Kenya is blessed with breathtaking nature parks, picturesque hills, glorious wetlands, and glorious landscapes.
Now, I have been lucky to tour some of the most amazing nature trails in Kenya and I can assure you one thing: Kenya is a small heaven.
And whether you’re looking to refresh by changing your regular scenery or just to have fun with friends on a memorable hiking trip, the stunning nature trails in Kenya will leave you thoroughly impressed.
Likewise, if you wish to re-connect with nature, Kenya offers you myriad scenic sites. Here is a brief sneak preview of some of Kenya’s stunning nature trails..
Top 13 Must-Visit Nature Trails in Kenya
Our list of nature trails in Kenya comprises of some in Nairobi, Mt Kenya region, coast, Eastern Kenya (Ukambani), Rift valley, and even Western Kenya. Enjoy..
1. Oloolua Nature Trail Nairobi
This offers everything- a cave, campsites, a beautiful waterfall, and is an amazing picnic site.
Oloolua nature trail is especially popular among camping enthusiasts since unlike other parks where you may stumble on marauding animals like Leopards, it’s mainly inhabited by monkeys- which largely mind their business.
The ice waterfalls are a sight to behold while the trails are great for mountain biking.
You should make a date with Oloolua nature trail if you’re looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. And yes, carry a friend- they will thank you later.
Oloolua nature trail access:
Address: Karen Road, Nairobi Contact Telephone: +254 720 650869
2. Karura Forest
Karura forest rose to prominence in the nineties when the late conservationist and Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai single-handedly fought off a horde of Kenya’s infamous land grabbers who wanted to hive off a large chunk for private use.
And it has since recovered its glory and is today widely regarded as one of the most gorgeous nature trails in Kenya.
Karura forest nature trail is rich with countless species of wildlife, lovely waterfalls, enigmatic caves, challenging hiking paths, and delightful picnic areas.
The forest covers about 1,041 ha and is just a stone throw away from Nairobi city center. It’s such an immensely beautiful place to walk in and clear your mind and it hosts a couple of hiking events Kenya.
Karura Forest nature trail Location:
Address: Take Limuru Road. The entrance is slightly past the Belgian Embassy
Contact Telephone: +254 (20) 2020285
3. Nairobi safari walk
Located a mere 7 kilometers from the buzzing city centre, Nairobi safari walk proudly stands tall on the west of the capital and has a bevy of appealing offerings.
Apart from its proximity to the Nairobi National park- the only wildlife sanctuary located in a capital city world over- , the nature trail has one of Kenya’s most iconic ecological systems.
You will also meet some of rare wildlife- including the elusive bongo, albino zebra, and white rhino – and an astonishingly rich collection of insects and plants.
It’s such a relaxing experience trekking on the Elevated wooden boardwalk in the midst of the rich vegetation (the landscape has over 150 species of diverse trees).
Your kids are also well catered for and will learn a lot from the smiling staff at the Children’s museum.
Nairobi safari walk nature trail access:
The site is off Lang’ata Road, within KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) head office. Contact Telephone: 0800 597 000
4. Ngong Hills Nature Reserve
The leading hiking groups in Kenya organize Ngong hills hiking trips every few weeks and it’s easy to see why.
You have the luxury of choosing either to climb to the apex of the jaw-dropping Ngong Hills as you enjoy the scenic view of Ngong town and the wider Nairobi horizon or laze around one of the cool picnic spots.
The hills are approximately 22 kilometers from the city and stands at about 1961metres above sea level so hiking here is quite an adventure. You can also gather here with buddies for a goat-choma session.
Ngong hills nature trail access:
Ngong hills hiking usually starts at Ngong Police Station, Ngong town.
5. Castle Forest
Another of the Kenya’s crown jewels, Castle forest is tucked away in the Southern ridges of Mt. Kenya- Kenya’s highest mountain and is one of the only two sites from central Kenya to make it to our list of top nature trails in Kenya.
The forest is home to a bountiful of flora and fauna who seem right at home across the lush green vegetation.
A castle forest hike offers you a unique experience because you can participate in dozens of thrilling activities including fishing- yes, there are countless pools along the way.
Walking enthusiasts, history buffs, and bird watchers will enjoy a well-rounded outing in this gem, one of the star attractions in the agricultural-rich Kirinyaga county.
If you want to spend the night, the nearby Castle forest lodge will keep you warm especially because the area can be quite chilly. And please carry cold clothing lest the weather pulls a fast one on you.
Castle forest nature trail access:
If you’re going for a castle forest hike, you branch off at Makutano on your way to Embue (Nairobi- Nyeri highway) and then branch again at Kimunye past Kutus.
6. Loroghi hills
If you want to savor the beauty of the rift valley at its purest as you trek with your buddies for yet another bonding outing, I recommend Loroghi hills.
Famous globally among picnickers, the mythical hills host some of Kenya’s most spectacular escarpments.
There’s also abundant jungle life including melodious bird and the occasional leopard. The area is pretty dry so you will encounter herders and warriors from the Samburu community travelling with their herds in search for pastures.
Perhaps the easiest way to access this small paradise is via the airstrip at Mararal town.
You can as well travel with hiking companies such as team hiking Kenya safaris and Tusafiri Africa safaris who often organize hiking trips to the hills.
Loroghi hills nature trail access:
As I said, the best way of accessing the area is via Maralal town.
If traveling by private means, you can pass the Nairobi-Nyahururu route to Maralal.
Accessible hotels include Samburu guest house and Maralal safari lodge.
7. Ololosokuan nature trail
Also renowned as among the paradise-like nature trails in Kenya , Ololosokuan nature trail is located near Ngong town, a few kilometers from Nairobi city center.
Again, it provides you with an exhilarating view of the city’s skyline by the virtue of it rising higher than Nairobi.
Hikes here involves some dare-devil hike activities like bouldering (you climb rocks without equipment) and plenty of sightseeing.
You can opt for the less challenging route through the bushes or pursue the testing rocky and the aforementioned bouldering (since the footpath end at some point).
Dikdiks (These always walk in twos), gazelles, and a few rock hyrax dot different spots. And there’s vast Flora too including some edible wildfruits.
The Savannah Sunset Ololosokuan resort can offer you camping ground facilities if you wish to prolong your stay.
Ololosokuan nature trail location and access:
Simply drive or take a matatu to Ngong town then head to the above-mentioned Savannah Sunset Resort (take a motorbike).
8. Olorngelai nature trail
Now, if you’re obsessed with rock-climbing, you haven’t experienced anything if you haven’t visited Olorngelai nature trail.
The rocky and bushy nature trail is located about 45 kilometres from Nairobi, deep in Maasai land and is a favorite for mountaineers and rock climbers.
In terms of excursion, the nature trail is between easy and moderate and is generally manageable even by not-so-experienced climbers.
But there are certain spots where you’ve to duck in between scary looking rocks so it’s not a dull terrain. You can also view the peaks of Mt Suswa and even Mt Longonot from here.
Olorngelai Nature trail location and access:
The nature trail is about 15 minutes from Ngong town and is on the western slope of Ngong hills.
9. Naro Moru Hike Nature Trail
If you have always dreamed of trekking Mount Kenya, the Naro Moru route is convenient and you can even return to the city the same evening.
You may not have to climb to the highest snow-capped point, Batian (5,199 metres) but you will still experience a rewarding outing on the lower edges.
Like in other volcanic mountains, the scenery is diverse and breathtaking and a real challenge especially during the cold months of June- August.
The trail quickly changes from dirt roads to bamboo zones and further to dense tropical forest zones.
The fauna is likewise diverse- with Elephants, Zebras, Buffaloes, Monkeys, and tons of birds being the most noticeable. Prepare to walk for between 3-5 days if you want to conquer the whole route.
Naru Moru Hike/Nature trail location and access:
Drive to Naro Moru or take a Matatu to Nanyuki from the City centre and alight at Naro Moru.
You can ask any of the bodaboda (motorbike) guys about where to find the guides.
Naromoru river lodge is not far as well as the fives-star Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari club if you’re looking for accommodation.
Ngong Forest is another wonderful natural facility near Nairobi and a haven for bikers, pilgrims, lovers, and random fun seekers.
The ecosystem is magical and has a little bit of everything- evening walk trails, sun gazing, smooth biking and running tracks, a couple of natural ponds, scenic picnic corners…you name it..
The views are photogenic too and a dream for photographers and vloggers to breath fresh life to their art.
For those emotionally hurting and looking for a change of scenery, Ngong forest’s special therapeutic ambiance might be just what the doctor ordered.
The fact that it’s just 6 kilometers from the CBD makes it all the more convenient as you can even walk there on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Ngong forest entrance and access route:
The entrance is just off Ngong road.
Helpline: +254 703 916114
Though it stands at a relatively smaller height of just 2,188m, Chyulu hills remains an exquisite attraction in Kenya thanks to its myriad interesting activities.
In the morning, bird species entertain you with melodious rhythms from deep in their habitat to prepare you for the testing hilly terrain if you’re after a good hike.
If not, there is countless sightseeing and nature appreciation opportunities or even guided tours… You can as well decide to tour the mythical caves or just enjoy the pleasing flora especially during the rainy season.
Trails here are non-existent so you follow animal tracks which makes it advisable to bring a Kenya wildlife service ranger along -the hills are under the Chyulu national park under the KWS management.
Chyulu hills entrance and access route:
The hills are about 30 kilometers from Kibwezi town in Makueni county, Ukambani, on the north-western side of the famous Travo-west national park.
It’s approximately 200 kilometers from Nairobi.
Curious first-timers discover a refreshing new world teeming with rare plants, birds, and wildlife as they make their through the expansive trails within the extensive Kakamega forest.
Hobbyists relish the rainforest’s inhabitants including a giant tree along Mukangu trails, the tiny but charming Isiukhu fall, dozens of mammals including giant forest hedgehogs, and birds like Grey Parrots.
If you love rock climbing, bird watching, or even hiking, the serenity of kakamega forest will be such an awesome experience.
Unsurprisingly, walking in Kakamega forest is a must-do for many visitors to Western Kenya.
Kakamega forest entrance and access:
The forest is in Kakamega Town, 418 km from Nairobi and while passing through Nakuru and Kapsabet.
You can also fly to Kakamega or to Kisumu (and drive onwards to Kakamega).
13.Kaya Kinondo sacred forest
It’s just unbelievable that this jewel somehow doesn’t register with many nature lovers beyond the coast of Kenya.
Nevertheless, it’s one of the Nature trails in Kenya that you will want to keep going back to.
It gets its rich history from the Digo people and it’s actually sacred to the Digo community so you have to abide by the set rules.
For instance, you can’t kiss your partner while in the forest neither can you be allowed beyond the entrance with head gear.
Away from that, a walk in Kaya kinondo sacred forest is a thoroughly fulfilling spiritual, educational, and explorative experience.
It has over 187 plant species – mostly indigenous – and is undoubtedly one of Kenya’s most valuable natural forest.
Kaya Kinondo entrance and access:
The forest is off Diani Beach Road outside Mombasa city.
ALSO READ: Low cost hotels in Mombasa
Kenya offers choice aplenty when it comes to exploration, adventure, and Recharging.
And as you have seen, the above 13 nature trails in Kenya are fantastic for recreation, meditation, recharging, or random fun.
Of course, there are tens of other such wonders across the country and I will be covering them in an upcoming post.
For now, create time and go rewind from these amazing nature trails. It’s simply an experience like no other.