Thiririka Day Hike

The hike has 3 waterfalls, river trekking and river crossings, forest trails and one bridge crossing

The hike starts at Kagema Shopping Centre and ends at Gatundu town which is located in Kiambu county, about 50km from Nairobi. We’ll start near the shopping centre and go down to the river to check out the first small waterfall

From here it’s a short walk to the next waterfall where you can swim. From this point, we continue with the hike along the river for some time after which we’ll climb back up, follow the main road and descend again to the river to cross it at the water pipes. After this crossing, we’ll end with a visit to Thiririka Waterfall and back to Nairobi from Gatundu town. The total hiking distance is 9-10km and can be covered in less than 6 hours at an easy slow pace to fully enjoy the environment

Full day trip

It can take about 1.5 hours to get there from Nairobi and this means we can leave Nairobi at 7am. The hike itself can take about 6 hours to finish at a slow pace and we can be back before 5pm the same day

We’ll use Thika highway for most of the journey and then turn towards Gatundu on Kenyatta Road and drive to Kagema Shopping centre which is located a few km from Gatundu town

The hike finishes near Gatundu town where we will meet up with the bus

  1. Hiking level – easy to moderate with a few steep sections. Total hiking distance is 9-10 km. Factors contributing to easy/moderate hiking experience include gentle dirt roads and paths, medium distance and cool environment.


  1. Main attractions – 2 waterfalls, forest trails, river trails, river crossings, serene environment, vast landscapes and birds


  1. Type of hike – forest, river hike


  1. 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


  1. 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


  1. Steepness – most sections are gently sloping. Total elevation change is almost 120m with the highest altitude being 1775m near the starting and the lowest being 1645m at Thiririka waterfall


  1. Hiking path condition – dirt roads and then winding paths inside the forest along the river and then back to dirt paths


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


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


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

Starting the hike to Thiririka river


Waterfall no 1 which is an artificial one


At the top of the first waterfall during the hike

The bottom part of the waterfall after we descend down


Part of the river trek scenery


The river has a few twists and turns but it’s a gentle one and has plenty of greenery on the sides


Going back up after an hour to get back to the main road


Our first river crossing – it’s across these well supported water pipes. The metal framework helps to keep steady and the pipes themselves are very wide, thus very low chances of slipping. The crossing can also be done via a bridge that was installed recently


Crossing a bridge that leads to Thiririka Waterfall


Thiririka Waterfall as seen from when we start descending down to the pools below


Thiririka waterfall bottom view – the falls are very strong in the rainy season with a lot of spray and mist being thrown off


The top of the waterfall – you can walk here and look down


Looking down at the river from the top of Thiririka Waterfall


  • Good hiking boots
  • Sun hat – to protect against the sun
  • Water – at least 1.5-2 litres
  • 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
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Elevation Profile

Thiririka Elevation Profile

Trail Map