Karuru waterfall sits well inside the Aberdare National Park at an altitude of 10508 feet and 3187 meters above the sea level. It is duped the longest waterfall in Kenya with two others overlooking from the adjacent side of the cliff, giving a spectacular view.
We left Nairobi at 5.30 am on a Sunday, taking the Nairobi-Naivasha highway, arriving at the Matubio West Gate by 9 am. We were received by our guide, who had to be an armed warden.
The hike from the gate to the waterfall and back is about 18kms. A simple and captivating walk suitable for everyone, including beginners. Our trip to the waterfalls was easy. It was fun. Everyone was excited to witness the much-hyped waterfall.
As soon as we got to the first viewing point, where we could observe two waterfalls on the other side of the range, altitude sickness sets in; two of our members because sick. It is 10508 feet, quite high; not everyone can withstand that.
View of the main waterfall
The second viewing point offers an opportunity to see the three sets of the waterfall. The breeze, sound of the water falling, and the atmosphere is everything one can ask for. Here comes another nostalgic view, the rainbow. As long as the sun shone, the rainbow formed. Ooh, what an experience!
The view down the valley is marvelous. I think it is a perfect place to shoot a movie.
Karimu River is on the way to the waterfalls. Apparently, the river flows updates instead of downwards hence the name ‘Karimu,’ which I understand means ‘foolish’ in Kikuyu language. You might not quickly notice the river, not unless you keenly read the signboard. It is almost still. Could it be because it is flowing upwards? I can’t explain that.
Aberdare National Park is full of wild animals from the elephants, buffalos, and hyenas, among others. This is the reason you are not allowed to set foot inside the park without the armed ranger.
We were lucky and unlucky at the same time. We did not encounter any animals, but we could notice fresh prints on the ground. Might be they were hiding from us.
Throwing wastes, especially non-biodegradable inside the park, is prohibited. It is common knowledge. Before we began our journey, our guide categorically cautioned the hikers against dirtying the park. Despite the warming, we encountered plastic soda and water bottles on the way. It is bad practice- can you imagine how the park will be after one year if people carelessly leave their dirt after use! The guide being a responsible Kenya, calling the park his home, does the needful and collects the plastics.
It is the responsibility of every individual setting, enjoying the tranquility of the park to keep the area cleaner than they found. Without that, there will be nothing of interest to view; no better way to keep it clean than to ditch single-use water bottles and soda cans.
BE A RESPONSIBLE HIKER!
What you need to know
- Before you set out to Karuru falls, you need to consider a slightly raised and stable car.
- Carry your identification document- national ID or a passport
- Entry is not free. Head over to KWS official webpage to confirm the charges
- You need an armed guide who has to be the warden
- There is weak to no mobile connectivity in the park
- Put on Proper clothing- in this case warm clothing, it can get cold and rain at any time
- Altitude is high- be ready