Fly-Fishing for Trout at 11,000 ft on the slopes of Mount Kenya
Rutundu Log Cabins
Trout Fishing on Mount Kenya
If you want to try something really different or add a little variety to a Kenyan Safari then you should consider a trip to the log cabins at Lake Rutundu on the slopes of Mount Kenya. The air up here is so clean and thin that you will initially find yourself gasping for breath. The location is breathtakingly remote, the log cabins seductively cosy and the fishing experience totally unique. Although Rutundu was established with the purpose of providing shelter for fishing parties it is as much an escape for those searching for some peace and tranquillity as it is for die-hard fishing aficionados.
The Environment & Location
Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa, second only to Mount Kilimanjaro. On its slopes are three very remote high altitude lakes. Lake Rutundu at approx 10,000ft, Lake Alice, beneath Ithanguni, at around 11,000 ft and Lake Ellis at 12,500ft. To reach the lakes you have to first ascend through the ancient Cedar forest that rings Mount Kenya which gives way as you climb to giant groundsel and heather forests. Lake Rutundu, immediately adjacent the fishing lodge has a, greenish tinge to its waters whilst Lake Alice, a 1 ½ hour walk from the lodge, has exceptional clarity and given the right light is a vibrant blue. Although game is relatively scarce on the higher slopes y
Morning & Evening view from the two lodges at Rutundu
First Kenyan Trout-On Lake Rutundu
For most people a stay at Rutundu will be a completely unique experience. Robustly constructed from hand hewn solid cedar logs, insulated from the elements by a lining of moss, heated with open wood fires and lit by lanterns the lodges are simple yet cosy. The main lodge has an elementary kitchen, comfortable lounge/dining room and a bedroom with adjacent bathroom that sleeps four. There is a second ‘honeymoon’ cabin that sleeps two. Both the lodges have their own bathroom with bathtubs, the water being heated by wood burning boilers. The third lodge is occupied by a loyal band of permanent Kenyan staff who ghillie, guide and look after guests throughout their stay.
The lodge is self catering and guests can either bring their own provisions or more commonly request a fully packed and prepared ‘larder’ from one of the Safari lodges such as Borana or Siroki.
The Trout Fishing on Lake Rutundu & Lake Alice
The Trout in all the lakes have originally been stocked and with the exception of Lake Rutundu, more or less left to the elements. This is no ‘Jurassic Lake’ however; the fishing is uncompromisingly wild. On still evenings the lakes will ripple with rising Trout and you are guaranteed total seclusion. Although Lake Alice requires a 1 ½ hr walk to reach it from the lodge its isolation and water clarity make it the focus of most people’s stay at Rutundu. The fishing is fly only and catch and release is encouraged - restocking by helicopter is not cheap!!
Waiting for the rise
Tropic Air Helicopter Adventures
4WD Trucks and dirt tracks are not a pre-requisite! If you really want to experience the magical environment of Mt Kenya and fish the lakes in total comfort then Tropic Air Helicopter Adventures are the answer. Using a Eurocopter EC 130 Squirrel, ‘the quietest helicopter in the world’ you can soar in between the crags of Mt Kenya, catch a brace of Trout in Lake Alice and be back at your safari lodge for breakfast.
Best Times to go
Mount Kenya has its own climate on account of its height. Rain clouds can appear without warning and be gone hours later. An early morning frost is possible at any time of the year and guests should bring a fleece and light rain jacket, although during the heat of the day shorts and T-shirts should suffice.
Guests typically drive to the lodge using a 4WD safari truck although for those who would prefer a lighter day trip there is the option of arranging a helicopter direct from one of the safari lodges or indeed using the mountain air strip in between Lake Alice & Lake Rutundu.
Availability and Pricing
If you would like to know more about this trip, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Background reading for your trip:
"African Fly-fishing Handbook" by Bill Hansford-SteeleOur Comments:
Bill Hansford-Steele's African Fly-fishing Handbook covers all aspects of fly-fishing on the African continent, and includes chapters on when and where to fly-fish in Africa, how to get started and what equipment to buy, casting and retrieving techniques, tactics and strategies, freshwater fish, saltwater fish, yellowfish, fish food forms, and winning fly patterns. The most comprehensive book of its kind, the African Fly-fishing Handbook will be indispensable to both seasoned fly-fishers and those just starting out.
US customers: Buy at Amazon.com
UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK
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