Chasing and sleeping by the waterfalls in Kirinyaga

One of the four A-shaped cabins where Gerald hosts his guests. Photo | Pool

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Sleeping in those cabins was one of the most tranquil experiences I have ever had. The bed was comfy with clean white beddings and the sound of the waterfalls made me sleep like a baby. 

When TLC sang “don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to” they were not singing about the beautiful waterfalls in Kirinyaga County. Kirinyaga meaning the crest of whiteness due to the snowcapped peaks of Mt. Kenya has over seventeen waterfalls found along its six major rivers that descend from the mountain supplemented with several v-shaped valleys and indigenous forests.

My friends and I embarked on a two-days girl’s trip to explore this county that borders four others i.e Embu, Murang’a, Nyeri, and Machakos county, and our experience was nothing short of enchanting. All we needed was a trip away in nature different from the usual Coastal regions, Nanyuki, Naivasha, and Maasai Mara vibes. 

We started with a stopover at Rapids Camp Sagana for a sumptuous lunch and enjoyed bungee jumping, zip lining, kayaking, plunging, and white water rafting. We then proceeded to see the magical “Ndaraca ya Ngai” bridge on the Nairobi – Embu highway which no one has a clear answer on how it came into existence as people believe it is God's masterpiece that has been in existence for centuries and was used as a hide out for Mau Mau warriors during the colonial era.

Our final destination was Outdoorman Cabins located on a private farm by the banks of River Kìringa in Gichugu Constituency, Kirinyaga. The magnificent A- shaped cabins are surrounded by beautiful tea farms with a stunning view of Mt. Kenya and Gicheru Waterfalls. We had discovered this place from one of our friends who had referred to it as the Kenyan Bali on her Instagram post owing to the swing by the waterfall and we were sold on the idea. We had a three-minute walk down the slope to the cabin from the main road which can get quite slippery when it rains but the host was there to help us navigate the route. We checked into our cabins to store our luggage and then proceeded for dinner.

Our host, Gerald Wachira welcomed us with a hot, mouthwatering feast of pork ribs, ugali, and kachumbari which we still reminisce about today. He is also the owner of the cabins and he informed us that he first opened the place in 2021 as a picnic site with just four tables and a swing set by the waterfall. He aimed to offer tourists visiting the waterfalls for a day trip a place to rest and enjoy a meal. A few months later when the place started booming with more travelers, he started hiring out tents for overnight camping. He had a house by the river which he later brought down to build his first cabin and people thought he was going crazy and abusing drugs. 

Fast forward to May 2022, Gerald had built four magnificent cabins to offer better accommodation to travelers who wanted to spend their stay by the Gicheru waterfalls which he charges Sh5,500 per night per cabin on a bed and breakfast basis. He went ahead to open up an 8km hiking trail for guests to enjoy. The hiking trail goes through the tea farms leading to “Ndia ya ciana” a pond with a story of hope and two other waterfalls; Kathiri and ìtìrìre fall and ends up at the Gicheru waterfalls for a picnic lunch. He never lacks guests especially over the weekends as many tour companies have discovered the place and they bring large numbers for hiking and a swim at the waterfalls.

After our dinner, we enjoyed a bonfire by the river and then went out to the “local” for a fun night out. Gerald accompanied us throughout the night to ensure we don’t get lost and ascertain our safety. Sleeping in those cabins was one of the most tranquil experiences I have ever had. The bed was comfy with clean white beddings and the sound of the waterfalls made me sleep like a baby. 

The next morning, we woke up at around 9 am to a lovely buffet breakfast set yet again by a bonfire overlooking the waterfalls then proceeded to swim, play volleyball and enjoy the swings. It was an enjoyable experience away from what I am used to and I am looking forward to having many more such adventures. 

PS: We got free branded bracelets too.

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