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Hikers paradise: The rainforest with three waterfalls and a tea plantation

By Betty Njeru | August 10th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Summit seekers enjoying views at one of the waterfalls in Kieni rainforest. [Courtesy}

A rainforest, three breathtaking waterfalls and a tea plantation, all in a day’s hike.

I had heard so much about Kieni Forest located in Gatundu, Kiambu County, before embarking on this journey, that I truly wanted to experience it. After all, seeing is believing, right?

Except, you don’t just see. You will ultimately feel this 10-kilometer hike but I promise the satisfaction of completing and the views that await you downhill will be worth it.

And so, at the weekend, 14 of us cooped up in a tour bus- and before you can judge, there were strict Covid-19 measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

Then, a two-hour drive from Nairobi deep into a village in Kiambu and the promise of a good time landed us in Kieni Forest.

The pictures you see on the internet do not even merely do this place justice.

Gakoe Tea Estate. [Courtesy]

Kieni rainforest is surrounded by the vast Gakoe Tea Estate, covering at least 400 acres.

It is made up of indigenous trees said to be at least 100 years. The hike is along an elephant trail and will be guided by armed rangers.

The culmination and almost everyone’s favourite part is the three waterfalls, clear as day, and all going at least 15m high.

However, if you are planning to hike and explore this forest, here are some do’s and don’ts.

Do’s

Wear warm clothes. It’s a rainforest after all and it can get really chilly. Sometimes, the rains could pour and if you are not as prepared, you may not even enjoy the hiking.

Hiking boots- Get a good pair of waterproof hiking boots for this hike. The trail gets very steep and muddy at some point and good ol' running shoes will do you no justice.

Water- Carry at least two liters of water to sip along the way.

Wear sunscreen- Sunscreen helps absorbs some of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and thus protect you from getting sunburns.

Snacks- You will need energy for the hike and snacks will definitely come in handy.

Don’ts

Do not carry heavy luggage. It will weigh over you, forcing you to retreat or get tired very fast.

If nature, adventure and adrenaline tickles your fancy or you simply want to escape the norm that is Nairobi and have a weekend to spare, I highly recommend that you drive down to Gatundu and see what Kieni rainforest has to offer.

Go with a group for safety purposes and moral support too. If you are new to the trail, Summit Seekers Kenya, an outdoor and sporting agency will happily adopt you into their adventures.

Go yee and explore the wild!


Kieni rainforest Gakoe Tea Estate Hiking
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