Ragia Forest Hike: The Magnificence of the Aberdare Ranges

Ragia Forest is in the verdant 160 km long Aberdare Range situated on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley. This range is one of the largest mountain ranges in Kenya, soaring over the central region of Kenya, sometimes plunging into deep valleys with waterfalls and dense indigenous forests.

Ragia Forest hike starts from one of the most important sections of the Aberdare, the Sasumua Dam, which supplies water to Nairobi and its environs.  The trail leads to several waterfalls that are kilometres apart making it a great hiking destination.

There are caves too. Shrouded by a cascading waterfall, these caves hide in a valley.  During the struggle for independence, Mau Mau fighters hid in these caves. British soldiers attempted to smoke them out, but the dense forest was impenetrable.

The descent to the caves and waterfall was along a narrow, slippery trail. The gaping holes beside the trail gave the worst adrenaline kick, reminding us that every step had to be calculated, and anything we held onto had to be firm or we would plunge to death. Stinging nettle sprouted along the trail ready to sting those who slipped and sat on them. I lost count of the many times I was stung.

About half of the hikers in our group chose to view the waterfall from the top of the valley (they would make excellent antagonists in a Dettol Mum ad). The ones who didn’t mind the mud, the intrepidity, the stinging nettle, and the cold descended to the caves and were treated to views of the most beautiful waterfall in the forest.

After a few minutes of a selfies beside the waterfall and views of the caves, the precarious climb out of the valley wasn’t as scary as the descent. It was worth it!

To sum up the day’s adventures, we stopped beside Sasamua Dam for some pictures.

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