Activity: Camp Ndunda Falls Daytrip
When: 14th October 2018
Service: Dream Safaris Adventures (Facebook)
Charges: Ksh 2,000 (all-inclusive apart from snacks, zip lining, cycling, archery)
Extra: Zip lining Ksh 400, Archery Ksh 300, Cycling Ksh 100 per 15 minutes.
Surprisingly, I never knew there were cool places in Embu. Shocker! This locale to me has been famous for rice growing especially “Pishori” type that is preferred in most households’ cause of the aroma and its fine course. A stop over at Mwea will fill you in on the booming rice trading services. Moreover, tomatoes here are cheap- this I discovered by the numerous work trips my Papa made and he would come home with so many that I thought there was a giveaway. So when I heard there is some hidden gem here, I embarked to unearth this magical place.
Located at Kangaru within the environs of Njukiri forest on the banks of Rupingazi River, lies Camp Ndunda that is two hours’ drive from Nairobi. It is on the foot of Mount Kenya. Simply, just after Embu referral hospital, turn left. When you think of Ndunda in my Kikuyu mother tongue, it simply means fruit. Maybe they named it so after the many fruit stalls on your way that will leave you salivating. It boasts of hosting families, team building for corporate firms or groups, solo wander lusters and camping. A wooden gate captures the entrance with some positive quote engraved on it which immediately takes your spirits a notch higher.
A modern hut thatched with grass serves as the reception office showcasing the traditional way of living and ample parking tells of the number of visitors that frequent the camp. Adjacent to the office, is the kitchen where African delicacies marinate the air with an open grass roofed sitting area screaming of African décor where guests relax as they enjoy their meals while been entertained by the smart television mounted on the wall. However, there is also an indoor area resembling a bar setting for those who want to be alone while overlooking the green sceneries as it has no windows. Meals here are booked in advance, days before you visit the area if you going as a group.
Activities started with a nature walk trail where birds glorified our moods, fresh air replaced the polluted city air and broken minds were mend. Power of nature. The trail led to a team building path that has rope swings supported by trees, car tires suspended from tree trunks to test one’s balance while narrow pieces of wood joined by cables would lead to the rest of the path. Beware of bees that have taken refuge inside the tires. Deep into the forest, green vegetation, small insects, butterflies, flowers, wooden sign posts and the currents as the water flows became our partners.
River Rupingazi welcomed us with its gentle flow as wooden stool seats served as a sport spot to enjoy the moment. Did you know that the river is one of the six major rivers in Kirinyaga and Embu County that drain into Tana River and are the principle source of water? The waterfall roar could be heard a distance away as we approached the canopy walk. The wooden, open hanging, most dangerous canopy I’ve seen so far is 150m long and 35m high. It is one to make your adrenaline rush as a misstep can lead you to your Maker within minutes. The walk here is not for the faint hearted as it is open and requires you to hold onto the side ropes. Looking below are huge rocks that have surfaced due to a drop in water levels. The canopy walk leads to steep wooden stairs that makes you walk in fours and from here one can see the waterfall. There are caves that indicate the river tributary that is no longer there. Talk of climate change!
From here one can opt to go back via the canopy or cross over in style by zip lining. For one who had never zip lined, I decided to put fear aside and boy was it amazing! Our journey back was through a detour that has a small hill that led to the archery spot. Trees continued to wow us with motivational frames embedded on them. The camp has grounds for ball games where groups engaged in soccer, dart and badminton. Our last activity was partaking lunch where buffet awaited us. This was inclusive in the package and we satisfied our bellies to the fullest. After several ball games, we called it a day and left before dusk engulfed us.