CASTLE FOREST

You don’t have to drive too far

We all admit that we live in a diverse and beautiful country in Kenya, but when you ask anyone living here about any places they might recommend visiting, a short drive from Nairobi, people don’t generally give you more than the standard Naivasha weekend trip. There is a perception that everything other than Nairobi is simply too far away or the common Kenyan excuse; the roads are too busy (AKA traffic). Whilst you can fly to a lot of places in Kenya, there are some places that still require a short drive to get to them, as there is no airfield nearby.

View from one of the small rooms, facing south. The 2 newly renovated cottages are in the foreground.
View from one of the small rooms, facing south. The 2 newly renovated cottages are in the foreground.

Castle Forest is located on the South-facing slope of Mount Kenya and managed by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS). The forest is also home to Castle Forest Lodge, the only property on the concession, a grand old house that serves as the reception and dining area for the lodge, surrounded by smaller detached rooms and some recently renovated and built self-catering houses.

The verandah of the main house and dining area at Castle Forest Lodge.
The verandah of the main house and dining area at Castle Forest Lodge.

Located 1.5-2 hours drive from Nairobi, Castle Forest is easily accessible by car from Nairobi, with a fully tarred road that ends where the forest starts, at the forest gate. Once you turn off the Nairobi-Nyeri highway (at either the Embu or Sagana turn-off), the drive is very pleasant, with very little traffic and gorgeous mountain views ahead and as you leave the plains of Nairobi in your rearview mirror. Castle Forest Lodge is a short 5-10 minute drive from the KFS gate and that can be the last use of your vehicle for your visit to Castle Forest.

Hiking through the forest is a great way to spend a day in Castle Forest.
Hiking through the forest is a great way to spend a day in Castle Forest.

There are lots of activities to do during your visit to Castle Forest facilitated by the well-trained guides on hand. With numerous hiking trails that lead you further up the mountain, a day or half-day hike with a picnic is always a great way to spend time exploring the forest and all the life it holds. For the avid angler, there are 3 rivers that run through Castle Forest, all within walking distance from the lodge and stocked with trout. The guides are also on hand to guide you up and down the rivers as you fish the countless pools. The lodge also owns horses that are available to be hired out by guests for a ride up into the forest.

One of the 3 rivers that flow through Castle Forest for the avid angler.
One of the 3 rivers that flow through Castle Forest for the avid angler.

If you just want to relax for the weekend, the newly renovated cottages and newly constructed house are perfect, with nice verandahs, an icy pool to lounge besides, or enjoy a book on the main house verandah with views that stretch down to Nairobi and beyond to distract you every so often. If you feel like escaping for the weekend, there are various campsites located in Castle Forest that you can enquire about for your stay.

Morning views of Mt. Kenya behind the Lodge
Morning views of Mt. Kenya behind the Lodge

Be sure to visit in the warmer months, as Castle Forest can be a very different, albeit enjoyable, experience in the colder, wetter months. The forest is really not that far from Nairobi and the comforts of home, so be sure to make a visit to Castle Forest when you next find yourself sat in Nairobi, looking for a weekend plan.

Speak to us for your next enquiry: http://bunsontravel.com/index.php/contact-us

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