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Climbing Kalembwani

If you’ve never looked for unique hiking trails outside Nairobi, this could be the perfect trail for you. Located in Makueni county, this trail boasts scenic views and gives a different experience for you to have a memorable hiking experience. 

The trail starts off near Salama town. From there we go through the sparsely populated villages and then begin to walk through shrubs as we ascend up Mt Kalembwani.

What is so special about this trail

  • Mt Kalembwani. Ever felt so good like you’re on top of the world? Well, you won’t be on top of the world, but you’ll have a pretty amazing view when you summit Mt Kalembwani.
  • Kiou and Kanyatta hills. Get to test your limits when you climb these two hills and see how far you can push yourself!
  • River gorges. Have you ever seen scenery so beautiful that it takes your breath away? Come see some magnificent river gorges at Kalembwani where you can say Mother Nature was just showing off.
  • Panoramic views. The trail boasts amazing views of plains, and several unnamed hills, and if you’re lucky, you can see Mt Kilimanjaro on a cloudless day.



Challenge level

This is a challenging hike that will test your endurance. The distance is about 17km. The terrain is hot and dry, and there are also two steep hills that we will climb.

The terrain has loose rocks, so ensure you have good hiking shoes and walk carefully.

The environment is also hot and dry; thus you need plenty of water to avoid dehydration.


The central meeting point is Nairobi CBD on the benches near Bata Hilton. From there, we head out to take public transport to Salama. The journey to the starting point is about two hours long. The cost of transportation to and from the starting point is approximately Ksh 800.

There is also a community fee of Ksh 200.

The trail is self-drive-friendly in case you don’t want to use public transport.

What do you need for the trail?

  • Hiking boots
  • Trekking pole
  • Backpack
  • Snacks such as nuts, granola bars, fruits, fresh juice,
  • 3 – 4 litres of water (bring a reusable water bottle or a hydration pack). 
  • Sunhat and sunscreen
  • Shades to protect your eyes from the sun
  • Quick-dry clothes

Here’s a list of resources for hiking gear you can check out.

Hiking Gear Vendors – Lets Drift 

Can you bring your kids with you?

No. This is a challenging trail and not suitable for children.

Similar Trails

In case you like Kalembwani, you might want to check out Kenze gorges, Kiambicho and Gicheru.