Menengai Caldera

Location Nakuru
Starting Point See options
Ending point See options
Walking Duration 1-8 hours depending on option
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty See options
Elevation gain

The objective of the hiker is to trek up the Menengai hill, then down into the caldera (considered to be one of the largest in the world) up to the floor, and then back up.

This hike has some turnkey options that can be plugged in to make the hike more interesting to the Kenya’s outdoors lover. Whatever the case, it is a good day hike for anyone visiting Nakuru. Menengai hill lies just outside Nakuru town in the Rift Valley of Kenya. That makes it readily accessible by road from any part of Kenya.

Option 1: Nairobi-Nakuru highway to Menengai floor.

Location Nakuru
Starting Point Nakuru town
Ending point Nakuru town
Walking Duration 8 hours
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty Moderate
Elevation gain  500m

Hikers start from Nakuru town, walk 8 kilometres uphill through the posh Milimani estate, past the peri-urban settlements and on to the forest gate. After registration, payment and a brether, the trek is on again. Following the same motorable meandering path, the hiker goes through some thinly forested areas up to the rim of the crater. After a shot rest at the rim taking mementos and absorbing awe of mother nature, it is time for the final assault of the trail. It weaves steeply down into the caldera forcing a semi run.

Once down at the base, there is the option of hiking backup the way you came. This is the common option.

But the more adventurous ones will experience the thrill of scaling the Menengai cliff where demons are said to float in the air at certain times of day.

Whatever you route back up to the rim, a brief rest is in order before starting your trek back into town.

Option 2: Forest gate to Menengai floor

Location Nakuru
Starting Point Menengai forest gate
Ending point Menengai forest gate
Walking Duration 4 hours
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty Moderate
Elevation gain

In case one is not sure about the fitness or time does not allow, the hike can be shortened by driving to the forest gate and walking from there.

Option 3: Menengai Rim Menengai floor.

Starting Point Menengai View point
Ending point Menengai View point
Walking Duration 1 hour
Prevalent Weather Hot and windy. Afternoon showers
Terrain Dusty steep trail
Difficulty Easy
Elevation gain
Starting PointMenengai crater Rim
Ending PointMenengai Crater Rim
Walking Duration1 hour
Prevalent WeatherHot and windy. Afternoon Showers
TerrainDusty steep loose gravel
DifficultyEasy
Elevation Gain

Yet another option is drive all the way to the rim and hike into the crater. It is a steep and short hike that is quite treacherous. Energy is spent going downhill only to realise there is still a journey back up to be had. This version of the hike is less than 1 hour. If you have a day reserved for outdoors it might be good to include other items in your itinerary. Hyrax hill museum just right down the hill is a good place to consider or a picnic with the white rhinos at lake Nakuru.

 

Getting There

Public means:
From Nairobi, take the fourteen or seven seater Nakuru matatus at Nyamakima Stage off River Road. Unless you have something to do deep into Nakuru, alight somewhere near state house, Nakuru to launch your hike from across the road.

In case your preferred hike is option2 or option 3, once in Nakuru, you’ll need to hire a taxi or matatu to take you to the Menengai Crater viewpoint, do your thing and take your transport back

Driving: Use either the mai-mahiu road or the Kimende roads to Naivasha on wards to Nakuru. From the Nakuru Railway Station, drive towards Nairobi and take the first left turn after the railway underpass. Watch for the signposts to Menengai Crater until the forest gate for payment and registration

Fees:
This conservancy facility falls under KFS. They charges a recreation fee

Resident Adults – Ksh 200
Non resident Adult –

Having outdoor fun in Kenya