Connecting With Nature: Zip Lining, Hiking, Caves and Waterfalls at Kereita Forest.
What is your idea of a perfect weekend? Watching a movie in your pajamas as you crunch on junkies followed by a siesta and an evening barbecue with fellow friends? No? Are you one of those people who are always looking for a spare day to go all out and explore, learn, cross something off your over-ambitious adventure bucket list? Well, if you are an absolute adrenaline junkie, Kereita Forest will adequately tickle your last danger-loving bone.
As part of the larger Aberdare tourism zone, Kereita is home to rich forest and grassland flora, ridges, valleys and a natural carbon dioxide reservoir (I bet you did not know that!) It is under the protection of Kenya Forest Services and Kenya Wildlife Services but its management is run by KENVO, a local community initiative. It is located in Kiambu County, Lari Sub County, only 60km from Nairobi on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
The Wonders of Kereita Forest.
You are probably already aware of the zip lining craze that is taking over Kenya by storm, and rightfully so as it is the longest in East Africa and the second longest in Africa (coming in second after South Africa). But here is the story; there is so much more to Kereita than zip lining. Here is a quick brief of all the activities you can enjoy.
Fancy the thrill of standing at 92M high platform and sliding on the 2.4km long “Columbus Monkey” zipline over nothing but dense vegetation with the sound of chirping birds and waterfall cheering you on? You got to do this to really get the feel of it, especially if you thrive on height and other dangerous adventures. Be sure to say your prayers before you slide off merrily amid screams and shouts.
There is always that satisfaction that comes with hitting a target for the fast time after millions of trials. If bows and arrows are one of your secret cravings, or you are in it to learn something new for the fun of it, you will get that unmistakable sensation of having hit your target.
Trekking archery spices things up a little. You trek through the forest on a trail filled with hidden targets. Your job is to find and shoot them. After all, hunting is one of our natural instincts!
The Kereita nature park is an excellent team building venue. You can come here with your squad, family, colleagues or a group of adventure lovers and you are sure to leave a happy lot. Do you fancy shooting at someone without going to jail for it? Paint ball is probably the closest you’ll get to ‘military’ rifles; legally of course.
There are few things in this world that are as relaxing as cycling slowly through the woods with birds and animal sounds as your source of music. It is also quite a work out as the graded cycling trails are a tad hilly. If you choose to go for it on your own, you might want to carry a detailed map with you.
A Visit to Carbacid
Kereita Forest is a natural reservoir of carbon dioxide, a gas that Carbacid Company needs. A visit to the company will educate you on everything you do not know about harnessing the gas from nature.
Yes, this is a hiker’s dream destination. With a guide, you can explore the forest, enjoy serene water catchment areas, site rare bird species, enjoy game viewing and discover the forest caves. You also get a chance to participate in tree planting activities.
The trek through the forest is easy and gets denser as you get deeper in to the forest. The trail is well carpeted by thick undergrowth with giant climbers and ferns growing taller as they compete for the little sunlight filtering through. Start off at the elephant swimming pool (cute name for a muddy pad that elephants roll in to cool off) then proceed to the caves which are just next to the waterfall. Did I mention that nature appreciates your visit so greatly that it rewards you with a bounty of wild fruits? Raspberries, especially, abound in plenty
To get to the caves, you will need to sweat your way downhill with the trees as your support. If you are mischievous, you drive out the bats from the caves and try to count them (good luck with that!) When you are done with that, proceed to the 60-ft waterfall. This is the kind of scenery that makes the shyest people photogenic. Take loads of photos, and make us green with envy on all social media platforms.
Quick Tips to Keep In Mind.
There are several things you need to remember in order to keep your visit sweet. Here are some of them.
• Carry insect repellents: apparently tsetse flies like to enjoy Kereita’s goodies as much as you do, and they come in their numbers
• Dress appropriately: comfortable shoes and protective clothing (depending on the prevailing climate)
• For your finances, you will required to take this into consideration; park fees and guide charges and you may be required to pay separately for other services such as paintballing, archery lessons, bike rentals etc.
• Have your personal effects in a light bag. It is advisable to carry drinking water, snacks, identification documents, extra clothing items depending on the weather and a spirit of adventure!
In the recent past, Kereita has become synonymous with zip-lining, thanks to trending topics on social media platforms. But when you get to the forest, you will realize that there are countless activities you can engage in apart from zip lining. You might be forced to make another date to enjoy it all!
Kereita Forest is a short, 45 minutes’ drive from the capital, a fact that is fuelling its popularity with domestic tourists. It is the perfect destination for all adventure lovers and those seeking to try out a thrilling challenge for the first time. The rich ecosystem features forest and grassland vegetation, wildlife and a good number of bird species.