Hikemaniak is a Kenyan touring company founded in 2016 by Gitonga Wandai . They organize weekend hikes, Mountain treks, Forest trails, and Wild camping, in East Africa and beyond.  

It was a rainy Wednesday afternoon, the  23rd of November 2022 when the Miti Alliance team together with Hikemaniak assembled at Thirime Primary School for a tree planting. It was an extra special day as it was Gitonga Wandai’s birthday. To commemorate his 40th year,  the team planted 40 indigenous trees with the school’s grade 7 students. Hikemaniak in partnership with Miti Alliance had previously planted a mini forest of 50 indigenous trees in the school in 2020 for Gitonga’s 38th birthday. 

Gitonga and the grade 7 students

Gitonga planted a Parasol tree known as Polyscias Kikuyuensis which was the ceremonial tree of the day. The tree is endemic to Central Kenya and grows up to 25m tall. Parasol’s wood is unique in that it is odorless. It is used to make musical instruments and containers. Furthermore, its height allows sunlight to pass through making it perfect for intercropping with other plants/trees.

Gitonga plants his tree

The school has a variety of treasured mature indigenous species ranging from the tall Acacia xanthophloea (Naivasha thorn) full of birds nests to the Ficus thonningii (Strangler fig) providing shade for students in the school field. 2The school’s environment club is currently under the management of Mr. Kariuki the club patron. They have managed the trees very well, such that they are thriving and are more than 2ft tall.

Gitonga commended the school on the accountability and dedication shown in caring for their environment and the trees planted through consistent watering and weeding by the students. He urged everyone else to follow his actions and plant birthday trees so as to increase Kenya’s tree cover and protect our biodiversity. 

Gitonga & Waiyaki

You check out hikemaniak on their facebook page or instagram page!

If you want to plant your own birthday trees, reach out to us on +254 114 351 397 and we will be happy to plan, plant and grow with you!