WARNING: Only use Google Maps until Nanyuki Town. Past Nanyuki, at Timau ask people around how to get to Ngare Ndare. Google Maps showed us things even the pandemic hasn’t…lol!
Ngare Ndare a distortion of the Maasai word Enkare oo Ntare loosely translates to water for the goats. Ngare Ndare in Nanyuki, Meru County, sits at the foot of Mount Kenya and hosts wild animals, natural blue water with magnificent waterfalls.
How do I get to Ngare Ndare?
- Nairobi to Ngare Ndare : 4 – 5 Hour Drive
- Car Hire Self Drive: 3,000 KES per Day. (Small Car, lowest rate)
- Fuel for 1600CC : 4, 000 KES (to and fro)
Irene and I had a Nissan Juke for this trip. The road is extremely smooth all the way. The Off-Road from Timau leading to Ngare Ndare is a well carpeted marram road. A small car can manage. The stretch between the Ngare Ndare gate to the camping site where you will park your car, is a little rocky, but nothing a Vitz wouldn’t manage.
Where do I sleep at Ngare Ndare?
- Camping: 3000 KES per person.
- Night Guard: 1000 KES
- Car Parking Fee: 500 KES
- Camping Gear and Food: Bring your own.
This was a hard pass as it felt too expensive. Considering we had not carried camping gear and food; 7500/- to sleep in our own car with no supplies for the night must have alerted our ancestors.
Regency Mount Kenya Hotel
Literally a stone throw away, by the road, from the Ngare Ndare main gate.
- Bed Only: 3,000 KES per person.
- Bed and Breakfast: 3,500 KES per person
- Half Board: 4,500 KES per person
- Full Board: 5,500 KES per person.
Well, Irene’s smooth tongue and being the only guests at the time got us a pretty sweet bargain on bed only. We then ordered food off their menu.
Rooms & Environment
Our room with two single beds had a 5 Star feel with sliding glass doors leading to a balcony. The view overlooks a vast green cover decorated with Mount Kenya at the horizon. We caught a clear glimpse of the peak of Mt. Kenya on the 2nd day at 4pm.
The entire place was extremely clean, neat, quiet and most importantly serene.
Menu Price Range: 700 KES to 1500 KES per serving.
Serving: Indian, therefore you pick a stew and select a side; like say naan, rice, potatoes…you get the drift?
The menu has a variety of Indian cuisine options. We understand that sort of cuisine is prepared for communal servings. It could be the reason we did not find our meal experience here, mind blowing and as spicy as we like our food. However pretty well, done, fresh and tasty.
A lovely lady Esther at the reception was a doll. We were warm, gladly and promptly attended to and extremely comfortable. I would 100% recommend Regency Mount Kenya Hotel.
Options: Hotels in Nanyuki Town.
I would advice that you spend the night at a hotel or AirBnB in Nanyuki Town and then head to Ngare Ndare in the morning. Nanyuki to Ngare Ndare is only a 40-50 minute drive.
At Nanyuki you can also access options of basic requirements such as food, supermarkets, carwash, petrol station e.t.c.
If you choose to sleep anywhere past Nanyuki, carry food and supplies in plenty. Especially past Timau into the off-road; there is literally nowhere to eat or buy anything. We visited the Ngare Ndare village in pursuit of accommodation and food. It was deserted and the one AirBnB that normally hosted guests, closed down in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Do not say, no one told you. LoL!
What adventure am I seeking at Ngare Ndare.
- Entrance: 2,000 KES per person
- Guide Fee: 1000 KES
- Parking Fee: 500 KES
They advice that you arrive at Ngare Ndare latest 11a.m. We started at 9.40am.
Hike 3 Kilometres up the forest. There is a possibility of encountering Elephants, Rhinos and other wild animals. The guide will give you a detailed explanation on the conservancy, the animals, weather, history, people of Ngare Ndare. Ask any questions, they are really nice and have the answers.
Dip into the blue pools. The water is the only reason I was even on this mission. You can jump off a mini cliff into the blue pool. Experience the gashing magnificence as the weight of the water falls immerse your body. Swimming here had a healing effect for me. I felt so calm and one with nature. The water is extremely cold and the pools are pretty deep, be careful.
Canopy Walk. Once you hike back to the camping site, you will take a 2 kilometer canopy walk. The walk is a little scary at the beginning but then gets relaxing and fun. You get a vast aerial view of the forest and rivers beneath you and you could also spot elephants if they are around.
TIP: Carry food/ bites to the canopy walk. There is a beautiful wooden picnic area on one end of the canopy rail. I think you might enjoy having a meal in that sort of natural serenity.
Well, the experience is way more amazing than I can describe it. The activities took us about 5 hours. I swam for a little longer, compared to other hikers. We were also not exactly fit, so the hike upwards was a bit slow for us. If you have a good 4×4 (*whispers* we spotted a Ford Everest) you can drive up the hiking trail and only get to walk to the waterfalls.
Ngare Ndare Budget Breakdown (2 Pax)
- 3 Days. (Friday to, Saturday at and Sunday from)
- 2 Nights at a Hotel
- 2 Stop Overs at Nanyuki
- Car Hire: 3,500 KES (Technically borrowed, get friends with cars guys.)
- Fuel: 4,000 KES
- Hotel: 6,000 KES (Discounted)
- Entrance: 4,000 KES
- Guide Fee: 1,000 KES
- Parking Fee: 500 KES
- Food: 3,000 KES
TOTAL: 22,000 (2 Pax)
Disclaimer: I am not a professional trip planner and therefore advise given in this piece is not professional . All the information here, is solely based on personal travel experience. There are better or other options that will work for different people. The budget is also quite personal, we pulled favours, bargained and of course learnt from a couple of mistakes, because we had no guide on how,what, where, when, why….