Gatamaiyu Forest Bathing Riverline Trek
The Gatamaiyu Riverine Walk in Gatamaiyu Forest, part of the larger Kereita Forest, is unlike any other hike close to Nairobi. Situated about 55km from Nairobi, the Protected content 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 Protected content above sea level. Its unspoilt 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 Protected content Mau Mau fighters attacked a loyalists’ settlement in a nearby place called Kirenga, killing about Protected content 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..
This is our 2nd forest bathing Hike.
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 trial.
The trail is rated easy, it is 12 km long and takes Protected content to complete. First time hikers are much welcome. and those with young ones are highly encouraged to bring them for some exercise (especially now that the schools will be closed, you might need some time out :-)
The cost include:
* Transport to and from
* Guide fee
* Armed Rangers fee
* Conservation fee
* Drinking water 1Litre bottle
The cost is exclusive of:
• Packed Lunch/Snacks
What to bring:
• Packed lunch,
• Extra drinking water
• Snacks and drinks,
• Sun screen, sunglasses, and hat
• Comfortable hiking gear/shoes
• Rain is always a possibility, so carry your rain gear (poncho).
• An extra change of clothes and shoes (in case it rains)
Instructions on making the payments to book your spot:
Go to MPESA:Protected content