Having previously visited Ngare Ndare Forest to do the canyoning, we were so struck by its beauty that we had to go back. The forest can be found at the foothills of Mount Kenya and is only approximately 45 kilometres from Nanyuki. We had visitors, Helen and Phil (also known as Simon, to prevent any confusion!) , who came over from the UK and we wanted to give them a taster of what Kenya has to offer. It is approximately 5554 hectares of indigenous forest and is home to the big 5. It is a vital corridor which elephants and migrating animals have used for centuries and it links the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Mount Kenya national park. The forest is also a major source of water for the rangelands to the northern regions of Lewa, Isiolo and Illingwesi. It became a World Heritage Site in 2013. This particular visit to the forest was slightly different to our last visit in that we decided to walk through the forest on the aerial bridge, suspended some 40ft (slightly over 12 metres) above the forest floor…. a tree top walkway around 450 metres in length! The steps up to the aerial bridge were very steep and it seemed incredibly high but the views were fantastic! Our guest, Phil (Simon), is not a fan of bridges but he braved it, and was seemingly in awe of the views from the tree tops, as was Helen. Indeed, both Phil and I were also gobsmacked by the beauty of the forest. We were lucky enough to see some elephants, happily munching their way through the lush forest, no doubt fuelling up in preparation for their epic wanderings through Kenya. There were many brightly coloured birds to be seen and the trees within the forest were staggeringly huge. Some of the trees are thought to be over 200 years old and there was an abundance of African Olive Trees, Red Cedar and a tree known as Strangler Figs. They are called ‘stranglers’ because they grow on a host tree as epiphytes, which they then slowly choke to death. The roots encircle the roots of the host tree, cutting off its food and water and ultimately killing the host.
Once we had taken some time to take in the beauty of the forest from the tree tops, and observed the elephants, we clambered down and went for a walk through the forest itself. We had to be accompanied by an armed ranger (David) just in case we came across any of the big 5. The walk itself was as beautiful as being up in the trees. The Ngare Ndare river and the Ngare Nything river emanate from the springs in the forest which create the blue pools and waterfalls which Phil and I jumped into and abseiled down on our previous visit to the forest. We chose not to terrify our guests with these activities (for now) but suffice to say, the walk itself through the forest was stunning. We were able to have coffee and cake by one of the blue pools so it was peaceful and tranquil and allowed us to take in the beauty of the forest from the floor.
Yet another wonderful day out in Kenya