Blue waterfalls, canopy walks, elephants and more. Ngare Ndare forest is one of the most beautiful places I’ve traveled to in Kenya! Ngare Ndare, which means “Waterfall of the Gods” in Masai is very rightfully named. The closest thing to paradise I’ve yet to visit, and by far the most stunning in Kenya, I was shocked by the untouched beauty of this incredible place.
Ngare Ndare forest seems to have been forgotten by tourists, making it one of the best places to visit!
Things to Do at Ngare Ndare
Although it is famous for its stunning waterfalls, Ngare Ndare forest offers a few other activities as well! Super important to know beforehand is that a (usually armed) GUIDE IS REQUIRED DURING YOUR VISIT. It only costs about $10 per day, but because of the wild animals, specifically the elephants, it is highly recommended. The Big Five can be spotted within the forest and it is risky to walk around unprotected.
The amount of waterfalls in Kenya will never cease to surprise me. Everywhere we went there seemed to be another hidden waterfall. The sad part was that, in most places, it was impossible or highly NOT recommended to swim in the waters. In Ngare Ndare forest, all of that changed!
The waters in Ngare Ndare are not only perfectly safe to swim in, but rumored also to be clean enough to drink! The clear blue and green waterfalls were by far the most beautiful I’ve seen in Kenya.
A small hike of about 45 minutes is required to reach the waterfalls. If you have 4-wheel drive, there is also the option of driving through some streams and very tiny forest roads for half of the hike to shorten the walking distance.
The main and largest waterfall is the most popular. On weekends you will probably see many locals visiting and going from swims. However, there is another, more hidden waterfall, known as “The Source” about a 15 minute hike away from the main one. Here we found the most incredible and insanely clear blue water, with only maybe one or two other people there.
Be warned however that the water is ICE COLD, seriously insanely cold! But it is so worth the swim! As the waterfalls are a bit of a hike from where you park your car, be sure to jump in right as you arrive (before you cool off).
Ngare Ndare’s canopy walk was an unexpected surprise for me when I visited. I was expecting mainly to see and swim in the waterfalls, but the canopy walk was an additional pleasure! Rising 10 meters above the forest ground, you can walk above the tree tops. If you’re lucky you may even be able to spot some animals underneath you as you walk the 450 meters suspended bridge above the forest.
Walking above mini waterfalls, babbling brooks, and endless green foliage, it was certainly a wonderful way to end our visit to Ngare Ndare.
Check out the full post on this jumpsuit that I made just for Kenya: KENYA – THE 2 OUTFITS I DESIGNED JUST FOR MY FIRST TRIP TO AFRICA | FASHION DESIGN
As in most places in Kenya, there is always the possibility of great wildlife sightings! In Ngare Ndare they are particularly famous for the many many elephants known to roam the forest. On the drive into the park we saw a whole family and after our canopy walk a whole second group. And they were so close too!
According to our local guide, apparently the Big Five- lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo can also all be spotted. Most of them tend to only come out at night though.
How to Get to Ngare Ndare
Ngare Ndare forest can definitely be considered a hidden treasure. Tucked safely away, it is quite the drive reaching this place. About a four hours drive from Nairobi and one hour from the nearest city-Nanyuki. Most of the roads leading to Ngare Ndare are also not in the best condition and I would definitely recommend going only with a car that has 4-wheel drive!
There are two gates as entrances to Ngare Ndare. The first, which is only a small hut with no visible signs, is where you pay. If you have the locally used M-Pesa, that is the best as most places no longer accept cash and many do not have card reading facilities. The second entrance is where they will check your ticket and where your guide will be waiting for you. They would not allow us in without a pre-booked guide to come with us.
Here is where you park your car if you don’t have 4-wheel drive, if you want to hike to the waterfalls, or if you are going straight to the canopy walk. In order to skip the majority of the hiking (and if your car is capable) you can drive about a half hour through the forest to another parking place (some room for cars within the bushes) and walk about 10 minutes to the waterfalls. This is only allowed if there has been no rain as the “roads” are merely dirt paths that are very steep in some areas, very windy, and have two water crossings.
Where to Stay
As Ngare Ndare forest is located about a four hour drive from Nairobi, it is recommended to stay in the area for at least one night if you are planning to visit. Nanyuki, the nearest city, is about a one hour drive away. Although there are not too many accommodations within Nanyuki, Laikipia county in general is very beautiful and has many options of lovely lodges. We spent the weekend in Laikipia county and stayed at Olepangi Farm for our stay. It was an lovely place to stay with many options of activities, a beautiful view of Mount Kenya, and wonderful food. The staff also helped us arrange our trip to Ngare Ndare and helped us find a guide very last minute!
View the full post: THE MOST INCREDIBLE LODGE BY MOUNT KENYA – OLEPANGI FARM | LAIKIPIA, KENYA
Tips for Visiting Ngare Ndare
- Guide– You will most likely not be allowed entry into Ngare Ndare without an armed guide! The animals, especially the elephants, are a big concern here. Additionally, there are absolutely no trial markings so finding your way around will be DEFINETLY be a challenge without a local.
- Cost – Entrance fees are about $40 per person for tourists, and $20 per person for residents and citizens. If you want a personal guide, the fee is about $10. If you want to go with a group, it will be a bit less. Vehicle fees for entering with your own car is about $5.
- Camping – There is also the option of camping at Ngare Ndare and there is a campsite area right near the second park entrance. Again you will need an armed guard to keep animals away at night!
- 4-wheel drive – Even just getting to the first entrance of the park would have been a challenge without 4-wheel drive as the roads are in very poor conditions, especially if it rains. If you’re renting a car or even coming by Uber, I would HIGHLY suggest trying to find a vehicle that is good for off the road driving!
If you’re looking for more amazing things to do in the region check out our blog post from Laikipia County and Mount Kenya region: THE MOST INCREDIBLE LODGE BY MOUNT KENYA – OLEPANGI FARM | LAIKIPIA, KENYA. For more fun things to do in Kenya, check out our Kenya page!
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters
Gayathri AnanthNovember 21, 2020 at 5:38 pm
Lucky amazing girls you both are… Romping around the world to all the divinely beautiful fabulous places.. God bless you dears💓💓loved your blog….indepth detail you have provided… I already had a virtual tour and felt like I am already there..Keep going… 👍👍
Colorful SistersNovember 21, 2020 at 8:16 pm
Thank you so much!! I’m happy to have been able to give a little bit of a virtual tour, especially because this place is just so incredible and unique!
Olympus MountaineeringNovember 21, 2020 at 6:08 pm
The post is great, with plenty info (as usual) and Ngare Ndare forest seems to be like a really nice place to visit.
Thanks for this nice post.
Colorful SistersNovember 21, 2020 at 8:15 pm
Thanks so much!! It truly is an amazing location! Among the most beautiful that I’ve visited 🙂
travelling_hanNovember 21, 2020 at 9:07 pm
What a beautiful place 🙂
Colorful SistersNovember 21, 2020 at 10:03 pm
It truly is!!!
hethrgoodNovember 22, 2020 at 1:29 am
This is stunning—thank you for sharing your adventure! I live in an area that’s rich with waterfalls too, so I’m drawn to them. I’d LOVE to see wild animals roaming the forest below me from that suspended walking bridge though—super cool!! 😍😍😍
Colorful SistersNovember 22, 2020 at 7:58 am
Lucky that you live in an area rich with waterfalls! We have a few in Israel, but I was shocked how many there were everywhere in Kenya! The animals were amazing as well! Definitely an amazing place!
hethrgoodNovember 22, 2020 at 8:35 am
That was a surprise for me to learn as well!
The Parmigiana WhispererNovember 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm
Colorful SistersNovember 23, 2020 at 8:30 am
Optimal HealthNovember 22, 2020 at 9:03 pm
Kenya is truly a beautiful country. I am glad you enjoyed yourself.
Colorful SistersNovember 23, 2020 at 8:30 am
It really is ! 🙂
robertcdayNovember 23, 2020 at 6:57 am
… and you write beautifully too! 🙂
Colorful SistersNovember 23, 2020 at 8:34 am
Aww thank you so much!!!
robertcdayNovember 24, 2020 at 4:21 pm
Benjamin GrossmanNovember 23, 2020 at 10:54 am
Wow, beautiful pictures. That definitely looks like a place that lives up to its name!
Colorful SistersNovember 23, 2020 at 2:11 pm
Couldn’t agree more!!
fragglerockingNovember 23, 2020 at 8:29 pm
Ah ladies you are living the dream! 🙂
Colorful SistersNovember 23, 2020 at 9:33 pm
Trying our best!!
fragglerockingNovember 23, 2020 at 11:38 pm
Doing grand, I’ll be following along.
Colorful SistersNovember 24, 2020 at 8:37 am
So excited!! 🙂
Eromonsele EmmanuelDecember 1, 2020 at 12:17 am
This seems like quite the adventure. I’ve seen some content about Kenya musings but never this waterfall. Great for sharing and that tip about exploring with a local because of wildlife is a big lifesaver.
Colorful SistersDecember 1, 2020 at 9:58 am
It really is a hidden gem!! So few people know about it, and I only came across it on my second trip to Kenya, but so happy that I did!! I love to discover off the beaten path places :)). I’m happy you enjoyed and maybe one day you can visit this incredible place!
Eromonsele EmmanuelDecember 2, 2020 at 12:02 am
World Safari Land ToursDecember 3, 2020 at 5:34 am
Always feel most welcomed again and again, ever thought of Tanzania trips ? We can also help on organising .
Get in touch
Colorful SistersDecember 3, 2020 at 8:34 am
Thank you so much! Tanzania looks so amazing, also Zanzibar! Hopefully one day 🙂
World Safari Land ToursDecember 4, 2020 at 4:47 am
Most invited and welcomed
Charles DadaDecember 5, 2020 at 8:18 pm
Stunning photos. Another world!
Colorful SistersDecember 6, 2020 at 8:53 am
Very much so!! Very amazing 🙂
RoffydeeDecember 7, 2020 at 6:07 am
Wow. This was a good read, now all I want to do is go to Ngare Ndare Forest. Awesome content 👍🏼
Colorful SistersDecember 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Thank you!! I hope you can go and visit one day 🙂
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[…] in it never presented itself until a day near the end of my trip. We were driving back from the Ngare Ndare forest when I saw these amazing barren expanses with the lonely, but stunning tree right in the middle. It […]