With the possibilities of ziplining in Kenya growing every other day, I knew it was only a matter of time before the idea would find its way into my never-ending travel bucket list.
What I did not know though was that it would take over a year and some months to strike it off that list – in Kereita Forest, about 22 KM (49 minutes) from Limuru town. To zipline at Kereita for me was more appealing for the following 3 reasons.
1. A Chance to Fly Longer, Go Faster, Explore More
Kereita has the longest zipline in East Africa with a zip tour that comprises 6 lines stretching for more than 2,200 M over mountain valleys covered by a gorgeous dense forest. Reaching speeds of up to 60 KM/H, it also is the fastest in the region. Each of the 6 lines is set apart from the other, hence you have to take short walks between which gives you ample opportunities to explore. There is the option of doing 2 lines as well.
2. Ziplines Built to International Safety Standards
While ziplining is fun, it could potentially be risky. You, therefore, need as many assurances as possible that your safety gets premium attention. The Flying Fox, the guys who run the zipline at Kereita, maintain the highest European Union safety standards in their ziplines and equipment. Additionally, they train you on a short, model zipline before allowing you anywhere near the big lines.
3. You Get Spoilt for Choice on Activities
Besides ziplining, you can indulge in a variety of other fun activities at Kereita, a few of which I have described below:
Fly-fishing is accomplished at the Gatamaiyu River which provides 8 KM well stocked with rainbow trout. If this is your first time at this kind of thing, professional instructors are on standby to ensure you bag a catch. The fun part of this activity is the moment when you get to cook and eat your prize catch!
The thick woodland areas interspersed with large open spaces and vantage points make a game of paintball quite an experience at Kereita. Enjoy the glory of hitting your mark but be humble enough to accept a splatter!
Practice an ancient art of warfare with nothing more than the desire to have fun. Scoring a bullseye increases your chances of etching your name on the leaderboard. While it is not a must, the temptation for bragging rights is ever so close! I succumbed to the temptation and ended up with a huge score of 91. That earned me a chance to try the 12 M distance used by the military. I scored a high of 68 on that distance!
Kereita has marked biking trails for everyone to enjoy a refreshing ride across the sweeping countryside. There are also purpose-built trails with demanding circuits for the adrenaline junkies looking to concur the sweeping corners and make those exciting Super Sports jumps.
Other more subtle, family-oriented, activities include tree planting, foot golf, nature walking, horse riding and camping. They also have forest rovers. I did not try out the rovers and did not see anyone else do.
The resident restaurant which, by the way, serves some delectable buffet-type meal options, came in handy after the day’s activities. I can promise you that after a ziplining and archery session, all you will be wanting to do is to grab a quick bite, if not gobble up a full meal.
The weekday packages, which are comparatively cheaper than the weekend ones, offer great value for money. They also include lunch at the restaurant. Take advantage of a running offer to get an extra free glass of juice. All you need to do is rate the restaurant on the Chef’s Delights Awards website. The restaurant got nominated for Best Continental Restaurant.
As I had said earlier, there are many other options you could consider for an enjoyable ziplining experience. Take the People’s Park in Machakos for instance. For only KES 500, you can choose to do either the 200 M or the 300 M zipline.
The Limuru zipline in The Dam Redhill, on the other hand, goes for between KES 300-KES 1,000. If flying over a dam at Redhill is not adrenalin-inducing enough, then perhaps the 120 M stretch over the mighty Tana River at the Rapids Camp Sagana, will.
Many critics have described the view on this 250 M zipline as the most spectacular in Africa. About 114 KM from Nairobi, you get the thrill of your life for KES 4,500 including entrance fees.
Kilifi also has a zipline facility at the Bofa Beach Resort which charges 1,500 per session.
Have you included ziplining in your 2019 bucket list? Please do. You will not regret it. If you choose to zipline at Kereita, plan to be there early. It tends to rain quite heavily in the afternoon. Plus you have about 8 KM through the underpass and into the forest ahead of you from Kimende town.
If you plan to use public transport, grab a matatu going to Naivasha from Nairobi and alight at Kimende. From Kimende you can take a Boda to Kereita for about KES 300. Limuru has matatus whose final destination is actually Kimende. Go enjoy!
- Prebook your visits before going.
- Include a Kenya Forest Service gate fee in your budget which you pay as you get into Kereita Forest.
- Have some money in your M-PESA wallet or carry a Credit or Debit card to settle your bills. They do not allow cash.
- Work with an opening time of 8:30 AM and a closing time of 5:30 PM. The last activity usually starts at 4:00 PM. Early birds avoid very erratic weather up here.
- Do not show up on Monday! They do not work that day.
- Dress up like a hiker who anticipates all manner of weather changes. Above all, stay warm and mud-ready!