Kijabe/Kinale Forest Hike

When was the last time you did something for the first time? This is the question I asked myself sometime in June this year. I have never gone for a hike before and to say the truth the fact that you will come back with an aching body or totally sore feet always made me not think of it at all. This time round I decided to take up the challenge because there is always that one urge that never gives you peace especially if your birthday is approaching. Thank God I have a friend who owns Keitan Safaris ( Yes Kevin we are now friends😂) and I had seen he was to go for a hike around the same time. I remember asking him how the terrain was and if people who had never gone for a hike before would manage. He re-assured me; ladies and gentlemen that is how I found myself paying for a hike.

It was finally hiking day and yours truly here was too psyched up and for the first time I did not struggle to wake up.( hihi this is where you clap) I made it to town on time and made my way to International Life House where we were to meet. At exactly 7 am we left Nairobi for Kijabe. We travelled in a spacious bus, everyone was excited about this new adventure and for first timers like me joy was evident. I sat next to a friend of mine I had met during our last trip and just so you know guys she influenced me going for this hike.

We stopped over at Riftvalley view point for a brief photo shoot and just admire our beautiful country. If you have been here you know how beautiful this place is especially the views. Next stop was at the Italian old Catholic church which is located on Mai Mahiu- Naivasha road also for a brief photo shoot and to at least get to know the history of the Old church. It is a small church that was built by italian prisoners in 1942 who wanted a place to worship since the British were Anglicans and them being Catholics they felt the need to have somewhere to worship. The walls on the inside have writings in latin also this church carries approximately 8 people, four on both sides. (If you are planning to hold a small wedding, HINT! HINT)

Stop Over at Italian Old church
Rift Valley View point

Finally we made it to Kijabe where our hike was to start. After brief Introductions we did our warm up which is meant to stretch your body before the hike. We then proceeded for tree planting at the foot of the forest then our hike started. The sun wasn’t hot, the weather was perfect. I believe this is the point I say, the only thing you are allowed to take during a hike is water and glucose which is better off mixed with water. People do walk in a straight line meaning their is always a pacesetter and the sweeper-the very last person. Lucky for us on this day the sweeper was a lady and she was really nice.

The first stretch was awesome no hills just the normal terrain and I remember asking myself why I had never done this before yet it was so easy. The challenge began when now we took a turn into the real forest. It muddy and slippery but still I told myself this was easy and definitely I could make it. We continued to walk and at some point you had to walk on fours hehehe you had to use your hands to support yourself. The more we walked the more the terrain continued to change but then we had decided to take this challenge so we had to keep walking. Later on at around one we got to a stop over where we had our snacks as some of us nursed our aching bodies. I later learnt that our hike was just about to begin and when I was shown where we were going, I felt my knees become weak. We walked into the forest and at this point I was not talking I had my walking stick with me. At some point Yvonne turned to check if I was behind her because I was extra ordinarily quiet. I regretted having taken up this challenge, my feet were sore, my joints ached and all I wanted was to sit down. For those who go to Mt. Longonot and always avoid going round, just know this is not for you. Hakuna kurudi nyuma you only have one option, to keep going.

Me faking a smile when we stopped to have our snacks.

At around some minutes to 6 we ended our hike at soko mjinga market. My people I was proud of myself I just sat down and cheered myself from the inside. I did not know I could make to the end without being carried. I felt like dancing all the way to Nairobi but who am I kidding my body was telling me not today. We did another stretch and this is meant to relax your muscles so that you do not limp away the following day. We drove off from soko mjinga market to go have our lunch, some of us really proud of ourselves and even wanting to do the next hike.

On this day I learnt that strangers are not really strange, they are people we have not met yet and they turn out to be that family you are building a relationship with and who knows these relationships might last. Also that first times are scary, emotionally confusing and awesome at the same time. On this day I felt love from a totally new angle and all I wanted was to live there a little longer. Though I turned down the next hiking offer this was an amazing experience and I am definitely doing this again.

Hiking is that place you feel your sore feet but your soul feels full of life and you just fall in love all over again with nature. I left Kijabe a different person maybe I can’t put it in words but then going up those hills and continuous walks into the forest changed my view on life and many other things.

Some first times are amazing I tell you. Enjoy few pics from the forest.

Mini waterfalls in the wild.
Walking deep into Kijabe forest.
Views from the top of Kijabe forest.

Till next time go do that one thing that you have been scared of.

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  1. This is really lovely Phenny..keep going..I enjoyed the journey with you..PS how did you manage to stand on those rocks with the river beneath you(Freaked me out of my skin!)

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