Tunneling in the Dark at Kamungu ka Nduma
Kamungu ka Nduma, meaning tunnel of darkness, is the destination of one of those weekend hiking trips you can and are allowed to talk about for ages. Like when people go on a week-long trip to the US. They get to bring up –when I was abroad- in every conversation even when it is about managu. Thankfully, you can talk about Kamungu ka Nduma and managu in the same sentence because you might just see some on the way. Yet another one of Kijabe’s wonderful places for weekend hiking trips, this trail is a gem and the experience will be invaluable.
- Despite Kijabe being so popular with hiking groups in Nairobi, Kamungu ka Nduma is a trek through an unbeaten path. You will not have to wade through with a club and a panga but the trail gives an undisturbed by human activity vibe. This is one of the most beautiful things about this trail. You will hop on rocks, crisscross rivers and maybe even have to slide on your butt in some places.
- At some point, you will encounter a reluctant stream of water that seems to be coming out of nowhere. This will be an encounter with water that has been heated by the earth. The Kamungu ka Nduma trail in Kijabe has hot springs. Go ahead and have yourself a warm shower, if you dare.
- After your shower, proceed to explore more of what this part of Kijabe has to offer. You might come to the mouth of a dark cave. You might go inside and squeeze into the small spaces in search of whatever people look for under the ground. Or, you might only peek inside and move on. Then you will get to the dark tunnel which will be wet and strangely welcoming while also being scary.
- Braving the steep slopes will be worth the panoramic view you will be confronted with at the top. You will see the expanse of the Great Rift Valley and the multiple mountains like Mt Margaret and William Hill among others compete toward the horizon.
The Kamungu ka Nduma experience is moderately challenging. It starts off polite then shows you who is boss… but only slightly. There is however a consolation prize of hot tea in mabati cups at the end of the trail. Warm up and refresh before going home to recuperate in your bed.
The central meeting point is on the benches near Bata Hilton Nairobi CBD. From there, we head out to take public transport to Mai Mahiu. The journey to the starting point is about two hours long.
The trail is also self-drive friendly in case you don’t want to take public transport.
What do you need for the trail?
- Head: Fleece Marvin/ hat
- Hiking buff/ scarf
- Sports bra
- Thermal T-shirt (polyester)
- Fleece jacket
- Down jacket
- Shell jacket
- Water-resistant Gloves
- Thermal sleeves
- Hiking pants/Summit pants with fleece/Waterproof pants.
- Cotton socks (+ an extra pair or two in your backpack)
- Waterproof hiking boots
- 3Ltrs water (bring a reusable bottle or a hydration pack)
- Snacks: fruit salad, energy drink, warm beverage, biscuits, sandwich, trail mix (nuts), etc.
- Personal items (ID, pocket money, hand sanitizer, facemask, phone, and camera, Lighter, Pocket Knife, and First-aid Kit)
- Trekking pole
- Change of clothes and shoes in case you get wet or muddy.
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, sun protection
Here’s a list of resources for hiking gear you can check out.
Can you bring your kids with you?
No. Kamungu ka Nduma is a great place to be but it would be unsuitable for children because despite being only moderately harrowing it might be too hard for kids.
Now that you know about Kamungu ka Nduma, we hope to see you on the trails!
If you are a fan of weekend hiking trips, Book now, be notified when tickets become available. Similar trails to Kamungu ka Nduma are: