The Forest preview.
The Morning to travel to Ngare Ndare Forest Trust dawned crisp and clear.
The first rays of sunlight lit up on our way and the rising sun wasn’t late to cast a rosy hue across the Morning sky.
Ngare Ndare Forest Trust is on every globetrotter bucket list.
I was more than exhilarated to have ticked off this lush indigenous forest at the foothills of the second-highest mountain in Africa Mt. Kenya.
Ngare Ndare Forest Trust has a vast array of indigenous trees which are more than 200 years old.
Once we were in this coveted destination branches of these indigenous trees were creaking, melodious birds chirping and the inviting plink of cascading waterfalls made us feel welcomed.
The serenity and tranquility in this place is fantabulous and awe-inspiring, to say the least.
These verdant wands of indigenous trees are and have been an elephant pathway or corridor connecting Lewa Conservancy and Mount Kenya since time immemorial.
So, if you`re lucky you will be able to spot Elephants while moonwalking above these primordial trees popularly known as the Ngare Ndare Canopy walk.
NB// Ngare Ndare is a Maasai word meaning “water for the Goats”
Without much ado, let us delve in and see what this quivering destination has to offer.
Ngare Ndare Forest Trust Location.
This gem is tucked in Timau Meru County, Kenya. One of the most thrilling attractions around Mt. Kenya.
Around 4 to 5 hours drive from Nairobi depending on traffic and the type of vehicle you will be at your destination.
This alluring attraction is around 233 kms from Nairobi.
A one-hour drive from Nanyuki Town a distance of 38 Kms up to the main gate of the Ndare Ngare forest.
How to get there.
The one rule, if you’re departing from Nairobi, is to wake up as early as possible, at 5:30 AM we were on the road.
We departed for Ngare Ndare Forest at 5:20 AM before the beaming rays of the sun dawned upon the morning dew.
You can do this on your own but it is much easier to join a group and do this together.
(Ease My Safari has monthly Departures) It is more fun and way more affordable.
Depart from Nairobi to Nanyuki town (that is pretty simple, just follow A2 road).
Once in Nanyuki let your adventure spirit kick in because it is about to go down.
Drive past Kenol Timau and just before Timau River Lodge (one of the nearest accommodations to the forests).
Branch off to a rough dusty road and you better get ready for what we call African Massage (Shaking because of the bumpy road).
A ride of about 15 Kms and you will be at the main entrance of the Ngare Ngare Forest in no time.
Ngare Ndare Forest Charges 2022.
The entrance fee is not much compared to what you will get once inside this forest.
The following are the entry fees for 2022/2023.
What to note: Local groups of more than 10Pax will be given a discount of Kes500, meaning their rate will be Kes1500 for Adults and Kes500 for Children aged 10-15 Years.
What are the Camping fees at Ngare Ndare Forest?
These are the camping fees if you’re interested in Camping in this indigenous forest.
Local groups are further given discounts if they are a group of more than 10 Pax.
Adults will Pay Kes2500 and Children Kes1000.
Vehicle Entry fees.
|14Seater and Below||Kes500|
|14Seater and Above||Kes1000|
Please note all Payments is via Mpesa, no cash transaction at the gate.
Ngare Ndare Activities.
Probably you’re wondering what the entry fee you pay at the gate constitutes?
Well, it caters for almost all the main activities as I will outline.
I would rather call it a nature walk than hiking since the last hiking I did at Elephant Hill and at The Ngong Hills Forest was incredibly challenging as opposed to this in Ngare Ndare.
This was the first activity that welcomed us, our able guide/armed ranger Abel and Robert gave us a briefing on what to expect.
Abel told us that in case we encountered any animal for example Elephants not to run but stay put (I wonder who would have stayed calm just in case).
He continued to narrate how a recent sad event of a herds boy who was attacked by an elephant and killed.
By now he had everybody’s attention, at the same time he noticed how everyone was petrified and he changed the topic swiftly.
The walk to the sapphire Pool which we were all looking forward to especially first-timers like me felt shorter than anticipated. I guess because of the thrill to see the pool.
I stayed close with our guide Abel to siphon all the information I could just for you.
It was a 3.5 Kms walk, we encountered no animal, not even a squirrel but the walk was enlightening and therapeutic.
The Sapphire Pool at Ngare Ndare Forest Trust.
This was our second Activity and upon arrival, almost everyone was awestruck by the sight of the most famous natural azure pool in Kenya.
The only thing that decelerated the thrill a little was the fact that the water was not cerulean as we often see on the gram.
I will let you know why it wasn’t in a few but the pleasure of diving in these cool cold ice waters and swimming in the cascading waterfall was an unrivaled experience.
There’s a feeling you feel like you have washed away all your stumbling blocks in your life.
You feel rejuvenated and revitalized all at a go.
So, why was the pool hoary and not sky blue?
We came on an unfavorable day (on Sunday). Ngare Ndare Forest receives a lot of tourists over the weekends and this can only mean one thing.
Following the previous day’s activity and the fact that some wake up early enough to be at the pool before anyone else.
It is unlikely to get it still and azure unless you beat the odds by being among the first to be at the pool or simply pick an odd day like mid-week where you will have less competition.
(However, this is my own observation I could be wrong though)
NB// Avoid rainy seasons, you will never get to see it Cerulean.
Ngare Ndare Canopy Walk.
Watch a brief/Short preview of the Canopy Walk.
We couldn’t get enough of the pool but time was not on our side since we were yet to be back in Nairobi that same day.
So, at 4:00 PM we left the pool after another group arrived so we could also give way. The walk to the Canopy walks 3.5 Kms was also exciting.
Along the way, Abel our armed guide could smell fresh Leopard droppings and true to his word, there was territory marking which had just happened.
This means we missed the leopard or probably it heard us coming and vanished.
By the time we reached the starting point of the longest canopy walk in East and Central Africa.
The sunset was almost at the horizon and the illuminating sun rays between the forest made photography incredibly sublime.
Abel, gave us a briefing, it is a 450 Meters long walk over the indigenous forest, and that in a group of six was ideal. We divided ourselves.
Though not scary as the one in Kitengela Hot Glass, it is a superlative starting point to kick off acrophobia (fear of heights).
I wanted to be the last to have my humble time on this Ngare Ndare forest canopy walk.
It was phenomenal, this was more of the highlight of the tour according to me.
Take your time on the walkway above the trees and as you finish your therapeutic walk, there’s a happy ending of a well wooden staircase where you can have your picnic.
Take group photos, then take another walk to the parking area around 500 Meters walk.
Ngare Ndare Zip Lining.
Unfortunately, there`s no Zip Lining in Ngare Ndare. People tend to confuse Kereita Forest with Ngare Ndare Forest.
However, this would be a good idea to have one, in this forest.
It is a no-brainer to utilize this idea in near future and once they do, I will be able to update you.
The Hotels near Ngare Ndare Forest Trust.
We only did a day trip but if you want to stay overnight you can either do Camping (I have given the rates of camping above) or opt using nearby hotels.
|Hotel||Distance to NNF||Book/Check Prices|
|Regency Mount Kenya Hotel||7 Kms||Check Prices|
|Le Rustique||35 Kms||Book Now|
|Meru Slopes Hotel||32 Km||Check Prices Now|
|Falcon Heights Hotel||37 Kms||Reserve Now|
|The Warwick Hotel||37 Kms||Hold your space Now|
|Alba Hotel Meru||32 Kms||Retain your Booking|
|Besotted Farmstay||34 Kms||Get It Now|
|Ngomongo||32 Kms||Engage Now|
|Lena Cottage||27 Kms||Book It Now|
|LA BEILA HOTEL MERU||33 Kms||Get your Booking Now|
Ngare Ndare Forest Trust is a noble gem that should last for the longest time possible.
Especially the conservation of the forest.
It was notable how they help the surrounding communities since accorded assistance dawns on them the importance of conservation of the forest.
If only they could minimize the human, domestic animals’ conflicts.
There is evidently a cold war going on, probably this is why it is unlikely to spot a single wild animal.
It is easier to join a group that Ease My Safari can curate for you since they have departures almost every month.
The rough road upon branching off can be challenging in rainy seasons, only 4WDs are advisable but during the dry season, any car can manage.
With that said, nothing more thrilling than ticking off a bucket list. I just did.
Thank you for stopping by, ever been to Ngare Ndare Forest? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.