Kahunira Day Hike

Kahunira Waterfall No 4

This is a very scenic, packed and eventful hike that we are offering as a traveling club. There are at least 3 waterfalls, swimming at 3 of the falls, jumping from the falls, river walks and river crossings, forest trails and even one river crossing while walking on water pipes.

The hike starts and ends at Githunguri township which is located in Kiambu county, about 50km from Nairobi. We’ll start with dirt roads overlooking Ruiru dam before going down and following the river for most of the hike. Eventually, after the last crossing, we’ll climb back up and back into the town. The total hiking distance is 10km and can be covered in less than 6 hours at an easy slow pace to fully enjoy the environment

Full day trip

It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to get to the starting point after departing Nairobi. The roads are mostly smooth as of writing this review

The route to the township may vary depending on the people we take on that particular date. If for instance we have a good number from Thika highway, we may follow Thika highway up to Ruiru and then turn inwards towards the town

  1. Hiking level – beginner-moderate with a few steep sections. Total hiking distance is 10 km. Factors contributing to easy/moderate hiking experience include gentle dirt roads and paths, steep sections at the waterfalls, medium distance and cool environment.
  2. Main attractions – 3-4 waterfalls, diving and swimming, forest trails, river trails, river crossings, serene environment, vast landscapes and birds
  3. Type of hike – forest, river hike
  4. Atmospheric conditions – Similar kind of weather conditions as Nairobi or Karura, so it can vary depending on when we go. Generally, expect cool to warm temperatures and moderate cloud cover
  5. Slipping hazard – minimal risk at the waterfalls itself and next to the streams but all other sections should be fine. There is a chance of falling when we cross the river but the guides will be helping to avoid that
  6. Steepness – most sections are gently sloping. Total elevation change is almost 120m with the highest altitude being 2000m near the starting and the lowest being 1880m at the last river crossing
  7. Hiking path condition – dirt roads and then winding paths inside the forest along the river and then back to dirt paths
  8. Water usage – medium – recommend a minimum of 2 litre
  9. Route visibility – some of the dirt roads have forks and we need to keep together generally.
  10. Biodiversity – numerous species of insects, birds and trees

Ruiru dam hidden amongst the surrounding forests and farms

Our first waterfall where we can reach both the top and the bottom sections. Going down is steep but doable

The second waterfall seen from the pool. You can swim in the pool and it’s large enough to accommodate many

The river we will be following most of the time


The third and bigger waterfall – this is where you can go to the fall and jump in the pool or just relax there

More views of the river valley we will be passing through

The tope of waterfall no 4

Kahunira Waterfall No 4

Probably the best-looking waterfall of the 4 we will be experiencing. You can walk to the edge of the waterfalls at the top, jump from the top, sit there while fully immersed in the raging waters or just strike an awesome pose

After leaving the last waterfall, we’ll be walking besides the river for a few more minutes and then come to these massive water pipes which cross over the river where we will be crossing on top of the pipes

Same pipes seen from the other end

Leaving the river behind as we climb up

Climbing upwards for about 100m before it levels off

  • Good hiking boots
  • Sun hat – to protect against the sun
  • Water – at least 2 litres
  • Swimming costume and towels in case you swim
  • Snacks and lunch – since we expect to finish latest by 5pm, we recommend you bring snacks and lunch to eat while relaxing at scenic locations along the route
Review by Gladys Orora


We had a remarkable experience with my friend hiking Kahunira. Being his first time in Kenya and taking him for a hike I didn’t know it would have been a good idea, but it turned out to be the perfect hike he had. We had memorable scenes with the 4 waterfalls and crossing on the pipes was the best part. Matembezi is the place to be, I have done 3 hikes with them and planning more with them. Thank you Matembezi

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Elevation Profile

Trail Map