Theta Dam Hike

Located in Kiambu county, on the southern edges of Gatamiyu Forest reserve is Kinale Forest. This hike starts at their KFS office and traverses along wide-open forest roads before we turn to the dam in question. Theta dam offers a welcome relief from the first half of the hike and we will be going round it. The final part is the hike back but through the forest itself. Finally, we return to the KFS office, completing a 12-13km trek

Full day trip

It takes about 1.5-2 hours or so to get to the starting point and the route is very scenic. The distance to the starting point is about 65 km. We’ll depart the city at 7am

We’ll be using Thika highway up to just past Ruiru before we turn towards Kenyatta Road. The starting point is at Kinale forestry service station which is along Gatundu Kinaer road

  1. Hiking level – moderate. Total hiking distance is about 12 km. Factors contributing to moderate hiking experience include the long climbs and difficult and steep terrain around the dam


  1. Main attractions – forest trek, water dam, swimming


  1. Type of hike – forest trek


  1. Atmospheric conditions – due to the mid – high altitude and wet area, the weather tends to be cool and wet.


  1. Slipping hazard – significant around the dam when we circumvent it


  1. Steepness – over the course of the hike, we will be steadily going up and then back down. Most sections are fairly gentle with the exception of the dam where there are several steep parts.


  1. Hiking path condition – First part is open road trails, then twisting paths around the dam followed by elephant trails inside the forest.


  1. Water usage – medium – recommend a minimum of 2 litre depending on weather


  1. Route visibility – the trail is generally visible except for a few places where the paths can split


  1. Biodiversity – numerous species of insects, birds and trees
Near the starting point


The open forest roads


Making the turn to the dam


Finally viewing the dam head on – it’s shaped in a V form with 2 main arms


Some of the scenery and crossings around the dam


Final look at the dam before we leave


Walking through the forest after leaving the dam
Majestic tree growths inside the forest


Towards the exit of Kinale Forest

Once we’re done with the hike, we’ll head back to the city. Depending on when we start and finish, we could be back by 6:00pm latest




  • 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 6pm, 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