egypt.
They are dreaded as great warriors. In the 18th century when British colonization was establishing it rule in Kenya, the Maasai were able to resist the British rule for years. However due to restricted movement their cattle died and reduced from 500,000 to 40,000.As a result they finally surrendered in 1904.
A close interaction with the people, introduces one to very diverse community that is rich in culture. Previously, young Maasai’s known as Morans (age between 13-30 years) were expected to express their power by killing a lion. Recently, in 2012 four lions attacked a Maasai homestead and the courageous Morans killed the four beasts with their spears. These young men are not allowed to marry until later in life. Morans are treated with special status because they act as defense team to the children, women and the elderly. They involve in cattle rustling to increase the number of their herd.
A simple delicacy among the Maasai include on blood, meat and milk. On some of the circumstances blood is drunk by the sick, women who have given birth and the circumcised. It’s always a wonder how the raw blood doesn’t affect these Maasai. Their medicine men are well known of making the traditional medicine using the herbs.
Their small houses known as manyattas, are barely more than 5ft tall. Women are responsible of making these houses. Due to their nomadic culture, the manyatta are temporary structures made with wood post covered with mud. The mud is then plastered with cow dung and ash. Inside the manyatta you’ll find at most four rooms. The first belong to their cattle’s calves. This protects them from dangerous animals like the hyena. In addition it also prevents the calves from suckling all the milk. The second room belongs to the children and the wives. Third room is where the husband sleeps. The last room is the kitchen and dining room.
The community allows men to be polygamous. In one case in Tanzania, near the Ngorongoro crater, the area chief had 55 wives. The number of wives one has is an indication of power, good leadership and wealth.
To them cattle are sacred and a direct treasurers from the heavens. Grass is also considered a blessing and sacred. When passing a fig tree, it is customary for the Maasai to push handfuls of grass between the roots, as homage to the source of their herds. One of the more common Maasai greetings is “I hope your cattle are well”.