Hey there my good people,
A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a weekend plan. It had been a while since I had gone for an adventure. I had seen a post on Instagram from a local travel company about an adventure in the forest trip so I reached out to the travel company and paid for the trip. I then worked to get a day off from my boss which is usually harder than going to the moon but I succeeded. On the eve of the forest adventure, I got a call from the travel company to say that they had a ‘transport hitch’ so the trip had to be postponed to a later date. I now suspect that was a lie because almost a month later, I still have not gotten any communication on the new date for the trip. This incident reminded me why I do not like organized group activities because they almost always backfire.
I was very disappointed but I had to look for a plan B. I called my cousin in Nakuru, my friend in Maralal and another friend in Kajiado (Okay I was desperate). Nothing positive came out of my phone calls until I called my friend Terry in Nairobi and asked her if she would go to the fourteen falls with me. I had always wanted to go there so I was super excited when she said she was in.
As I embarked on my little adventure the next day, I read about the destination on Lucia Musau’s blog so I had an idea of what to expect… beautiful scenery, the sound of water and foul smell. I met my friend at Roysambu, boarded a matatu to Thika another one to Kilimambogo and a bodaboda to the falls. I should mention here that to get to some destinations, public transport will serve you just fine so never limit your travel to when you get your own car/ hire a car / fuel a friend’s car. Of course having private car is more comfortable and convenient… I digress.
On reaching the fourteen falls, we were welcomed by a very charming ‘Kanju’ guy who literally dropped the barrier like he would for a car and made me walk through confessing that when I go there again I would be driving my own car to which I said Amen (I know God heard that). There was a lot of activity around the falls with different vendors, school children on a school trip and guys offering to take us on tour around the falls at a cost. The first guy charged us 300 shillings, the second 400 and the third 500. We found a good spot to take in the scenery and get my camera settings right before deciding whether to take the guide’s offer or not.
Of the many tour guides, one, Jose, was very persistent. He charged us 300 shillings (3$) per person and told us that we would decide if it was worth it at the end of the adventure.
We started off with the scariest boat ride ever. The boat was wooden and there was some dirty water on the floor. I could paint a picture of how scared I was while Terry laughed at me but in my panic mode I still managed to capture a few beautiful shots from the boat.
We then walked through some very hot rocks with our guide gracefully carrying my pink bag and shoes until we got as close the cliff as we could.
I mentioned earlier that I had read about the foul smell but I guess this was my lucky day because it wasn’t there. The first thing I noticed however when we got close to the falls was the heaps of litter (plastic bags, plastic bottles and beer cans). I tried not to let it ruin my day but just when I thought it could not get any worse, I saw a bunch of young kids taking their sodas and beers then throwing the cans in the river! It is very unfortunate though that the county government of Kiambu has not put up any dustbin / waste disposal point. I believe this, together with DO NOT LITTER signs would make a significant difference. I also hope with the plastic ban, there will be a bit of change.
Jose was very patient with us as we posed for the best photos. We then crossed over to Machakos County through a wobbly bridge. Ps you have to pay 20 shilling to use this bridge if you do not have a guide.
We walked through the rocks, jumped over puddles and sometimes had to slide through very strong currents under Jose’s excellent guidance. At some point I was afraid the water would carry me over the cliff and was screaming my lungs out. My adrenaline was pumping but the view from the top was worth every struggle. I took some of my best photos here… landscape, trees, people and young love. This would be a good spot for a date on a budget while connecting with nature.
I could go on and on. My verdict, this was a great day but you need a very open mind so as to not get lost in everything that is wrong with the management of the fourteen falls. From some of the comments I read on trip advisor, the area needs a serious make over. One review says the place stinks, is full of rubbish and has very expensive guides…apparently this person was charged KES. 4500. Another review notes that the place needs a sitting area, restaurant, washrooms and safety equipment.
We left just before Sunset with a promise to be back hoping to find a better place driving my awesome car.
- The entrance fee is KES. 100.00. If you decide to use a guide you will pay extra depending on your negotiation skills.
- This place is not child friendly
- The location’s review on magical Kenya page is a joke I know your target is the international tourist but please let us be real! Check it out
- The fourteen falls are part of Athi River (second longest river in Kenya 390 km) which drains into the Indian Ocean as river Sabaki/Galana river.
- If you ever go here and need an excellent guide call Jose 0796541283
Thank you for reading . Please leave a comment and until next time… Do not litter, avoid disposable plastics but if you must use them dispose them properly.