Our very first group hike, done on 24th March, 2018
We were 25 in total and the trip was on 24th March, 2018. We left town by 6:40am and by 7:40 we were passing by Thika on our way to Ngare Ndare.
While at the equator spot, we got to see some colourful weaver birds and of course took many photos.
We passed through Nanyuki to get some food and water – there’s a new mall there called Cedar mall, good place though it has very few restaurants. Next town after Nanyuki was Timau.
The forest is about 15km from Timau, but it takes almost an hour to get there from Timau since the roads are pretty rough. Our driver however came through and was able to navigate the rough roads.
We could see some signs of past rains but we were reliably informed that it hadn’t rained there in a week so we were pretty sure of getting dry hiking paths at the forest.
Hike and Waterfalls
We got at the forest at around 1pm (remember those small frequent delays along the journey?). There was a register to sign, we got some ground rules from the forest rangers and off we went. The temperature wasn’t that bad so we weren’t sweating heavily and in any case the cloud cover and forest cover helped greatly. We didn’t see much of the birds but we could hear them clearly.
We got to the first of the waterfalls by 2:30pm and the second one shortly after. The hike is steep in places but nothing that most people can’t manage. The waterfall was quite in force and due to the past rains the pools weren’t as clear as they usually are – this is the point where we realised a dry season visit would have been more appropriate. However, the water was quite cold and only a few attempted swimming in it.
We spent about an hour there and people really had fun, especially in taking photos, videos and relaxing by the pool. Nearly everybody turned into models for the many cameras we had there.
We had to leave the waterfall area by 4pm since we still had to do the canopy walk – so we hiked back to the starting point where the canopy walk was. In some ways the return hike was easier but we were still rushing a bit. For anyone planning on going there, my suggestion would be to keep time and try to get there by 11am so that you can enjoy the hike more
The canopy walk is a 500m stretch of hanging wire mesh bridges over the forest floor. It’s high enough to not be touched by any passing elephants but low enough for us to see them. Unfortunately there were no elephants at that time so we had to be content with getting some amazing views of the forest and surrounding hills.
The hanging wire mesh canopy bridges are sturdy though they do sway when we were walking on them. Additionally they have a limit to how many people can walk on them. We finished the canopy walk and left the forest by 6pm – which was the latest we could stay. On our way back we got some nice views of developing storms in the distance
One of the highlights was seeing thunderstorms developing over Mt. Kenya and seeing lightning light up the whole mountain. It was really something special to see lightning strike again and again – I rather wish we could have tried taking photos but we were pressed for time.
We got back to town by around 11:15pm. All of us got home safely and our whatsapp group was just filled with hundreds of photos we had taken. Overall it was an excellent trip and a successful one. Our planning really paid off and this was the beginning of Matembezi Travelers Club