The Best Hiking trails in Kenya : Hiking in Kenya is very popular activity to both locals and tourists ranging from rock climbing, few days trek to the summit, to a gentle day hike. There are many walking trials in Kenya, it is a country with spectacular scenery from lush green forests ,Hiking along a crater ridge with wonderful views, vast valleys, Baobab and acacia trees. Hiking also attract bird watchers, cyclists and runners. Some of the Hiking routes in Kenya are:
1: Oloolua Nature trail , The Best Hiking trails in Kenya
This is a forest located at the suburbs of Karen , it was established by the National Museums of Kenya in collaboration with the Institute of Primate Research. The forest is made up of diverse indigenous trees and shrubs, it also has Mbagathi river which flows through it. Oloolua Forest is home to the Crown-Eagle which is endemic to the forest, in the forest you may see more other plenty birds. There are several species of bats and wildlife in the forest. There is a waterfall which is a popular destination for most of the hikers ,Hiking the forest. The waterfall is popular to dragonflies, wagtails and damselflies which are looking for their food. Oloolua Forest is ideal for visitors who want to learn more about various tree species as well as those who jog for exercise. It is ideal for hiking, picnic spot for groups and camping because of its peace and tranquillity.
2: Naro Moru route of Mount Kenya , The Best Hiking trails in Kenya
This is the second tallest mountain in Africa after Mount kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Mount Kenya is one of the most challenging mountains to summit because of its steep and slippery terrain especially when it heavily rains. Although climbing mount Kenya is challenging many people have managed and it receives many people some being first timers others are repeat visitors.
The journey to the summit takes an average of 5 days but some people can achieve it in less days depending on their ability to cope with the changes in altitude levels. The hikers starts at Naro Moru Gate of Mount Kenya National Park, you walk past the forest and the Bamboo zone. The steep begins after approximately 2 hours of your hike at Percival’s Bridge. As you hike up the mountain you will encounter several animals and you must beware of them such as Elephants, Buffaloes, colobus monkeys among other animals. Some hikers choose to go further to the Alpine zone which is an hour more of the hike but the panoramic view is rewarding. This region has a distinct and unique vegetation such as selection, lobelia, tussock grass and giant Heather.
Naro Moru route of hiking mount Kenya is classified as moderate with varying landscapes with the higher you ascend the more challenging terrain becomes , from the forests to rocks which in turn changes to glacial pockets as you approach the summit.
3: Karura Forest , The Best Hiking trails in Kenya
Located in the Northern part of Nairobi, Kenya is Karura Forest. It is under the management of Kenya Forest service and the Friends of Karura Community Forest Association. It is one of the biggest Forest in a urban town with five entrances which are open to the public. The main entrance is directly across the Belgian Embassy at Limuru Road. You can also access Gate C along Kiambu Road directly across the DCI Headquarters.
The forest is surrounded by an electric fence and it covers 564 hectares. The forest is unique before of its diverse indigenous trees, which provide a serene environment to relax with a cool climate. There is a 9 kilometers hiking trail within the forest from Kiambu Road and is a popular hiking forest close to the city. It is the best option to visit for a day hike if you are within Nairobi City and it is one of the highly visited places during the weekends and on public holidays. The Kenya Forest service rangers permit jogging, hiking , dog walking and bicycle riding in the forest. Most of the hikes in the forest are usually done in the morning and takes 2 to 3 hours.
There are also Mau Mau caves which used to house freedom fighters in resisting the British colonials between 1953 and 1960.
4: Hell’s Gate National park
Hell’s Gate National Park is a smaller park compared to other National parks in Kenya but has a unique landscape. This is one of the iconic places in the Rift Valley region. It is situated on the southern part of Lake Naivasha one of the fresh water lake in Rift Valley. It is named Hell’s Gate because of its unique rock formation and geothermal activity that shapes this natural environment into something unique
The cliffs here at the park are high and one can be able to climb and marvel at the beautiful creations. At Fischer’s and Elsa Gate you will find here professional rock climbers, there are also plenty of animals to be observed within the park either while hiking on foot or while riding a bike.
5: Nairobi Arboretum
Nairobi Arboretum is located just 3 km from Nairobi City centre . There are shot , flat and very accessible paths here .The Arboretum park covers 74 acre and has more than 350 of both exotic and indigenous trees ,with more than 100 birds species. The pathways here have been paved and has plenty of seating facilities, and decent clean public toilets. You’re sure of to see apes such as vervet and Sykes monkeys here. Nairobi Arboretum is extremely popular for events such as weddings, concerts , corporate parties, team building while lovers can enjoy quiet romantic moments in its secluded spots
6: Sleeping warrior and Ugali hills
This hills is located adjacent to Lake Elementaita, 140 km from Nairobi. The Sleeping warrior hill is a imitation of the sleeping Maasai warrior and it can be clearly seen from a distance that the peak of the hill looks like his nose. The local Maasai people associates the hill with Maasai Oloibon who dies many years ago. The journey to the peak of the hill starts at Lake Elementaita main gate ,through the shores of the lake to a hot springs where visitors take a shower , many people believe that the water has some healing effects to the skin. From the springs the visitors proceed to the Sleeping warrior before taking a sharp ascend to the nose ,which is the peak. It has a magic views of the lake and the Calderas the trails descend on the Eastern side through a rocky volcanic rocks before taking another sharp ascend to Ugali hills. It is here where you will be rewarded with panoramic view of the lake Elementaita and the Great Rift Valley. Then the trails descend to a dirt road at the foot of the Ugali hills it is here where the trek ends. During this trek the trekkers will be rewarded by the sighting of wildlife, beautiful landscapes, scenic views of lake Elementaita and Birding.