Natural Blue Pools in Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve : Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve is considered as one of the most favorite safari places in Kenya, the Natural blue pools that at times called the magical place that are located in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which so happens to be connected to the forest where in these blue waters flow. The ground water from the Mount Kenya seeps through and emerges at the ‘’source pool’’ with a striking turquoise tint. In the dry seasons, this is the only water flowing into the pools, making for the idyllic setting pictured, here as well the tourists can spend the hours while picnicking and swimming. Ngare Ndare forest reserve has got the six natural blue pools.
The Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve encompasses of about 5550 Hectare remnant of a previously vast indigenous forest that has survived logging and the expansion of the farms and communities around Timau, under the supervision of the Kenya Forest Service, it is managed by the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, a collaboration of the six surrounding communities and the four farms and conservancies, The forest, is an important water tower, was incorporated into the Mount Kenya World Heritage Site in 2013 after it was reconnected to the mountain forests in the year 2011 through the elephant underpass commissioned by the Mount Kenya Trust in the partnership with Lewa, Borana, KFS and KWS.
This pioneering project allows elephants and the various other animals to safely pass under the main Nanyuki-Meru road and past various farms and communities, opening Mount Kenya to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and conservancies beyond. This ensures greater genetic diversity, reduced human-wildlife conflict, natural migratory and browsing patterns. The forest is therefore open to all of the Big 5 and there is always a chance of an encounter when it is on your safari. There are signs of the elephants and the buffalos everywhere, not to mention the prolific birdlife.
The community members are permitted to use the forest to sustainably graze and water their domestic stock but they also run various eco-tourism activities. Aside from the ‘’blue waters,’’ there are waterfalls, forest hikes, forest camping, canopy-walkaway in East Africa. This latter is an impressive engineering feat that stretches over the 400 meters, allowing for a bird’s eye-view amongst enormous Podo, Juniperus, African Olive, Strangler Fig trees. All the activities are done and guided by the well trained community rangers.
Safari during a weekend to Nanyuki and the surrounds should definitely include a trip to the forest if you can secure a booking, as your final trip try to get there during the morning hours such that you can spend the midday hours at one of the blue pools, the steep valley walls mean direct sunlight reaches the water only for a few hours a day, if it is not overcast, you will get to fully appreciate the amazing blue colour that has to be seen to be believed. The most important policy that gives visitors as an exclusive experience as possible. You cannot simply turn up, as you need to book well in advance. This means that the rangers are assigned and the use of each attraction, such as the ‘’ blue pool’’ is organized to give each group their chance at experiencing the forest immediately.
How to get to Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve.
Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve can be accessed from the Nairobi to the forest.
By Road Transport.
Ngare Ndare forest can definitely be considered as a hidden treasure, it is a quite the drive reaching this place. About a four hours’ drive from Nairobi and one hour from the nearest city-Nanyuki. Most of the roads leading to the Ngare Ndare are also not in the best condition and here the 4-wheel car is best recommended to be used.
Ngare Ndare has got two entrance gates, the first one is only a small hut with no visible signs, and this is where you pay from. If you have the locally used M-Pesa, that is the best as most places no longer accept cash and many do not have the card reading facilities. The second entrance gate is where they will check your ticket and where your guide will be waiting for you.
Here is where you can park your car and if you do not have a 4-wheel drive, and if you want to hike to the waterfalls, or if you are going straight to the canopy walk, in order to skip the majority of the hiking (and if your car is capable) you can drive about a half hour through the of rest to another parking place (some room for the cars within the bushes) and walk about 10 minutes to the waterfalls. This is the only allowed if there has been no rain as the ‘’roads’’ are merely dirt paths that are very steep in some areas, very windly, and have two water crossings.