Gatamaiyu Day Hike
The Gatamaiyu Forest is part of the larger Kereita Forest, is unlike any other hike close to Nairobi. Situated about 55km from Nairobi, the 4722 hectare Kereita forest is an indigenous forest at the southern-most end of the Aberdares range, covering ridges and valleys at an average altitude of about 1800m above sea level. Its unspoiled beauty makes this place a true paradise, thanks largely to Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO), a local community-based organization that works to conserve this rich biodiversity which is a designated Important Bird Area (IBA).
Before the colonial era, Kikuyu warriors are said to have used Kereita forest for cover when fighting against Maasai warriors, taking advantage of the fog that typically covers the area in the mornings and evenings. The word Kereita in Kikuyu means “a place of warriors”. This was also the area where the widely publicized Lari Massacre took place in March 1953 when Mau Mau fighters attacked a loyalists’ settlement in a nearby place called Kirenga, killing about 100 people related to or allied to the local colonial Chief. It is estimated that over 5,000 Mau Mau combatants and local residents perished in the subsequent revenge attacks by the colonial administration over several weeks following this incident. These unfortunate victims were buried in mass graves in Kereita forest.
The forest bathing trek starts at the Fisheries office and campsite a few meters from the Gatamaiyu Forest Gate, and descends into a river valley before following the course of Gatamaiyu River. It then meanders through lush forest undergrowth as it hugs the banks of the river. This will be slow trail trek as we take in the forest atmosphere. This will help us relax and feel every part of ourselves. We continue through the giant ferns and indigenous trees providing a chequered canopy over a trail that is maintained by the Fisheries Department along the river. As you make your way upstream, shadow and light filtering through the canopy above seem to be engaged in a perpetual dance, as if moving to the bird songs and calls high above.Fallen logs lie undisturbed on the forest floor and across the river, providing sanctuary and nourishment to fungi, lichens and micro-organisms that are part of this rich ecosystem. The occasional elephant footprints cross the trail, leaving large water-filled craters in the ground. Although it’s uncommon to come across elephants on the way, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) always provides an armed ranger or two just in case. You are very likely to get glimpses of colonies of Colobus monkeys as they playfully swing from branch to branch high up the trees, and various species of the birds found here. The trail eventually leads to an 18ft waterfall upstream.
The magic of the forest will amaze you..the beauty will calm you and the co-existence of everything nature will awe you. It is the reason you are here.. to go beyond and connect. So be and have fun.
On the return journey, we climb out of the valley to a dirt road on the ridge above, from where you’ll take about 30-45min to get back. Along this road, you’ll find butterfly traps and beehives used by the local community engaged in eco-friendly economic activities in the forest.
Note; this is a slow walk in the forest to appreciate its beauty, slow down our fast lives in the city to help us feel ourselves more. If you are looking for a physically challenging trail this may not be the appropriate trail. We shall be accepting Kids between 9-17years unattended by parents. Kindly ensure that you pack enough snacks and water for the kids to last the whole day.
The trail is rated easy, it is 12 km long and takes 4 – 5 hours to complete.
The home of mountain lovers looks forward to seeing you there for a day full of fun and connection.
6.00am Depart Nairobi for Gatamaiyu expected to arrive at the forest to start the hike at 8.00am
12.30pm Enjoy your packed lunch or snacks at one of the viewpoints enjoying the scenic surroundings
4.00 pm Leave Gatamaiyu Forest for Nairobi expecting to arrive at 5.30pm
What to wear and items to carry;
*Comfortable running shoes or hiking boot *preferred
Hiking/gym pants (avoid jeans)
*Polyester T-shirt (like the football jerseys) carry an *extra change of clothes for after the hike
*Drinking water (2litres)
*Sunscreen (Arimis oK)
*Poncho or a light Rain Jacket
*Avoid unnecessary Items
*Finally, carry loads of fun with you and tag along with a friend!!
Citizens- Kes. 2,850ks
Non- residents $45
Lipa Na Mpesa paypill: 600100
1.Transport to and from 2.Gatamaiyu Forest
3.Park Entry fee
For More information, please contact us on email@example.com