Hiking is one of the most productive activities to do during your free time. You not only get to exercise your body but also get to relax your mind as you explore the wild.
There are a lot of hiking spots in and around Nairobi and these are my favorite.
Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa, making this the hardest hike to do in Kenya. And it is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of hiking options when it comes to Mount Kenya. With the hardest being summiting the highest point of the mountain, The Batian Peak. Summiting can take up to 8 days and consists of a full day of rock climbing with ropes and carabiners. It is a dangerous hike and requires months of training and conditioning. Along the trail, there are huge bamboo forests and equatorial forests with a large number of animal species. The reward of summiting this mountain is setting foot on one of the few places with snow and ice in Africa. Mount Kenya also boasts the Highest Via Ferrata route in the world, at 4985 meters, this is used on the Naru Moru Route when you summit via the Austrian hut.
The Aberdare Range provides three, day hike options: Moorlands, Twin Hills, and the Elephant Hill. All of these are guided by an armed ranger. The hikes are extremely hard and require fitness and preparation to attempt. The weather at the Aberdare Range can change for the worst pretty quickly, so it is best to dress with that in mind. The hike takes around 7 hours if your fit, but it is quite common for most people not to finish due to muscle cramping and injuries. This difficulty makes it the perfect hike for preparing for harder climbs such as Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Hell’s Gate is one of the best hiking experiences in Kenya. Not because of the challenge level, but because you get to see a lot of wildlife along the trail. This trail is located in a beautiful national park with a lot of gorges, hot springs, and geysers. Bikes can also be hired, making traversing the trail easier. Along the trail, you will get a chance to see giraffes, antelopes, and buffaloes. There are no big cats in Hell’s Gate, so there is no risk of being attacked by one. When in Hell’s Gate, make sure you visit the gorges, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Menengai Crater, located in Nakuru, has some of the most breath-taking views. The trail takes you deep into the caldera where you get to see wild animals such as baboons and exotic birds. The hike starts at the top of the caldera from where you can see the whole trail and plan your hike. As you walk along the rim you will get to a viewpoint, from where you can see Lake Nakuru. After this you go down into the caldera and then climb back up, this section takes about 3 hours. The climb is really hard and you need good boots to deal with it. The trail ends at the starting point forming a loop. Guides are available on this trail at a fee if you need help with the hike.
Mount Longonot trail is one of the most beautiful trails to traverse, and I can’t recommend it enough. More than half of the hike involves walking along the rim of the Mount Longonot crater, and the views from the top are breathtaking. This hike is very difficult, but the views are what give you the strength to keep on going, as you hike around the rim the views keep on getting better with the best one being at the peak, where you can see Lake Naivasha. Along the trail, there are wild animals such as zebras, warthogs, and gazelles. When going on this hike, make sure to wear good boots, trousers and carry a lot of water.
Kijabe Hill is located about 60 kilometers from Nairobi. It is a really easy hike and perfect for novice hikers, the aim of the hike is to climb the hill and go down on the other side. It takes about three and a half hours to get to the peak. At the peak, the view is really rewarding, with views of Mt. Suswa and Mt. Longonot. The journey down Kijabe Hill is pretty short, taking about two hours.
Karura Forest is the biggest gazetted forest within a capital city in the world. The forest has 3 hiking trails of different lengths: a 5Km, 10Km, and 15Km trail. A biking trail is also present in the forest. Karura Forest has one of the most scenic hiking trails in Nairobi; with a waterfall, caves, and a lily lake present within the forest. The entrance fees are KSh100 for Kenyan citizens, KSh200 for residents and KSh600 for non-residents.
Oloolua Nature Trail located along Karen Road is one of the best in Nairobi. At a price of KSh200 for citizens, you get to explore the caves and waterfall along this trail. It is a really peaceful trail with lots of trees offering shade and a lot of animals and birds to watch. Oloolua Nature Trail is open daily from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm giving you ample time to explore the surrounding forest. It’s a good trail to start with if you are new to hiking.
This trail is located within Ngong Hills Forest Reserve, about 22 kilometers from Nairobi. Hiking Ngong Hills is pretty difficult especially if you aren’t fit. However, the scenery makes the hike worthwhile. The trail has a lot of hills, so carry the appropriate shoes and make sure your luggage is as light as possible when attempting this hike. It takes around 6 hours to hike this trail. To ensure you are comfortable carry warm clothing, water, and some food. When hiking here watch out for the buffalos.
Paradise Lost one of the most popular trails in Nairobi. The facility offers other activities besides hiking, such as boat riding and horse riding. Paradise Lost is located along Kiambu Road, about a thirty-minute drive from the Nairobi CBD. The trail features a lot of sceneries such as caves, a waterfall, and a lake. However, to access the caves and waterfall you have to pay an extra KSh300. The trail is quite short at 2.8Km and the hike takes about 40 minutes to complete.
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I’m a 25-year-old adrenaline junkie from Nairobi. I love travelling, attending music festivals and hiking. You can always find me at K1 Klub House playing pool and enjoying a drink with my friends.