Sleeping Warrior Hike — Oloibon’s bust
Located near the shores of Lake Elmentaita, within Soysambu Conservancy, is a group of hills, prominently known and named by their resemblance. On the Sleeping Warrior hike, Ugali Hill resembles the traditional Kenyan maize flour meal, Ugali, while the Sleeping Warrior Hill resembles a man lying down on his back. Some locals believe that it is the bust of the late, great Maasai warrior, Oloibon, while others believe that it is Lord Delamere, a late, prominent landowner in the area.
The Ugali hill hike trail begins at the Lake Elementaita Park gate, with an initial 8 km trek on a dusty path along the shores of Lake Elmentaita. The hills and the lake are surrounded by beautiful marshland vegetation, home to buffalo and over 400 species of birds, such as marabou storks, flamingos, crested grebes, pelicans, and kingfishers. This makes Ugali Hill and the Sleeping Warrior hike a bird-lover’s darling.
a thorny, rocky hike
The trail gets rocky and thorny when you take a detour from the shore, as you approach the Sleeping Warrior hill. Be sure to wear well-treaded hiking boots or sports shoes to protect your feet. You can ascend the Sleeping Warrior using various approaches. It depends on the section that you want to hike, for example, its chest or chin. The well-beaten path up the Sleeping Warrior moves in a winding direction up the hill, scaling a height of approximately 500 meters. It is characterized by rocks and thorny shrubs throughout.
The Sleeping Warrior summit gives you breathtaking views of the surrounding horseshoe crater, Lake Elmentaita, the nearby Ugali Hill and the surrounding villages and towns. First-time hikers typically terminate their hike upon conquering the Sleeping Warrior — and obviously miss out on the adventure of scaling Ugali Hill. Be sure to take up the challenge and proceed to Ugali Hill.
Ugali Hill is higher than Sleeping Warrior, rising to an elevation of 2,300 meters above sea level. Its hiking trail features black volcanic rocks throughout. They bring to mind the volcanic activity that created the Rift Valley. At the summit, Ugali Hill grants a clear view of the entire Soysambu Conservancy. Lake Elementaita also glitters in the distance from this point.
Conquering both Ugali Hill and the Sleeping Warrior is physically exhausting but the adventure is well worth the pains.
How to prepare for the Sleeping Warrior Hike and Ugali Hills Hike
Footwear:- Safety first, always. While you can always hike in sneakers, donning a pair of proper hiking boots would be a better idea. A section of the Sleeping Warrior hike trail is rocky and filled with thorny shrubs, so a good hiking boot will offer the much-needed protection for your feet.
Clothing:- The weather near Lake Elmentaita is mostly hot year-round. You may, therefore, dress light. A pair of shorts and a t-shirt or tracksuit will do just fine. Be sure to carry some sunscreen, a baseball cap, and enough water with you. 2-3L should be enough. For ease of hiking, you can carry your water in a water bladder or hydration vest.
Fitness Level:- The Sleeping Warrior hike is doable by hikers at all levels, but you may need to be reasonably fit to ascend both hills and go round the horseshoe crater. Be sure to maintain a suitable fitness routine at least a week before the hike date.