The Forest Packs a Lifetime of Adventure Into One Day
When my editor gave me this assignment, I thought, “YES! I’m finally gonna tick off a few of the big things at the top of my bucket list.” And ziplining was definitely up there, along with skydiving and swimming with dolphins.
So, on a chilly and overcast morning (definitely not the ideal weather to go swooshing 300ft above the ground), my photographer and I packed well, dressed the part (always go for a tight-fitting, sporty look) and went off on our extreme adventure at The Forest.
Located within the Kereita Forest in Kiambu County, The Forest is the ultimate spot to tap into your innate sense of adventure. It’s a 40-minute drive from Nairobi just a short distance past Limuru town by a sleepy little town center called Kimende. The terrain snaking us from Kimende town up into Kereita did us no favors. In our newly found outdoorsy eagerness, we thought it best to navigate the increasingly chilly route on a boda boda instead of the “run-of-the-mill” taxicab. That was a decision we quickly regretted. The cold and the wind blew so hard in our faces we nearly turned into ice sculptures. My glasses fogged up from the dense mist and my fingers were numb by the time we arrived into The Forest. That’s the kind of biting cold you can expect when you’re in these parts of the country.
Nonetheless, we had finally arrived at our destination. I may have been a cold mess but the first sight of the place flooded me with warmth. The fresh air, the beautifully arranged canopies and the 180-degree panoramic views gave the place something of a wonderland feel.
First stop was the bike trail. Personally, I can’t ride a bike to save my life (a story for another day), so I had to sit this one out and play spectator as my photographer giddily peddled his way around the lush forest scenery. They have blue, yellow and purple trails, which are marked, according to distance. The blue is 800 meters, the yellow 1.5km and the purple 6km. There is also a 21km trail, which remains unmarked. This one takes you deeper into the forest (about 30km) and along the trail, you get to see tea plantations and a waterfall.
Up next was the zipline, which I was obviously first in line for. First up, we had to sign a waiver that basically promises you’re not gonna sue in case of anything. After a thorough safety briefing and careful strapping, the moment to step out of the wooden platform and send myself into full-throttle suspension had come.
Being up there makes you feel like you are in commune with nature. The views from that high up gives you a clear indication of just how good birds have it. Seeing the treetops and magnificent meandering river beneath is the most rewarding sight you will get here. The Forest has six lines that are a combined 2.2kms-long. The cost for a full six-line tour is Ksh 2,500 for an adult and Ksh 2,000 for a child.
A quick tick of my bucket list and it was off to the archery grounds where I was surprised to discover my hidden talent. I was hitting the bull’s eye so well, I should get Cupid’s job. For an hour of archery, it will cost you just Ksh 1,000 and you get to shoot as many arrows as time allows you. I was hooked. Sadly, my fun had to end early because of my archery-challenged counterpart (let’s just say he wouldn’t have cut it as a Knight in the old days).
We tried out the foot golf next which is not as easy as it sounds, well unless you are Mo Salah or Leo Messi. It’s a regular golf course with 16-holes but instead of a club and golf ball, you tee off with just a football and your feet. A hole-in-one? Forget about it because it’s virtually impossible – well, again unless you’re Mo or Leo. We rounded out our activity-filled day with horse riding which I totally loved. Stallions are unbelievably big and strong close up. They are also quite calming.
The Forest is an adventurer’s haven. It’s easy to get attached to the tranquil majesty of this place, and it becomes an emotional rollercoaster when you eventually have to leave. The Forest gave me memories that I will definitely re-live over and over.
Pics: Teddy Muraya