Ngare Ndare

This is a very scenic, packed and eventful hike that we are offering as a traveling club, done 6 times before and popular as ever. The hike has the following attractions

  • 2 waterfalls that we will definitely visit and one special waterfall that we can try visiting if time allows
  • Swimming at all 3 of the falls, jumping/diving from the falls
  • Forest trail hike, river walks and river crossings
  • 10m high, 450m long forest canopy walk
  • Possibility of seeing elephants

The hike follows forest trails before we cross the stream and if time is enough, we start with the first waterfall up stream where the famous turquoise pools can be found

After thoroughly enjoying the turquoise pools, we hike downstream to the second waterfall. Jumping is done at this waterfall into the large pool below. After leaving this waterfall, we walk down stairs to the third and final waterfall where people can swim in to cool down.

The total hiking distance is about 11 km and the whole trek and swimming takes around 4-5 hours. Once done with the hike, we do the canopy walk which can take about 30 min

Full day trip

It takes about 5-6 hours to get to the starting point due to the distance, road conditions and steepness on the roads around the mountain. For a day trip, we will be departing the city as early as possible to get there sooner and finish sooner due to the distance

Nairobi – Thika – Sagana – Nanyuki – Timau – Ngare Ndare

  1. Hiking level – beginner-moderate with a steadily rising terrain up to the first waterfall. Factors contributing to beginner/moderate hiking experience include gentle forest paths, steep sections at the waterfalls and medium distance.


  1. Main attractions – at least 2 waterfalls, diving and swimming, forest trails, river trails, river crossings, serene environment, vast landscapes, wildlife and birds and canopy walk


  1. Type of hike – forest hike


  1. Atmospheric conditions – It’s usually quite warm there with moderate cloud cover


  1. Slipping hazard – minimal risk at the waterfalls itself & next to the streams but all other sections are fine.


  1. Steepness – most sections are gently sloping.


  1. Hiking path condition – wide dirt paths and then winding paths inside the forest


  1. Water usage – medium to high – recommend a minimum of 2 litre for the whole day


  1. Route visibility – some of the dirt roads have forks and we need to keep together generally.


  1. Biodiversity – numerous species of insects, birds, trees and wildlife

We’ll drive from Nairobi along Thika Highway and then continuing through Nanyuki and then on to the dirt road past Timau town. Once at the starting point, we can stretch a bit, take our washroom breaks and then have a brief talk with the rangers once we’re ready to start.


The hike starts by crossing the stream next to this massive tree and then crossing an open plain and then into the forest


Open section near the starting point


Part of the forest trails – plenty of space for a large group to pass through


The stream where we will be crossing a couple of times


The trail to the 1st waterfall has a lot of rocky paths
This is waterfall number 1 – a natural spring that gushes out of the ground and very clean


And yes, you can also reach the top of this waterfall, though the trail is steep


After we’re done with this waterfall, we’ll go back to the river crossing and continue on to the others



Some of our members experiencing their first jump into the cool waters below from waterfall no 2.


The jump is optional for anyone to try and we will give encouragement whenever needed. The pool is quite safe to jump into and swimming proficiency is needed after getting into the pool. Height of the jump varies from about 4 to 6 m depending on how high you want to start from the top. You’re welcome to try your best poses while jumping


On the top side of the fall is the river where we can rest a bit and watch those that are jumping. We will then proceed to the next waterfall



Just to show you how big the pool and third waterfall is



The canopy walk is a 450m long, 10 m high, wire mesh bridge constructed to pass through and over the trees in the forest and is the longest in East Africa. The canopy walk is supported about every 40 to 50m and each supported section can take up to 6 people at a time. The bridge is made of wire mesh reinforced with steel cables and is quite safe. It does sway a bit when we walk across


The views are fantastic from the canopy walk and we can see the horizon and in lucky cases, we may even see elephants passing below

Note that the canopy walk is optional and you can skip it if you have a fear of heights
Some of our members enjoying the canopy walk high above the forest floor

Once we’re done with the canopy walk, it’s a quick 15 min walk back to the bus and we’ll quickly head back to the city. We will have one major washroom break in Nanyuki and then drive all the way to Nairobi without stopping to save on time.


  • 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 quite late and we don’t wish to waste time buying food along the way, we recommend you bring snacks and lunch to eat while relaxing at scenic locations along the route
Share this:

Elevation Profile

Trail Map