We set out from Nairobi at about 7:30 am for a trip to Castle Forest Lodge, where we would spend the weekend camping and hiking. The 2.5 hour-long drive to get there was smooth and on well-tarmacked roads up until the Castle Station gate, where we drove on dirt roads to get to the lodge.
As we drew nearer to our destination, clear cloudless skies gave us a glimpse of Mount Kenya standing majestically on the horizon. One of our travel goals in the nearest future is to hike this mountain but for the weekend, we were content with smaller hikes around the lodge and in the forest.
Castle Forest Lodge: A Birdwatcher’s Paradise…
Upon arrival at the Castle Forest Lodge, we signed in at the main building and got acquainted with the environment. We were surrounded by thick dense forest and the beautiful sounds of nature. Farm animals roamed the premises and birds fluttered and chirped all around us.
I am not an avid birdwatcher but I was excited to see two hornbills in very close proximity to us. I imagine that this lodge and the forest is birding paradise for those interested in this activity.
Visiting the Smaller Waterfalls…
Later in the afternoon, after getting enough rest and having lunch, we set out to visit the waterfall close to the lodge. While at the campsite, we could hear the sounds of the waterfall, indicating that it wasn’t very far away. It took about 10 minutes (or less) to get there and the view was stunning.
I tried to take a swim in the natural pool but the waters, coming down from Mt. Kenya were freezing! I barely managed to get my feet in!
We spent about an hour here before heading back to the lodge, stumbling upon another waterfall on our way out.
When we got back, we pitched our tent and then went to have dinner at the main building. Dinner was a three-course meal consisting of the soup of the day, the main meal of chapati, veggies and beef and an avocado-based dessert.
It cost us 1,450 KES pp and I did not quite enjoy the meal, however, I did order some samosas off the menu which were delicious. After dinner, we retired to our tent and enjoyed a quiet and peaceful night camping.
The next morning, we began the day with a very hearty breakfast. This, I enjoyed. After breakfast, we set out with a guide provided by the lodge to do the longer 3-hour long hike to Ford or Kamweti Waterfalls.
Castle Forest Lodge Activities: Hiking Kamweti Forest
For the most part, the trail through the forest was fairly flat and easy to hike. The last 10-minute hike leading to the waterfall was quite slippery and just a little steep but I managed to make it down okay. For Mark and our guide, it was both literally and figuratively a walk in the park.
The hour and a half long hike to arrive at the waterfall was worth it and was a refreshing way to end the one-way hike. We returned to the starting point after spending some time here and the hike back felt a lot easier to do.
Shortly after getting back to the lodge, we packed up our things and headed back to Nairobi. Arriving quite early in the city, we decided to stop at the Gateway Mall for dinner and a movie. It was the perfect ending to our weekend jaunt!
Castle Forest Lodge Prices for Camping
Castle Forest Lodge offers different accommodation options to visitors. We opted to camp and this cost us 1,000 KES per person, using our gear. The campsite was well equipped – with a toilet and bathroom with hot showers, a dining area, bonfire sites and a wash area.
I certainly recommend visiting and hiking around Castle Forest Lodge if you haven’t been there yet. It is a great weekend trip from Nairobi but can also be done as a day trip if you set out from Nairobi early enough.
Have you ever been camping? Glamping counts too Did you love it or it’s not your cup of tea? Share with me in the comment section below! If you have visited Castle Forest Lodge or Campsite, I’d also love to hear about your experience.