What you need to know:
- The venue has space for plenty of outdoor fitness activities such as hiking, cycling and dog walking.
- Other activities available include tree planting, horse riding, mountain biking and bird watching.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the secluded section of the famous Karura Forest, Sigiria, which is accessible through Thigiri Lane.
The Covid-19 pandemic have greatly interfered with my daily routines, and as such I haven’t been working out since last year. I have added 15kgs!
I obviously have to cut down my weight, and I have been advised to start by walking regularly.
Sigiria came up as one of the best options since it is somewhat near my place.
Once we got there, we paid the entrance fee, the rangers checked our temperature, inspected our vehicle, before directing us to the parking area just near the entrance.
The entrance fee is Sh100 and Sh50 for Kenyan adults and children respectively; Sh200 and Sh100 for resident adults and children respectively and Sh600 and Sh300 for adults and children who are non-residents.
There is also a fee of Sh150 and Sh100 per adult and child under the age 12 for the use of the picnic area.
There are three trails at Sigiria; 5km, 10km and the newly refurbished Matembezi trail, which is ideally meant for persons with disabilities.
We decided to do the 10km trail, which, according to regular visitors, is the most challenging.
We got there early in the morning to the heavenly sounds of chirping birds, howling monkeys and buzzing insects. I even spotted a dik-dik!
The beauty and tranquility of the forest was something to behold.
Unlike the Karura Limuru road and Kiambu road sections, Sigiria is not crowded. We only encountered a handful of people along the 10km trail.
Along the way, there was also a stream that keeps flowing as you struggle uphill. It took us around 2 hours to complete the 10km walk.
The facility has space for plenty of outdoor fitness activities - fields for ball games, winding trails for hiking, cycling and dog walking; and even obstacle courses for team events.
If you have a dog, you must register at the entrance where you will be issued with a dog tag card.
Dogs must be leashed at all times, except in areas clearly marked “Dogs off leash.”
Other fun activities available for visitors include tree planting, horse riding, mountain biking and bird watching.
The park also accommodates educational tours, team building and outdoor gym activities.
If you are driving, you can get there through Gate F. Main Sigiria entrance at the end of Thigiri Lane off Thigiri Ridge Road.
It is important for visitors to plan their entry and exit times carefully. The forest opens at 6am and closes at 6pm daily. Last entries allowed are at 5:45pm with the gates being locked at 7pm.
At the entrance there is a coffee shop where you can stop to grab a quick bite before or after your time in the forest.
Next, I plan to venture into Arboretum, Ngong Forest and the Forest in Kereita as I build my endurance progressively for tougher and longer hikes.