How my hiking journey started.

Mountaineer, adventure seeker, and recently a rock climbing enthusiast and a proud Kenyan woman. Mercy Kariuki’s life passion involves chasing trails, altitude, and height.

I did my first hike back in primary school and hated it. It was a compulsory trip, I wore a gym skirt and bata Ngomas ( Basic rubber shoes worn during PE in most Kenyan schools). Growing up, I was always an active lady. I tried handball, running, traditional dancing and participated in many competitions that involved fitness. After my last competition in 201, Weetbix Fit Bit challenge season 2 where I emerged 2nd and the 1st woman in the competition I felt the need to keep going. I wanted more than jogging and everyday gym workouts. That’s when I realized I love walking and just moving.

I tried getting into hiking with the little information I had. I started with the obvious Mt Longonot and Ngong hills but I always felt that I was meant to do more. In early 2019 I went to the Aberdares and haven’t stopped hiking since.
I learned about gear, made a list of places I wanted to go, and met a lot of outdoor lovers.

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

My recent climb Kilimanjaro is one that I will never forget. This is a climb I had been preparing for quite some time. A lot of pre-hikes and exposing myself to high altitudes prior made my trip to the roof of Africa a success.
Kilimanjaro was both physically and mentally draining, especially on the last day when more than half of the group turned back before the summit. Altitude was crazy and the weather up there was not forgiving. For me, that was real winter, the heavy snow, blizzard, and the extreme cold. We were so determined to carry on regardless.

I keep telling myself that an expensive sport chose me. Going up mountains is not cheap at all especially when you put things like safety, food, and accommodation on the list.
Usually, I start by identifying my next trail or mountain. I go through the requirements then create a budget around it ‘what do I have?’ ‘What do I need to buy?’ With that, I can sum it up. If unable to reach the budget I move to something more affordable and save the current for later.

Every trip has its specific requirements but once you get a hold of it climb several times you will have collected all the gear required and you won’t have to bulk shop every time you want to go up a mountain.

Hiking changed my life. I struggled with mental health for a while and hiking took my problems away. I find so much peace out there. I feel good, I get mountain high and it’s something I look forward to every time I climb.
Hiking is not only good to build your physical strength but for your heart and brain. It helps combat stress and anxiety among other issues that bother us in everyday life.

I am always ready for a hike. I try my best to maintain a healthy and sensible diet to maintain strength, walk every day, gym once in a while and do daily home workouts including yoga. When I am not working in the office I do pre-hikes around easily accessible areas before going for big multi-day hikes.

 I carry nutritious snacks to the trails with me. I love green apples, a good trail mix that has dry fruits and seeds, dark chocolate, and warm oatmeal for breakfast. After a hike, I like to bulk on protein, more like repair foods I enjoy bone broth, lean goat meat, and a lot of leafy greens.

The most challenging part about this passion of mine is time and finances. Since I have a day job I work with off and leave days. Sometimes money is an issue since I have to save a lot and set aside money meant for the outdoors only.

I nourish myself with the most positive energies and like-minded people to keep me going. The thing with giving up is showing your body that there’s no room for trial and failing. As humans learning how to embrace the two is a lifesaver.

I have so many memorable hikes like the recent trek to the roof of Africa I never knew or expected what the mountain gave me. Kind of like sweet pain you hate it at that particular moment but can’t stop smiling and talking about it after. That trip gave me so much emotional strength.
My birthday trip to Mt Ololokwe in Samburu was quite amazing, got a great solo package and I was the queen B on that weekend. I felt so special In Samburu.
My other memorable adventure has to be Mt Kenya which feels like home every time I go there. There’s always a wow moment on this mountain no matter how many times you’ve been there. I love the Mau caves, Nithi falls, the lakes, and not forgetting the fluffy cute rock hyrax at Mintos camp.

Shiptons camp, Mt Kenya ( Sirimon route)

I recently started outdoor rock climbing and I love it so much I also did training in Kite surfing in Nyali, two activities that I intend to do more of.

I dream big and I love that about myself. Just a highlight on my long list I have
Mt Meru, Rwenzori, Everest base camp, Ras Dashen, rock climbing in the Aberdares, Samburu among others.

I have a list of hiking essentials that I can never leave behind
– My hydration bladder
– Headlamp
– Boots
– Cold and rain gear
– Pocket knife
– Small first aid kit
– Snacks
Leave me in the middle of nowhere and I will survive.

I always advise beginners to go for it. Build gear as you go depending on your needs. Go to hikes that are within your financial means but don’t be afraid to dream big.

Where have I been?

I have missed this space.No amount of excuses are enough to explain why I went MIA but all I can say writers block or idea block is nerve wrecking.

So much has happened and we need to catch up. As you have noticed I am transitioning this story telling space from Fashion and lifestyle blogging to an outdoor and adventure space.

There will be more of trekking stories, trips and tricks that I hope will inspire you to explore.

Here are some highlights of what i’ve been up to since my last post

I hope to share more of these experiences in details.

Thanks for reading XOXO

How to make mini tea cakes. Sandwich maker recipe

Staying home all day means you might want to grab a snack every now and then.I have been trying to make my own and also getting my creative juices in the kitchen flowing.

Are you ready?


1 cup of flour

1/4 cup of milk

1 egg

2tsp of Sugar

1 pinch of salt

1tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of cinammon

1 drop of vanilla essence (use the lid to measure)

1 tsp of butter

You will also need a whisk or fork,a bowl, seive and a sandwich maker.

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 10-15 minutes

1. Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately.

2. Add the mixed ingredients together making a nice smooth batter.Make sure the batter is not runny or too thick.

3. Grease the sandwich maker and pour in the batter. Turn it on and wait for it to turn off on its own.

4. Remove the ready cakes from sandwich maker and repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Serve with a nice warm cup of tea and enjoy.

Do you like simple snack recipes? Let me know.

Thanks for stopping by XO

Conquering the third-highest mountain in Kenya

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” It’s the toughest climb ” , they said , ”Satima will have you giving up half way,it’s tough, it’s difficult”, they continued.Every blog I read gave me something to dread about climbing Mt Satima. I remember talking to my girl Kate about it and we agreed to push no matter what.

Usually, a week before hiking I always try to eat well and increase my cardio workouts but during this particular week my body gave up on me.On Thursday evening I got so dizzy to even walk,given that I hadn’t had any food during the day I assumed that was the issue until I ended up In hospital two injections later and a week long meds packed in a bag.

There was no way I was gonna give up on a hike I had prepared for , weeks ahead.

A friend insisted that the mountain will always be there and I should just rest until I was better,in my head I was busy arguing with myself,what if i’ll be worse next time,what if i’ll be heavily pregnant next time lol! I was confused.The doctor assured me , extreme physical exercise wouldn’t affect my body during this time and that’s all the motivation I needed.

Preparations started on Friday for the Sunday hike,y’all can tell I was still looking forward to it despite feeling all ill.

I was up by 4 .00 am on Sunday morning,a little bit strong and motivated did a quick check on my essentials especially water ,energy bars and anything else that was supposed to keep me moving that day and met up with the rest of the hiking team at Nairobi’s CBD.

It was an unusual long drive from Nairobi to the Abardare,we got to there through the Wandare gate which sits on the north eastern end of the Abardare national park ,approximately an hour’s drive outside Nyeri town . Our bus took us closer to the mountain as we enjoyed watching herds of Buffaloes grazing on our way like a mini safari.

Mt Satima is the 3rd highest mountain in Kenya and the highest in the Abardare range, It is also known as Ol Donyo Le Satima ‘mountain of the bull calf’ and stands at 4,001m (13,127ft ) ASL.

We started climbing on foot at quite a higher altitude ,the surrounding was so scenic. Colorful flowers had bloomed the weather was nice breezy and moved huge clouds around.For a moment I felt like it was paradise ,actually ,it was because I had never seen anything like it before.We had two guides one would stay behind to help the rest of the group catch up while Joshua the other guide stayed ahead to give directions .

He was very kind and unlike most guides he kept slowing us down in case we were too first.

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We moved past huge bushes of grass,rocks then we entered into a different terrain full of the huge beautiful Dendrosenecio. A genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family native to the higher altitude zones on mountains.

As we went higher it become colder the breeze we enjoyed earlier had us adding layers to cover up from freezing,at this time my water was too cold to drink I kept wishing I had carried my hot water bottle up the mountain.
By now it was freezing the fog was getting dense as we conquered the last part of the mountain,the peak.

Getting to the peak is the most satisfying part of hiking ,it’s so rewarding to feel the struggle,endurance pay off and allover sudden you appreciate your body .This was one of my coldest summit and I kid you not it was extremely cold some of us had two layers of gloves ,personally I had an insulated beenie under my fur aviator hat.

We got to spend some minutes at the peak taking photos and rejoicing for the job well done then trekked to lesser cold altitude for a snack break,which was quickly interrupted by drizzle and we quickly ascended before heavy rains .
This was a very interesting hike for me and the team we all did great and ready for another challenge.

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The entire trip cost us Ksh 3,000 (inclusive of transport and snacks)
If you are planning for this trip here is a list of essentials that you may need

  • Good hiking boots
  • Good heavy socks
  • Trekking pants
  • Gloves
  • Fleece / Jacket
  • Raincoat
  • Balaclava
  • A warm hat / beenie
  • Trekking poles / sticks
  • Water
  • Energy snacks
  • Change of clothes in case you get rained on
  • And a positive attitude

This hike was organised by Nutrifit Delight .Feel free to contact the page and join the team.

Thank you for stopping by XO

Camping in Njukiri forest,Camp Ndunda

Go where you feel most alive


I have friends who cringe every time I mention camping. ”How do you shower,what if I need to use the toilet? ” They ask ,actually the fan part of camping is figuring all these out with limited resources but, my story today is about glamour camping.

A camp site where all necessities are provided and you don’t have to bush craft out there.I haven’t slept outdoors in a while ,when my girl Elzie reached out with a camping idea I was in full support to it.

We wanted to involve a lot of people/friends to make it even more fun so we did.
As usual I over prepare, y’all remember my day pack essentials post in preparation for the Elephant hill hike,right? I always convince myself over packing is better than under packing especially ,if you are not sure about the outdoor location situation in terms of weather and the like.

We all met at around midday on a Friday and left Nairobi for Embu which is located 120 Km away.
Embu county is popularly known for rice cultivation ,the fields are so beautiful you cannot miss to stare,add the distant views of Mt Kenya and other beautiful landscapes , I promise you the view is like paradise.

We got to Camp Ndunda in Njukiri forest after some hours settled down and the adventures began.We had a two nights three days stay and different activities planned for each day.

Camp Ndunda
Captured by @letsdriftke

Camp Ndunda offers all types of activities from hiking,cycling,swimming,ball games,mud runs ,rope challenges ,canopy walks ,zip lining and more.
Our first night at the camp was spent cooking ,playing board games and story time by the bonfire.


The next morning we woke up so psyched for the day ,quick stretches ,breakfast and catching up because why not lol!



After lazing around for some time we headed for a real yoga session by river Rupingazi which flows right through the camp.The session was so amazing the sun was shining just right not too hot ,the breeze allowed us to stretch quietly as the sounds of nature filled our ears ,we played and deeped our feet in the amazing cold water.I might have deeped my whole body ‘for the gram’ lol!

We headed for the mud run ,not my favorite activity as I ended up bruising my knees from crawling, I should have known earlier,but I definitely finished the challenge.


After a crazy hour of shouting at each other while doing the mud challenge we all went for swimming in the river ,cleaned up and just chilled by the amazing 30 feet water fall,in river Rupingazi.



We got to mingle with other groups that were camping too ,made some nice video and photography content.
Camp sites are so much fun especially if you are in charge of your own time and how you spend it.We had a local lady help in the kitchen as we were out and about as I said earlier, glamour camping makes camping easy even for those who don’t like outdoors so much.The staff at Camp Ndunda were so supportive and took great care of all the guests.

Apart from crashing a party ,dancing and downing a bottomless glass of whiskey that night, I can just say it was a perfect day.The next morning was quite slow,but after hydrating I was good to go.Early risers were already playing volleyball,darts,and visiting the Embu cultural homestead which I walked past so many times lol!

We hard an obstacle challenge and a 2 hour hike then we prepared to live for Nairobi. Such a short weekend but full of fun activities.
I love being in the outdoors and definitely looking to doing more camping trips before the end of the year

To note,
Organisers -@nutrifit_delight
Package – Ksh 5,950
Duration – 2 Nights,3 days

Always remember to carry,
Extra snacks/drinks
and 100% motivation

Thanks for stopping by XO

Hiking Mt Longonot solo-ish

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Mt Longonot

I can’t remember how many times I hiked Mt Longonot but every climb is different from the other.You would expect it to be much easier but there’s always a small challenge .
I did hike Mt Longonot again a few weeks ago,it was one of those unplanned day hikes that I cannot say no to.

My friend and I took a matatu from Nairobi to Naivasha then another to the Longonot National park stage.
When we got there at around midday, every one else was coming down the mountain and since we didn’t bother to find out about the weather earlier it was extra hot and very dusty (loose volcanic dust) and it happens that on this day I forgot to carry my sunglasses and hat.

We cleared with the Kenya wildlife service and began our climb.We did not need a tour guide since I’ve been there before and the trails are visible and safe.
It got to a point that we were only two people on the mountain hence the title climbing ‘solo-ish’.

As usual the main goal for conquering Mt Longonot is to go round the crater rim which is around 7.2 Kms .

For those who don’t know, Mt Longonot is a strato volcano located in the Great Rift valley of Kenya.The trails are heavily eroded and steep.The mountain is home of various wild animals which we didn’t get to see because it was too hot for them to roam.

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We rested at a designated point before the crater rim hydrated and continued.We didn’t stop much unless it was necessary to pose for photos.
As we climbed it got dustier and at some point my eyes started hurting(always carry sunnies y’all) Our main stop was at Kilele Ngamia which is the highest part of the mountain standing at 2,780m above sea level.

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We stopped for some photos and continued to finish our hike.
I noticed that these days people are allowed to go down the crater ,I am so excited to try that.

Things to note;
Transport from Nrb – Vasha 500ksh @
Naivasha – Longonot stage 100 @
Stage -park 100@(bodaboda) You can walk too
Park fee – 300 kshs

Thing to carry ;
Sunglasses ,scarf,water,snacks and ID
Don’t forget to wear proper hiking clothes and wear sunscreen

Thanks for stopping by XO

I cut my hair again

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”
― Coco Chanel

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tapered haircut

Coco Chanel might be right but my reasons were entirely different.For the longest time I have wanted to grow my hair thick as it use to be in my child hood days. Many of women usually chase length but I always choose volume.

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With a whole hair product store in my room lol! I managed to understand what works for me and what doesn’t ,the interesting part being my hair loves simplicity water ,oil done.

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I finally reached the hair volume I wanted and having it tapered made the Afro cute.

I will try de-clutter my product box now that I know what my mane needs and I will be giving out my products to any naturalista who doesn’t mind,i’ll be posting soon on my insta stories

Cut by Fally dufanda – Castro’s mancave

Photo by me – Canon 1300d + kit lens

Remote- cell phone


Thanks for stopping by XO

Africa Nouveau festival

Africa Nouveau Festival 2019

Festivals are amazing especially when you have a crazy theme to dress up to ,making your creative juices flow.

I attended one of the best festivals in the country sorry for posting about it a month later .


Africa Nouveau is a music & arts festival congregating creators, curators & fans from all over Africa & it’s diaspora.

The 2019 edition was a chance to step into a new dimension and explore the theme, ‘Africans and Outer World Beings’ 

Over the course of three days and three nights, we explored these ideas through music, dance, art, film, and fashion created by African Futurists.  Based firmly in the Afrobubblegum ethos of fun, fierce, frivolous and fantastical. The festival seeks to produce hopeful and joyful ways of imagining Africans and their link to the worlds around them. Artists and audiences were encouraged to imagine space, outer world beings and time through an African lens and add that narrative to the existing Western ideologies.


I got to attend the festival on day 2 and day 3 .The experience was nothing like i have ever had before it was out of this world amazing.

The ‘Africans and outer world beings’ theme was so crazy that at first i had no idea of what to wear .

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Day 2 look

On day 2 i went for a very simple look since i was working (modelling) at the event .I wore a simple school girl outfit something comfy enough for me to move around as we changed sets.Day 3 on the other hand was my best and most creative day,I just woke up picked a basic outfit and went all Afro star wars on it ,is that even a thing? lol!

Day 3 Photo by @simplykech

Model squad from left Me,Lucqo,Sharrone,Clara photo by @simplykech

I also photographed some of my favorite faces from the event


Fashion blogger @justkaninte

Model @sharonneotieno


Make up artist @kalekyekyee

Make up artist @_denniskaruri


My favorite from model and content creator @sandy.joan

We had so much fun dancing to great music and great food/drinks.

There was so much I didn’t cover on this event but you can see more on   Sandy’s Youtube channel

Thanks for stopping by XO

A trip to Hell’s Gate National park

When people say ‘a walk in the park ‘to mean something is as easy as ABC then they have never been to an actual park.

I always had mixed feelings on Hell’s Gate national park; we’ve all heard the sad stories of an unfortunate event some years ago. It wasn’t on my bucket list until recently when I decide to face my fear.

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Hell’s Gate National Park is located in Naivasha and popularly known for a variety of wildlife and scenery. It’s the home of Fischer’s (for rock climbing) and central tower, Hell’s Gate gorge also known as the Ol Njorowa gorge and recently Mvuke Natural Spa, a geothermal spa first of its kind in Africa.

I got so excited last minute for this day trip and I remember my friend Kate insisting that we had to go. On that morning we met with the rest of the group and headed for Naivasha. My parents are from the Rift valley and I  always thought to myself that there couldn’t be more for me to explore there.

A few hours later, we were already at the park, had a short briefing with the wardens and guide as we paid and began our safari.The first stop was at the Fischer’s tower, very popular among climbers, unfortunately, that adventure wasn’t part of our plans so we continued with the safari.

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The famous Fischer’s tower

The thing about Hell’s gate national part is it’s so scenic you don’t know where to look or stop looking; you just want to take everything in. The huge rocky walls and the dazzle of zebras grazing below were out of this world amazing. I even had an aerial view in my head for this; our driver was kind enough to make multiple stops to let us be wowed by Mother Nature.

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Taking a safari as an adult feels totally different, as a kid all I cared about was to know what name goes to which animal but now I just want to experience it and understand it all. We got to spot some more zebras, elands, Thompson’s gazelles, warthogs, hyraxes, baboons, and some buffalos.

Our second stop was at the gorge where we parked our bus and began to trek. We walked into the deep valley surrounded by huge rock walls and floor graced by Obsidian rocks evidence of cooled molten lava from volcanic eruptions in the early 1900’s. A while later we finally got the end of one side of the valley ‘the devil’s bedroom’ also a point where water feeds in from Mt Longonot.I have to agree that it was kind of uncomfortable since it felt like I was in a huge cave.

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Kate is always shopping 🙂

As we came close to the end of our mini-hike we were welcomed with beautiful ornament stands run by the locals.They sell handmade jewelry and accessories so well crafted you have to stop and shop, buy Kenya build Kenya right?

We took a break then headed for a relaxing soak at the Mvuke Natural Spa for around 2 hours while playing water volleyball.

Fun fact about this spa, the warm geothermal water is rich in minerals like sulfur and silica,known to cure some diseases.

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We had our late lunch then headed back to Nairobi. I still feel like I did not have enough of the trip and definitely planning to go back maybe take the safari on a bicycle or if my dreams are valid a Jeep Wrangler that I dream of every day and night. A perfect off road  car for an outdoorsy girl like me.

I enjoy writing travel posts these days and I can really use recommendations for best places to hike or trek,kindly let me know.

If you are interested in this kind of activities check Nutrifit Delight and join us for the next expedition.

Thanks for stopping by XO

Top 5 songs on my playlist

To be honest, my taste for music can be very hard to describe. It is everything except for the songs I don’t like. For the past few months I’ve heard some tunes that I can’t stop playing. They set me on a certain mood, empower me and make me feel better.

Here are the top five songs that are making my days

Everything I need by Skylar Grey – Y’all can blame Aqua man for the love I have towards this song, it is such a perfect theme song for a perfect movie.

A tune that makes me feel bigger than my problems, I feel like my flaws don’t stop me from being awesome.
I could go on about it but if you are going through a rough time listen to this.

Born ready by Zayde Wolf – I recommend a dose of this song every morning lol! He talks about not breaking and not quitting .Such a power filled tune to make you feel stronger.

Most Girls by Hailee Steinfeld – I can’t explain how much I love Hailee. ‘Most girls’ appreciate all women the loud girls and the quite ones, the outgoing girls and every other type. It’s okay to be you.

Love myself by Hailee Steinfeld – I know I listen to her so much, but don’t you do the same? No?

Drowning by Agolla – Before y’all start saying I don’t listen to Kenyan music I totally support artists from my country. This amazing girl has a very unique tone to her songs .Last year I was obsessed with Milele one of her’s which was also featured in the famous valentine’s Kenyan film Plan B.

I love that she sings love songs in Swahili, drowning is a tune that I am preparing to sing my future husband one day.

What other songs do you listen to? Do you like my list?
Do let me know

Thanks for stopping by XO