We left Nairobi at around 9AM in the morning on the D-day, 7th November 2015. We were to use the Thika-Nyeri route, but after seeking advice from the KWS officers at aberdares, we were to use the Nairobi-Nakuru highway through Njabini and Engineer. The road was going to be better than the one to Lake Magadi, so everyone in the bus was in a jovial mood. A few faces from the Lake Magadi trip were in for this, but for majority it was the first time with us (it is usually a good thing to have new members of the family).
As per the norm with any roadtrip from Nairobi towards Nakuru, we stopped at the Rift Valley viewpoint for some scenic views and a few photographs. Guys also got to buy a few souvenirs for themselves. 30 minutes later and we were on the road again.
We exited the highway at a roadside center called Flyover, driving through small towns known as Njabini and Engineer. If you read the article on Elephant Hill, Elephant Hill Hike, or you have been there to hike, you may be familiar with the towns. It was roughly a 3 hour journey, making a stop somewhere between the Aberdare Ranges gate and the Aberdares National Park gate, just to take in the view from the top of the ranges. It was too good to just drive by.
Mutubio gate was to be our entry point and after paying the necessary fees, we were off for our game drive. There are not so many animals near the gate, but we were lucky to spot a few sunis and guinea fowls. Sunis are samll and very tricky, getting a shot of them proved hard. Our first stop was to be Karuru Falls, then Chania Falls.
Karuru Falls is the highest and tallest in Kenya — a breathtaking sight that plunges 273 metres below the viewing point. The falls is surrounded by tall green indigenous trees, making it one of the most unique in the country. There several other waterfalls around the area. We were to only be there for 30 minutes, but we ended up spending one hour viewing the magnificent waterfall. We spotted a few reedbucks, bushbucks and waterbucks while there.
We were on the road again, time had gone by so fast..it was now almost 3 o’clock. And we had to get to the other side of Aberdares. We avoided stopping at Chania Falls, just viewed from inside the bus while driving through. On the way we spotted more waterbucks, they seem to be the most in Aberdares. And can I just say, they look yummy. Anyone ever tasted it’s meat?
As we chatted away, we soon found ourselves at Kiandangoro gate. We had used the wrong route while helping out some other travelers who had an accident. After getting the correct directions from the officers in charge, we drove back, which was the best decision we did desoite the fact that it was getting dark. On our way back we found a pack of African Wild dogs. These are one of the most rare animals in Kenya, we were so lucky
We also spotted a herd of bufallos and warthogs. By the time we were getting to Ruhuruini gate, it was already 6PM. We had the choice of going back to make our way to Treetop gate, but we chose not to. We had a long journey back to Nairobi, via Nyeri then Thika. We stopped in Nyeri for guys to have a meal before proceeding to Nairobi, arriving at around 10PM.
PS: For photos of the Aberdares trip, check Tembea aberdares photos.