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Kipkunur Hill, the beauty of Elgeyo Marakwet

If you are a scenery loving tourist then the famous Kipkunur Hill in Marakwet West Sub- County will certainly leave you with an awesome sensation.

The lush green valley, mist covered hilltop and cloud kissing hills surrounding it, all of which will attract nature lovers to this conveniently located Hill.

Perched 3,063 meters above sea level, the Hill can best be approached from Cheptongei and is a two-hour hike from Cheptongei Market Centre.

Kipkunur offers a perfect blend of spectacular scenery, rich variety of flora and fauna and a healthy dose of adventure.

Apart from the serenity and much needed peaceful time, Kipkunur is also home to a number of hiking trails and rock-climbing spots that take travelers for a trip around the cliffs.

The massive landmass has its best view from Kapsowar overlooking the Great Rift Valley, where most legends are coined to portray its perpetual dominance in the area since time immemorial.

Dominic Machira, an elderly resident of the area who has always been crossing the Hill back and forth since his childhood, says Kipkinur is loved by almost everyone, the serene ambience makes it one of the most loved places and people from all around come to get a glimpse of it.

When visiting the hill, one has to be accompanied with the help of a bamboo stick which has been a tradition since the 1930s before the Second World War, where the Somalians once trekked through the hills’ Tambo Forest towards the Nandi land, but were chased by the residents with wild bamboo sticks, ever since no one has crossed the hill without a bamboo stick.

Kipkunur has become a renowned tourist attraction across Elgeyo Marakwet and a leading Marakwet West Sub-County tourist destination.

It is a gentle slope while climbing is favorable for all ages including children, hence doubling as scenery and a hiking expedition.

The two-hour hike can be more than two hours for most who have not done any hiking before and it’s best if you go at your own pace.

The ascent is an exercise of sorts while holding onto whatever thickets you can find and the bamboo stick comes in handy at this point, with the help of the guide we navigate through the terrain but the hill top looks so far yet so close.

If planning on visiting one should beware of weather at this altitude as they can drastically change very fast with temperatures dropping one should ensure on having warm clothes just as a precautionary measure.

While slipping and falling down which is a norm when it comes to hiking, I encountered lots of monkeys, large biting safari ants, thickets and stinging nettles.

The descent however is like fighting gravity and trying so hard not to fall, most people have a hard time ascending or descending me however I have had a hard time in both but the slides and falls made it fun.

Titus Kemboi, a resident tour guide who has been guiding local residents, European doctors and nurses visiting the Hill, says that he hopes the Hill will continue to attract numerous tourists from far and wide bringing in revenue that will help them continue to make a living.

If you are looking to let yourself loose into the wildest of nature, then Kipkinur Hill is the place to be.

By Rennish Okong’o

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