My experience ziplining at The Forest
By Waithera Mbuthia
A friend of mine took me to Kereita-The Forest this past weekend, for a much needed break from the city hustle. You’ve heard of The Forest, no? Okay, you need to visit The Forest if you haven’t. It is at Kimende, past Limuru in Kiambu county- approximately One and a half hours drive from the City. From the Nakuru-Nairobi highway, it’s almost eight kilometers in. There are signs to show you the direction. It is located in Kereita forest, which is manned by the Kenya Forest Services(KFS).
For starters, I’ve been postponing my visit to this scenery. I lived in Kimende a while back, so I kept wondering what more does the place have to offer than what it offered me back then. But, being an outdoor lover,the promise of the zipline thrill kept calling me. So, I finally gave in.
Until Covid happened, The Forest was open on all days except Mondays. Since reopening post Covid, they have adjusted their timetable and are only open Fridays to Sundays. To go there in recent times, you have to pre-book, so that they can slot you in.Also, you have to pay a deposit fee of a thousand Kenyan shillings,non-refundable. When you get there, you will top up the amount needed for whichever activity you choose.
We started our journey from town,at around eleven in the morning. My friend who was supposed to have pre-booked our slot, had forgotten to do so, and we almost decided to forego the whole thing. Then we decided to call and see if we can get a slot for the same day.Luckily for us, we were told that if we are there by one, then we could get a chance. And so we paid a deposit of a thousand shillings per person. We got to Kimende and branched off to the road leading there. As you start on the winding road, you can already feel the sense of calmness creeping in. The road is in good condition, considering the location of the place. We even found some roadworks going on, to make it better. At the Forest’s entrance, there is a KFS station, where we paid entry fees of two hundred Kenyan shillings per person. A receipt was issued for the same. The weather was a bit warm, but the place is naturally chilly. The KFS officer gave us directions to The Forest, and we began our way in.
This place is beautiful to say the least. We drove through the forest enjoying the beautiful calm scenery for about two kilometers. The road here is a bit rough but still in good condition,considering there had been rains. Nothing can describe the calm feeling, unless you go experience it yourself. For a moment I forgot all my troubles, and wished I could spend an entire day, just looking and taking it all in. We got to the entrance and were ushered in, there is enough parking space. There's someone who mans and directs the parking process.
They have installed Covid-19 containment measures as required by the Ministry of Tourism/Health. You get to wash your hands first as you approach the registration desk. Our temperature was taken, and recorded together with our personal details. The personal details included our names, residence, and contact information. Also, you have to keep your mask on. Social distance is being observed, at all points,including the restaurant. From the desk, we headed inside to the office, to finish our payment, and head out to the activities. We got, to the payment office to pay for our activities, which is close to the restaurant. The view from the restaurant is beautiful. They have different offers on their menu. I was meant to understand that pre-Covid, they used to have buffet meals, but not anymore. Also, they are not selling alcohol for now, as per the guidelines. We got there just in time for ziplining O'clock. Below are some pointers on what to expect:
1. At the flying fox desk, you’ll get a brief on how the ziplining will go.
2. The instructors will help you put on the ziplining gear. A pair of latex gloves is provided, before putting on the rubber glovesused for the zip line.
3. There is a short zip line, where we you’ll get instructions before going to the main line.
4. Here the instructors will teach you how to brake, and how to position yourself, and what to do in case you are stuck.
5. Safety checks are also done here. Once you are good here, you proceed to the main line.
6. They take people in groups, each group between two instructors.
7. Then you get to the main zip line where you go one person at a time.
8. The instructor performs some more safety checks, and then you are good to go.
Personally. I did two zip lines and the adrenaline is on another level. My legs felt like jelly for a while after the experience.
There are other activities here like paintballing,archery and nature walks. All activities are charged differently, there is a price list and you can check this out on their site here .They have also introduced a zip line for children recently.
Unfortunately, the weather changed and it started raining before we went for paintballing. So we had to leave
Kimende being a chilly place, please do not forget to carry your jackets as the weather may change any time.