Castle Forest Day Hike

Castle forest is named after Castle Lodge which is located on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya.  It forms part of the Kamweti route for hiking the mountain. The hike is about 11-12km long through lush forest where we get to visit 2 fantastic waterfalls. The hike can take about 5-6 hours at a slow pace and to allow us all to enjoy the natural beauty of the forest as well as the waterfalls and dense vegetation

The hike offers us views of Mount Kenya, 2 fantastic waterfalls, dense and lush forests, river crossings and more


Full day trip

It takes about 3.5 hours to get there by bus and the roads are mostly smooth except during the last stretch. Departure time will be set at 6am to allow us to arrive around 9:30am and start the hike at that time. Depending on when we finish, we may return to Nairobi around 8:30pm

Our route will follow Nairobi Thika highway up to Sagana and then we’ll turn right towards Kagio, Kutus and eventually to the lodge. Most of the route is tarmacked though there might be construction going on many sections of the road which could lead to some delays

  1. Hiking level – Beginner to moderate level – The hike can be considered an introduction to mountain forest hikes and the trails are mostly gentle. Total hiking distance is 11-12 km. Factors contributing to moderate hiking experience include constant gentle climb, slippery descent to the waterfall and wet weather


  1. Main attractions – rainforest type vegetation, 2 waterfalls, river crossings across wooden bridges, birds, butterflies and more


  1. Type of hike – forest type of hike through wet rainforest, woodland forest and open spaces


  1. Atmospheric conditions – humid air in the rainforest, possible chances of rain depending on season


  1. Slipping hazard – medium during the trek to the waterfall due to the mud, wet slopes, wet forest sections. This is a hike you will definitely get dirty.


  1. Steepness – most sections are gently sloping or flat except for at the waterfall where there is a descent involved and some twisting and turning.


  1. Hiking path condition – most of the route follows cleared paths wide enough for 4-5 people to walk together in a row. There are sections where we will enter the forest to shorten the route


  1. Water usage – medium – recommend a minimum of 2 litres


  1. Route visibility – can be missing in places, especially in the section leading to the waterfall – thus the need to keep together


  1. Biodiversity – numerous species of insects, birds, fungi, trees and some domestic animals
Starting point of the hike
As we continue along the trail, we’ll have a couple of river crossings over wooden bridges
Some of the trails may be through the forest itself on narrow single line paths
The main waterfall for the hike – also known as Kamweti

At the falls, you have the option of swimming if you’re brave enough for the cold and for the force


Some of the scenery up close



Stairs leading to the second and smaller waterfall


Rainforest like growth near the waterfall
The second waterfall located near the lodge itself and just a few steps down
The restaurant at Castle Lodge – worth a look for it’s homely decor


  • Good hiking boots, walking stick
  • Sun hat – to protect against the sun
  • Water – at least 2 litres
  • Snacks and lunch – since we expect to finish latest by 8:30pm, we recommend you bring snacks and lunch to eat while relaxing at scenic locations along the route
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Elevation Profile

Trail Map