Karuru Falls – Aberdare National Park

I salute all travel and tour organizers for having to deal with all calibre of people with different wants and expectations. 
This time round, I joined Kenya Hikes and Adventures for a day’s “hike” to Karuru Falls at Aberdare National Park. The park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Karuru Falls is believed to the highest falls in East and Central Africa.

The agreed departure time was 7.30am and this time round we did try to keep time as we set off at 8.00am. There were a few pickups along the super highway and a stop at the Birmingham of Kenya (Thika town) to stock up on lunch snacks. It was a smooth ride to Nyeri where we picked more hikers.
 At 11.45 am, we proceeded to Aberdares National Park headquarter offices, along the Nyeri – Nyahururu road, for a headcount and payment.
This lasted for about 30+ minutes. 
We officially arrived at Aberdare National Park Tree top gate at 12.30pm. We had a brief history and introduction about the park and the usual question answer session. 
This is the thing; I was so psyched for a hike, so you can imagine my disappointment when the “hike” turned out to be more of a game drive. It did not make it any better considering it was midday – the wrong time of the day to do a game drive since it was hot most animals are often cooling off and resting in the shade.” Early mornings and late afternoons make for best game drive times. 
Simple park rules apply: enter the park at your own risk, do not litter, do not feed the animals, do not alight from the car unless advised by a ranger and speed limit is 40kph. 
The murmuring and hushed tones among some group members was subtle at first as it was 1.05 pm,  driving in the park and not any wild animal nor bird seen. Most members felt shortchanged as they had hoped to burn calories through the hike as opposed to a game drive. Martin, our guide for the day, assured the team of a “hike” but only in open moorland as it’s not safe hiking in the forest and thick woodland due to poor visibility. 
2.00 pm found us still driving and this time our driver is not observing the speed limit as we are driving at 80kph. This led us to almost having a head on collision with a KWS Toyota land cruiser. The two KWS officials in it alight and ask the same of our driver with a directive to surrender his driving license. They scribble something down and ban him from driving in any of the KWS parks in the Republic of Kenya. 
By now the crowd is restless and bitter voicing their sentiments on being shortchanged as their expectations of a hike went south and thus demand to be taken back to Nairobi.
The bus was now divided into two camps: Camp 1 wanted to alight and walk approximately 3 kms to Karuru Falls, arguing that they came to hike. Camp 2 super annoyed, feeling wasted and fed up wanted to go back to Nairobi. You guessed right, I joined camp 1, I mean, I was at the Aberdares, what was left was make use of the opportunity and have a great time, so we alighted and walked to Karuru Falls, while camp 2 continued in the bus.
We got to the falls to find camp 2 trying to enjoy themselves.

Sadly for me, and don’t get me wrong here, I expected something similar to Zaina Falls experience where we would hike to the bottom of the falls, relax, have a photo session etc. There is a falls, yes, which you get to see from a platform but that is just about it. 
I must add though, the view is breath taking.
Even with so much drama, I did try to make the trip work for me.

Thanks for passing by.



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“Karuru Falls – Aberdare National Park”

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