As you wend your way up the narrow country roads of Kimende towards the Forest, you could be forgiven for forgetting which countryside is whirring past your window.
The purity of the air, the feeling of height and space and the sea of lush evergreen trees that surround your vehicle as you ascend the escarpment make the hectic Nairobi streets you left behind just 50 minutes ago seem a world away.
The Forest is a new and beautifully-maintained outdoor centre, its main facility perched on a hillside, boasting clear views of the Aberdare ranges.
Since opening at the end of last year, it has hosted roughly 10,000 visitors. Hiking, paintballing, archery and more are part of the draw, but it is the adrenaline-pumping zipline experience that is arguably the main attraction.
I sat there drinking masala tea and appreciating the wonder of peripheral vision that allowed me to soak in 180 degrees of exquisite, lush Kiambu countryside.
I tore my eyes away to consider that in a few short minutes, I would be coming into much closer proximity to the forests that stretched out below me by experiencing East Africa’s longest zipline tour with a combined length of 2,200 metres.
After a brief, but thorough, safety demonstration, I teetered on the first platform looking out at 450 metres of zipline, connecting this hill to another.
The quiet, isolated and serene atmosphere of the hills suddenly seemed quite menacing. My heart raced at the prospect of putting my life at the mercy of a steel line.
As adrenaline coursed through my veins, I was pushed away from the platform, and sent flying along the line.
As I sped across, the the thick forest opened up, revealing some of the most beautiful and expansive views I have ever seen in Kenya.
Once the initial fear and necessary screams had melted away, I was able to enjoy those brief moments of weightlessness, of flying and pure ecstasy as the cool air rushed into my lungs and every shade of green passed beneath me.
The second line, though shorter, was equally, if not more, enjoyable.
Realising that a premature death was perhaps not on the cards for me on this particular day, I was able to appreciate more fully the sensation of release and slight recklessness that only these kind of activities can give.
The residual adrenaline leaves me wanting to fly across the entire country clinging to a harness.
Ziplining starts at Ksh1,500 per person. For more information, contact theforest.co.ke
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