I never thought of camping in Embu until it came up in my camping group. Having hailed from that side of town, I wasn’t curious to the possibilities that the town could offer. You could call it familiarity with the area, or perhaps something else. A friend happened to share pictures of the facilities and we started planning our trip for the new year jump off.
It takes about 2hrs to get to Embu town from Nairobi, which is a plus when you don’t want to drive for long hours. Located in the central part of Kenya, Embu county is a metropolitan area and former headquarters of the Eastern Province. It is located at the foothills of Mt.Kenya and is pretty cool, temperature-wise.
There’s not a single time I can remember that we’ve not had a stop over during one of our trips. This time was no exception as we had to pick a few of our team members along the way. The road is tarmacked most the way hence no need for four-wheel vehicles. It didn’t take that long to get to the town, which was pretty straight forward. None of us knew exactly where the campsite was located but thank heavens for Google Maps.
The place was beautiful, stunningly so. I, being a sucker for lushness, couldn’t help but take it all in – the fresh air, the endless vegetation, the smell of freshly rained on soil, all of it. The natural element of the environment was preserved in a marvelous way, despite the encroachment of human settlement in the vicinity.
We had three days and two nights to spend at Camp Ndunda Falls. This was going to be a fun-filled weekend for all of us. The first order of business was pitching our tents because everyone loves sleep. We grouped ourselves and while one group went on to make some lunch, the other was unpacking and chilling/lounging as they waited for food.
One should not expect some fancy dining with us seeing as we were in the bush – three stone cooking, disposable plates and cutlery, and bench siting. The food was delicious to say the least. Our meal plan looked like this:
- lunch- pilau or white rice, beef stew and salsa
- dinner – ugali, beef stew and kachumbari (or salsa if you like) or steamed cabbage
- breakfast- tea/ hot chocolate/ coffee/ milk with bread/biscuits and sausages/smokies
They have these cute little floating beds for those with reservations about sleeping in tents, which will rock you to peaceful sleep.
Our days were spent exploring the camp site. Camp Ndunda has a small cultural village showcasing the traditions and artifacts of the Aembu people. After that, we went for the nature trail which was incredibly breathtaking.
A bit unconventional but this called my name in whispers- the moss-filled rocks with cascading vegetation.
Within the forest surrounding the camp, there lies River Rupingazi, from which the Ndunda Falls drops.
The canopy walk passes over the falls and into the forest. It was a bit scary, not because any of us was afraid of heights, but due to the fact that it didn’t look safe. The cables were worn out and there was no harness or extra cabling to prevent a fall from such a height. It still looked beautiful, despite the safety concerns. In case you’re wondering, yes we did walk across it and back, several times, with extra caution of course. Adventure is what we seek!
I have to mention that River Rupingazi was freezing, but the spirit of adventure in my friends drove them to go skinny dipping and they appeared to be having so much fun. I would not dare! Not only was I fighting a cold, but that water was not inviting at all. I don’t like cold (bite me!).
Back to the camp for dinner and evening chat. We did have immense fun and were looking forward to the jumpoff party. The Camp was planning a New Year’s party for campers and external guests. They were bringing a guest dj to rock the audience and kick off the old year. It was filled with party goers and lively music, as well as alcoholic drinks that motivated the peeps to get their groove on. We crossed our new year surrounded by joyful people and fireworks.
If you are a lover for the outdoors, this is your place. One can indulge in some:
- nature trail
- zip lining
- canopy walk
- team building
- skinny dipping (eek!)