Ol Donyo Sabuk

My friend April and I love travelling and the adventure that comes with it. Last Friday, we took time to visit Kiambu/Machakos County (not sure which side of the border we were on) to enjoy the beauty and serenity of Ol Donyo Sabuk (in Maa) or Ol Donyo Sapuk (in Kamba) or Kilimambogo (in Kikuyu).  The last time I had hiked up this mountain was almost ten years ago and my motivation then was the barbecue that was waiting for me at then end. Slurrp!

With over 45 recorded bird species, this mountain is a bird watchers haven. Some of the species include, white-browed sparrow weaver, grey- headed sparrow weaver, African pied wagtail, mourning dove, augur buzzard, African hawk eagle and purple-breasted sunbird. I was also very fascinated to find out from our guide that he and other bird watchers ,can identify a bird by sound (unlike me who can’t identify a pigeon from a duck).

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the mountain also has a large number of buffaloes,  mongoose, bushbuck, olive baboon, colobus monkey, vervet monkey, Sykes’ monkey, Kirk’s dik-dik, bush pig, common duiker, reedbuck, rock hyrax, bushbaby, tree and ground squirrel, aardvark, porcupine, python and monitor lizard.

However, what fascinated me most is… drum-rolls… that Ol Donyo Sabuk is made of metamorphosed volcanic lava, which means that it is a lump of lava which has been changing shape or morphing over time into what it is today because of certain elements such as weather and climate. This lava also plays a major role in how the Fourteen Falls were formed.

What I’m curious about however, is whether the mountain itself is volcanic? Where did the lava originate from? And if it is volcanic, will it erupt again?thinking-face



Dirt is Good :)

Remember this slogan by Omo? or was it Sunlight? Okay… by Unilever? Much as I don’t enjoy soil science much, thanks to an interesting experience a few years ago, here are some facts proving that dirt/soil (will use them interchangeably) is not just good but amazing.

  1. soillayersMost soil has 6 layers. It’s also known as the ‘Soil Profile’.
  2. Soil consists of 50% water and air. The other 50% is made up of broken rock and minerals from decaying flora and fauna.
  3. It takes 500 years to produce just under an inch of topsoil, this is the most productive layer of soil.
  4. The amount of sand, clay and silt is what gives different soil types their various textures. Most soils are a mix of all three as can be seen in the image below:
  5. There are more microorganisms in a handful of soil than the world population. For example, there are approximately 5,000 different types of bacteria in just one gram of soil.
  6.  Soil acts as a sink/ storage /sequestrator  of approximately 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
  7. It stores approximately 0.01% of the Earth’s total water.
  8. Soil acts as a pollutant filter for underground water
    and finally,
  9. About 1.4 Million earthworms can be found in an acre of cropland. WOW. 1.4 Million! o_O. They enrich the topsoil by feeding on organic material and converting it into nutrients. They also make soil more absorbent and aerated.

    Isn’t dirt great?

    Read more about soil here, here, here and here.


Stumbled upon this video a few minutes ago. Reminds me of this post.