|Distance from Nairobi||About 65km|
|Starting Point||Olorgesailie pre-historic site|
|Ending point||Olorgesailie pre-historic site|
|Walking Duration||6 hours|
|Terrain||Rocky trails with thorny bushes. Very hot weather.|
The Olorgesailie pre-historic site is famed for the high concentration of pre-historic hand axes discovered there in 1919 by British geologist John Walter Gregory, as well as during subsequent excavations by Mary and Louis Leakey in 1943, Glynn Isaac in the 1960s and Richard Potts in the 1980s and 2000s. More recent discoveries in this site include a 900,000 years old human fossil.
Situated about 65km from Nairobi, the Olorgesailie pre-historic site got its name from the nearby 1,760m high Mount Olorgesailie. Its proximity to Nairobi makes it an ideal location for a day hike up the mountain. The hike takes 3 hours to get to the summit through dry, rocky country with scattered dryland thorny bushes providing the only cover from the hot sun. A number of dry rivers crisscross the landscape as they wind their way from the upper reaches of the mountain down to the long extinct lake at the pre-historic site. Well camouflaged Maasai manyattas and encounters with the occasional herdsmen tending to their flocks of goats and sheep provide a welcome distraction from the scorching sun. The trails disappear in the last steep section of the climb before you get to the summit. The descent then takes another 3 hours to get back to the pre-historic site.
If using public means from Nairobi, take Kiserian matatu number 126 from the Railway Station. At Kiserian, get another matatu headed down Magadi Road, and alight at the turnoff with a signboard to the pre-historic site. The dirt road from this junction is about 1.5km long to the site. You may need to get the Matatu driver’s mobile number and call for pick up after the hike, since the frequency of matatus plying this route is rather long.
If driving, take Langata Rd and Magadi Rd until you see the Olorgesailie turn off to your left.
For more details on the Olorgesailie pre-historic site, visit the National Museums of Kenya website. They can also arrange for a guide for the hike. Alternatively, you could contact Paul Kalaile (Tel:0202014970, Cell:0714155872, email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), a guide who knows this area very well. You will need to contact him one or two days in advance to schedule a visit with him.