People just need to be directed to the right direction. Most people fail to do the right thing due to lack of knowledge or exposure to wrong facts.

It was during my twenty-seventh birthday. A friend of mine offered me a treat to Ol Donyo Sabuk, a mountain near Thika, Kenya. He got it right, I love nature and hiking. Hence it was the best gift.

We decided to car pool with the like-minded. Fortunately, they were all strangers so I got an opportunity to many new friends. Every one kept time and by 6:30am we were on our way to Thika.

It took us around two hours to make it to our destination. Without wasting time, those who had not dressed appropriately for hiking made their way into the washrooms to change.

Warm-up is vital before any hike. It helps to prepare the body. It also helps people to mingle and break the ice. We could laugh at each other as some activities were hard for others depending on how fit you were.

My favourite ones were some older women who had come to try hiking for the first time. They did their best to beat all the odds by doing their best to catch up with the rest of us. There were two lovely kids that made some of us look bad. Like really bad.

Apparently their dad, who happened to be our tour guide, exposed them to hiking and nature stuff really early.

The warm-up consumed about thirty minutes. And afterwards our guide gave us instructions and the plan to help us have a successful hike.

Things seemed rosy at the beginning and we chatted lively as we hiked up the Kilimambogo (another name for Ol Donyo Sabuk). Some of us were tempted to use a faster pace. But my partner advised me against it. I shortly understood his advice squarely when I almost backed off in the middle of the hike.

We also noticed a lot of littering along the trails. And I started talking the importance of ensuring cleanliness in our conservation areas. When I start talking about nature, it’s hard to put a full stop. I went ahead to educate my fellow hikers on the danger we expose the wildlife to by simply disposing our waste into such areas.

Luckily, they offered me a hearing ear. I went ahead to explain about alternatives for the one-use water bottles, among other things.

I started to collect the disposed plastic bottles as we continued to hike. And something amazing happened.  My new hiking buddies joined in. They too started collecting the trash that previous hikers had carelessly disposed in that park.

As the mountain became harder and steeper. I was seriously tired and thoughts of quitting kept tempting me. But since I was still engaging with them about conservation, it helped boost my little diminishing energy.

We not only practised cleanliness but also requested hikers we met on their way down not to throw away their trash carelessly. Some gave us weird looks but some smiled and nodded in agreement.

It took us almost four hours to conquer Kilimambogo. Just seeing the tip of this mountain made all the tiredness go away. Our energy rejuvenated and gave us a reason to smile.

As we rested, one of the older women approached me. She was from China and needed to know more about me. She was a very nice lady and full of wisdom. We exchanged on the various environmental ideas applied by both Kenya and China.

It was time to head back down. It was one of the best hikes I have ever had. We continued with our added mission of collecting trash.

At the gates, guides looked us surprised but with a smile on their faces. They showed us where to correctly dispose of the trash and thanked us. But there was no need to thank us as it is our responsibility to ensure we dispose of trash correctly.

It was time to rest before we made our way back to the city. There’s a small open space that hosts few wildlife, such as the chameleon and vervet monkeys.

The vervet monkeys immediately joined us due to the presence of food that we had carried. They were very lively and most of them had their small babies with them. The little ones held tight to their mum’s belly as the mum jumped from one branch to another.

It was fun to watch the mums feeding their young ones. Fed their babies just like humans. And after being full, played happily together.

This particular moment really helped boost my passion for conservation, hence my favourite wildlife moment.

About the Entry

  • Blogger name | Winnie Cheche
  • Site name | Cheche Winnie
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  • Why should someone visit your site? My site helps my readers understand nature and wildlife conservation in depth. I use my blog to spread conservation education and awareness. Our planet Earth needs a change of behaviour from us humans and we are ready to embrace that. This is seen in our way of living whereby nowadays we are more sensitive to activities that cause harm to the environment. I also share my experiences from the various places I visit.
  • Entry Number | 45

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