Mwea Game reserve… a Hidden Gem in Embu County..

 

 

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crossing Thimba River

I have been to places but never been to this park so when a chance arose a decision was made quickly and I found myself and my Travel buddies depart Nairobi at 18:30 hrs for Embu so that we can spend more time in the reserve. we spent a night in Embu and decided to try local delicacies and of course some nyamchom but the guy grilling our nyama was in cloud nine and at some point we wondered did he even get our order right?? Anyway the nyama was on point..

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The following day we departed for Mwea very early in the morning. The landscape, the little towns and the rivers on the way were very panaromic, we got to Mwea NP within an Hour and the road was good even the 10km strecth all weather road to the park from the main highway. The warden welcomed us to the park and he gave us a history of the park.

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The Mwea National Reserve is located within Mbeere District, in Eastern Province, a distance of about 200km from Nairobi.  The savannah ecosystem comprises of small hills with bushy vegetation and scattered large trees. Other areas are open grasslands while along the main rivers, large trees with thick undergrowth are found. Trees mainly found within the ecosystem are the different Acacia species and baobab trees.  The ecosystem’s main features are the meeting point of rivers Tana and Thiba, Kamburu and Masinga hydro-electric dams, which harbour variety of biodiversity.

The Residents

Major wildlife attractions include the  elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Common zebras, Lesser kudu, Buffalo, Water Buck, Bush buck, Impala, Vervet Monkeys, Aardvark, Yellow baboons, Grants gazelle, Dik dik, Cape hare, Warthog,  Black backed jackal, Duiker, Sykes monkeys, Genet cat, Slender mongoose, Stripped ground squirrel, Dwarf mongoose, Crested porcupine, Rock Hyrax, Tree Hyrax and tortoise. Hippos and crocodiles are also found in the dams and rivers. Different birds and reptile species have been recorded in the reserve.

The visitors

you can engage in other activities like boat rides and camping besides Gamedrives and nature walks.

We would recommend this park to all those looking for some quiet time out in the wilderness and KWS should market this park especially to residents of Embu county and the surroundings as it is within reach. There are soo many other places in this county that Travel agencies can combine and create packages off the already known  and give travelers new experiences…..as we bade Mwea Goodbye we cant help but think how much God has Blessed us with a gorgeous Country that we have just assumed its normal… Lets  #TembeaKenya , #LiveTheMagic and #ExploreMore  so that we can be ambassadors of our own products..

The Goodbye was loong as the one giving it..

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Need to go to Mwea or you have been there? Engage Us…. its always good to hear from you.. Keep it to our blog as we continue to encourage Domestic tourism through our own travels…

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The Beauty of Aberdare National Park, A walk in the wild side…

As our journey continues from the previous post we continued to explore Aberdares National park under the guidance of the Kenya Wildlife Rangers. Below are all the gorgeous views and moments we had.

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Follow the leader….. KWS ranger was our guide which is mandatory for anyone accessing the interiors of the park for safety reasons

 

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Restful moment at Salient picnic site.
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And then the owners came knocking……

 

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These high altitude forests are broken by moorlands and plains, and through the abundant tree cover there are sensational views of the Rift Valley and the peak of Mt Kenya

In the next few days we got to hike to the highest peak in aberdares at 3999M is Le Satima peak.

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le satima peak at a distance

Ol Donyo Le Satima means “mountain of the bull calf. The peak lies at the northern end of the Aberdares, which themselves are along the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley, and is their highest point.

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Oh Hail the #LuxeQueen has summit-ted. Standing tall at 3999M above sea level.  I did it so can you.

Around it stand a number of sharp volcanic cones called “the Dragon’s Teeth

 

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The Dragon Teeth in Aberdares.

 

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we had a very rare chance to spot the Giant forest hogs Grazing.
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At Field Marshalls Kimathi Post office. Mau Mau freedom fighters who had taken refuge in the Aberdares among other hideouts made the tree a secret rendezvous for fighters and messengers and also made the gaping crevices on its trunks their ‘post office’. Commanders of the two main battalions in the forest would leave each other letters. Fighters based in Mt Kenya Forest also found the ‘post’ office and used it to communicate with their counterparts.

 

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#Occupied… Privacy required..

 

Welcome to our world….

While still in Aberdares we also managed to visit quite a number of accommodations  options inside the park Besides Fishing lodge and numerous camping sites there are also other options within the park.

Treetops Hotel; This lodge is famous as the place where Queen Elizabeth II visited as a princess and left as queen. Originally built in 1932, Treetops Lodge lies in the path of an ancient Elephant migratory route between the Aberdare Ranges and Mt Kenya National park, and is strategically sited right in front of a natural watering hole and salt lick, making it the perfect place to view game. Treetops is as much a part of nature as it has an ancient tree growing right through the hotel, with the lodge being built around it. It is the perfect fusion of nature and comfort sporting a rustic look that fits right into the Aberdares.

 

The Ark Lodge Aberdares; Resembling and named after Noah’s Ark, The Ark comprises of three decks from which numerous balconies and lounges provide a superb location for wildlife to be seen. This iconic lodge overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick, which attracts a host of awesome wildlife.

 

our Trip ended with a visit to Twin rocks in Northern Aberdares. Two large rock outcrops, known as Twin Peaks, dominate the moorlands in the northern sector of this peaks.

 

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Its light out for us in Aberdares cheers for now.

The truth is there is a lot one can write about this salient forest as it a haven of adventurous hikes, gamedrives, walks etc but sometimes images send the experience home. Aberdares is not for the chosen few its open for all and is quite accessible. for more information about the park http://www.kws.go.ke/content/aberdare-national-park

 

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I am totally Grateful to the team that put this together and made it possible, KWS Aberdare National park Led by Senior Warden MDM Wambani and quite an Insightful conversations with VD Mt.Kenya Circuit Simon Ngugi.  To My fellow Travelers, bloggers and photographers thank you for being the cherry on top….. Cheers To many more trips together.

Rhino-Watch Lodge a true Oasis of Serenity and Hospitality

Nyeri county happens to be one of the most green areas in Kenya with dramatic geographical landscapes and attractions. The county has alot of history dating back colonial era.. with most British colonialist settling in this region because the weather was favorable for them and the soils were fertile.. My journey today takes me to the remote and semiarid place of Muiga. My host is Miriam Kinge of Rhinowatch lodge and I am accompanied by StellaMaris of Stejos Tours. We approached Rhinowatch from Nyeri using the Nyeri-Nyahururu Road and it’s a smooth ride all the way, the lodge is easily accessible as the entrance is on the main highway.

When we arrived the team at the lodge was eagerly waiting with a cold towel and welcoming drink. Verily, verily I tell you this was the best thing ever, given that this area can get quite hot. The way that Cold scented towel felt on my skin….. Unlike the surrounding areas this lodge has a well maintained garden with trees allover it looks like an oasis in a semi-arid place. The air changes to a fresh cool, soothing atmosphere.

After checking in we had lunch and we enjoyed every bite.. #ComplementsToTheChef

we spent our afternoon swimming at their infinity pool, even my phone decided to swim lol, Thanks to Apple tips online the idea of putting it in an airtight container full of rice worked., Apparently the rice absorbs all the moister. From the pool area as its on a higher  ground The view of Mt.Kenya  is unblocked its clear and vivid from every location within this property. The lodge is on the valleys between Aberdare Ranges and Mt.Kenya and within 10minutes to solio game reserve. There are quite a number of activities one can enjoy while here e.g biking, game drives, swimming, nature walks, giraffe walks, spa therapy etc

The lodge has 7 luxury chalets 2 of them being family chalets  with 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms all fully furnished en-suite with hot water shower and they can fit up to 5 family members. All Chalets have a panoramic view from the bed, overlooking Mount Kenya with very high roof which ensures natural ventilation, private terrace which has attractive view to Mount Kenya and the Solio plains. The terrace overlooks a glorious garden. The generous front windows offer a wonderful view of Mount Kenya.

The lodge alos have 8 luxury tents 1 of them is a family tent. All accommodations have hot showers and flush toilets, 24hrs electricity with a backup generator. Luxury tents are furnished with either a queen size bed or 2 single beds. The baths are built of stone, offering a comfortable shower, a washstand and a toilet. In front of the veranda you will find a flower garden.All the Tents have been tastefully decorated in the African style..

 

They also have one honey Moon suite that’s away from the main amenities for exclusivity.

All rooms have hot water bottles and coffee/tea making facilities which is awesome as this area can get quite chilly at night. I slept in one of the luxury Chalets and my rooms Highlight was finding a chocolate bar on my bed while going to sleep and waking up in the morning and right through my big wide window was Mt,Kenya glaring at me “Good morning” Then realizing the sun is not up scooping my phone from a bag of rice, doing the sign of the cross for it to charge.. ooh it did yeeh! Charging it for 10mins praying Please sunshine don’t come out yet hahaha! Then rushing out with my PJs to capture the sunrise from the poolside area..things we do, to share that perfect moment….oooh!’

While interacting with Miriam I realized that the lodge supports local community by giving them jobs and truly I saw that local women were the ones responsible of various duties within the property. The lodge also supports local children homes, Sponsor some dis-advantaged children through schools and also supporting children who have been affected or Infected by HIV. I spoke to one of the ladies working there and she was full of praise for the opportunity the lodge brought to her and her Family. Surely a community that receive relief food once a many times from The govt they sure have a lot of needs that need support from every one and Rhinowatch is adding value into their lives and restoring their dignity.

We highly recommend this lodge the staffs are polished, the food is delicous, the rooms are exquisite and the location breath taking..

Anyone who would wish to holiday here visit their website or you can reach out to us on venture.omania@gmail.com 0722838338, 0736365886.

Feel free to Engage us, to share our blog with others it might just be the holiday they need.

Historical tour of Nyeri County with a touch of breath taking waterfalls..

I tend to think a traveler is a seeker, someone with quest that gets satisfied over and over again. It’s through my travels that history has come so alive, be it biblical or otherwise. During my recent journey on my quest to see #NyeriCounty that’s not on paper or google maps, I embarked on a journey together with my two Guides both of whom love this county very much and wonder why most places haven’t been showcased.

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If you read my last blog by now you know who Mr.Kingori is lol!  A Keen Bird watcher and also a passionate historian. I love History, don’t ask me how it came to be while my High school history teacher was nick named `Kapiriton’ coz she used to make us sleep. Feel free to think I slept through my history class hehe! But somewhere along my loooooong life I picked it up big time…

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Well, on this particular day we started by going to the Mau Mau caves on your way to Ngorano.. You branch off at Marua , the junction to Nanyuki from Karatina. Mr.kingori tells me during the colonial Era there was a war there between the Maumaus and the British soldiers it was called Mbaara ya Rui ruiru #BattleOfTheBlackRiver coz the water there looks black maybe coz of the many rocks underneath, and the battle was between the Mau Mau and the british colonial soldiers.

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The journey is quite interesting with beautiful valleys and vegetation’s and when we got to the falls it was obvious it’s a picnic site for the locals, while someone in Nairobi is dying to be dined and wined at Kempinksy etc a local here just want a quiet moment with the one they love by the falls and use the surrounding kopjes as seats and tables, others find this place good for their pilgrimages or just a quiet secure serene place to connect with Mwene Nyaga..

The journey down the falls is not as steep but has loose soil so it’s advisable to use proper hiking shoes. One thing I have noticed during my travels in Kenya, There are three types of people who knew and occupied breathtaking locations 1]The British colonialists, 2] The catholic church 3] The Mau Maus Maybe they selected them keeping their wellbeing in mind…. After visiting the caves we went to in search of other water falls all within 30minutes radius of Nyeri Town.

 

One thing to note is this places are great but not in a controlled environment and if people were to flood in this area there is no way the community would benefit from this. Challenge to you Nyeri county Tourism. we went to muruguru falls, Ihururu Falls

My day ended with a glass of wine at my now all favorite place Le Pristine Kindly note that all this tours can be arranged directly from Le Pristine Hotel Nyeri.

you have any more interesting places in Nyeri county kindly let us know you may also check this blog out 

Where It felt sooo good to leave our footprints in 2017.

As we enjoy 2018 we can only thank the heavens for the grace of new year and I cant help but remember that 2017 was one bitter sweet year.. Its one year we crisscrossed East Africa and still didn’t manage to get to Rwanda, However its still on our bucketlist this year.

Below were our 2017 Favorites there are quite a number of places we encountered but like everything else we remember most of what touches our hearts.

1] Kerio Valley Divers Kerio valley is one of the most scenic escarpment you will find in kenya, we loved it and especially the fearless divers at Chebloch gorge..

 

 

2] Enjoyed drinking Mursik; This is Kalenjin sour milk, its produced by leaving fresh milk to ferment spontaneously in a smoke-treated gourd for up to two days at room temperature.

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3] Forest Bathing in Kakamega forests; This ecosystem is a Botanical, ornithologists paradise. The forest has a variety of  species of birds, plants, insects, butterflies, monkeys snakes etc The soothing sound of the resident animals and insects, the fresh air of the unspoilt forest…your soul gets healed on instant.

 

4] Restaurant; Le pristine Nyeri . Most magical place you can dine while in Nyeri town with breathtaking views of Mt.Kenya and valleys beyond.

 

5] Takawiri is this small island tucked away in Lake victoria has the most white, fiiine sand i have ever seen. The water is so clear you can count all the pebbles and tadpoles inside.. we adored it..

 

 

6] Our Best lodge was Waghill lodge in Mwanza Tanzania this was one magical experience on the shores of lake victoria’s peninsula.

 

 

7] Nairobi National Park still remains our favorite due to abundance of wildlife a game drive in this park is never disappointing.

 

 

8] Conservancy; Ol pejeta. Ol Pejeta is home to three of the world’s last remaining three northern white rhinos and also has a sanctuary for the endangered black rhinos and also rescues Chimpanzee. The conservancy has other game co-existing together.

 

9] I had a blast enjoying the luo culture during my safari to western Kenya from the legends, food, their way of life, mending nets it was super awesome.

 

 

10] Kikuletwa hot water springs  is this Oasis in the middle of a semi-arid place on your way to Moshi. its located in a place where the view of Mt.Kilimanjaro stands soo majestically you would wish to live here forever

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11] Best Host got to be Kenya Tourism Board Their effort in promoting Kenya is getting more aggressive everyday and we love it. Thumbs up KTB

 

12] Nile Sunset Cruise Uganda; Nothing beats an African sunset and particularly one over the Nile. Salute the end of another great day with good company, good food and an ice cold beer or gin & tonic.nile sunset cruise.jpg

13] Camping site; Oloiden Naivasha. I am not a fun of camping I still haven’t done it coz of my own phobias but Oloiden can make anyone just camp or sleep in open field and stargaze and still enjoy the gardens are well manicured the place is soo clean..

 

14] Our favorite Holiday Home; Kiira House Naivasha. this rustic Cottage won our heart.

 

 

15]; Best Crew: Tour Operator Society of Kenya. Young vibrant and doing the best they can to promote local and regional tourism.

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You have a list of your 2017 favorite and it’s not mentioned here, please let us know we might just check it out in 2018…

Thank you for passing by..

 

 

 

Is there more to family travel in Kenya Beyond All inclusive resorts? Must read for every Family planning a vacation this Holiday.

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Memories made together last and bide a family a lifetime

When I was young, Family vacations were spent at my grandparents house. It was un-written rule that all grand-kids were to spend their long school holidays there. It was fun making pots out of clay, picking wild berries, sliding through the mud, cooking in Tins…. Everyday we were busy doing something, and by the time we got home to grand ma’s and great grandmas fairy tales, we were worn out and all we needed was to eat, shower and drag our selves to bed.

Fast forward in our world today, Many parents just want all inclusive resorts because the young ones will be kept entertained and busy through out the day. Kenya happens to have such resorts that have mastered the art of Family travel and to our rating , Voyager beach Resort, Baobab Beach resort & Spa and Turtle bay Beach club all on the Kenyan coast would rank highly on this.

There are quite few things we need to consider before taking that Family vacation

  • Family vacations aren’t about the destination, the sights etc its about Family. Focus on spending time together not hoping from one destination to the next.
  • Remember that each family members fun might be different from the rest, sit down and narrow down to activities that you all can enjoy considering the interest of each of you. Trust me you don’t want to go around with groomy members… hehehe!
  • When all is in order consult an expert, let them give you a few options according to your shortlisted interests. Consult friends and ask for recommendations. The advantage of this is, the travel consultant has a wealth of knowledge and he/she will save you time and energy.
  • Its always good to ask another family to join you wherever possible. That puts more people in charge of planning and takes some of the pressure off of you. It’s also a great way to save money. For example, you can split on a number of things e.g Transport, accommodation etc. When kids have playmates along, kids are more easily managed, and more people on hand means more eyes to help you watch your brood!
  • When all the planning has been done and you have settled on a package always remember to let your agent know in-case there are special diets requirements. Some hotels and lodges also don’t take children below a certain age..reconfirm all this things.
  • Don’t forget that travel expands our minds including children’s it also a good way of reconnecting and bonding. Remember you are away from your schedules so there will be a lot of focus on each other. Embrace this moment and learn one another.

when all is in place remember to pack and carry a lot of patience as children can get cranky when you list expect. Bear in mind there are quite a number of destinations and activities around Kenya that kids can enjoy besides the beach. E.G cycling, camping, bird watching, game drives… It always good to expose this young ones to different forms of travel it opens up their mind to different possibilities. Places that can give kids different form of experience are Farm houses or hotels. They get to learn more on where most of the products they love come from, how they are grown or manufactured. Some of this properties come highly recommended.

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This is A small property tucked in the highlands of murang’a County, it boasts all the trimmings of a city boutique hotel, in the country side. It has 24 spacious rooms, each with a balcony. your views every day is tea plantation surrounding the hotel and the beautiful landscape of hilly neighborhood. There are quite a number of activities one can engage in as they also keep domestic animals e.g tea picking, feeding and herding cattle, cycling, football day tours to chinga dam etc for more infor check this link out

 

Olepangi farm house in Nanyuki

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This luxurious farm house sits in a big farm ranch on the foothills of Mt.kenya. its located in one of the most scenic places in Timau. your stay here feels short no mater how long as there are quite a number of activities one can engange in. From farm activities, to horse riding, to Nature walks to Hiking…. check them out here

 

 

Ocean sports Malindi

Ocean Sports has always been a family friendly hotel. Located on 14 acres, the majority of which is still indigenous bush, our prime, beach front location and large gardens make it the perfect place for any child to explore.

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You won’t find a ‘kids club’ here showing endless cartoons, instead, each child is given a challenge on arrival, a check list of 50 things to do at Ocean Sports where we take full advantage of the nature and wildlife which surrounds us.

The hotel has chickens, ducks and quail; guinea fowl roam the gardens. Plated lizards can be seen sunbathing on the rocks and bush babies and night jars heard in the evenings. Your children will leave Ocean Sports having learnt and seen a great deal, and usually with a host of new friends.

There are quite a number of holiday options one can explore the only thing your travel agent need to identify is your interest, age and energy levels.

Know of a place with unique experiences? kindly comment and recommend it we would like to hear from you.

The land of Marakwet people must be one of the most magical soul touching places Kenya has…

As I pick from my last story of #TwendeWestern perhaps this part from Bogoria to Eldoret has been a challenge because I just couldn’t get the right words to express myself in a way that the magic of Kerio Valley is not lost. This part of of kenya must be the most picturesque, breathtaking .. driving up this road gives you some kind of euphoria only nature can explain, the view of Kerio river on the east and Cherengany hills on the west, the hair raising Marakwet escarpment.. its just breathtaking. The marakwet people who live around here are livestock farmers with a few mixing it up with soghum, millet and cassava, others do plant mangoes and we had a taste of some at chebloch gorge.

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A moment with the young divers of this unconfirmed 70ft deep gorge, they dive in this river for a living and they say its crocodile infested, however with time this young men have learnt that crocs don’t like sudden movements… support them while on this road as some earn to pay for their school fees.
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chelengany hills view point
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chebloch gorge

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lake Kamnarock at a distance
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moments with friends at Rimoi national park view point

There is a lot of activities one can enjoy while in this area, beautiful places to spend a night and for more detailed information follow this link https://keriovalleyadventures.wordpress.com

More images below during our tour

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By the time we got to Eldoret the home of champions it was already dark but no one was complaininmursikg. Our overnight stay was at The Famous Sirikwa Hotel and I was glad the place has undergone serious renovations, it looked far beyond my last visit here. The food was great but as usual I must smell, taste and experience the uniqueness of every destination so you can Imagine I wasn’t going to leave without Tasting MURSIK a kalenjin traditional Milk mixed with special charcoal, they say it makes a champion out of an athlete… I haven’t tested this yet, hehehe! Soo keep rocked to our blog… just incase I win a marathon somewhere..

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Thank you Sirikwa hotel we had a wonderful stay.
Everytime we post our travels we can only hope we are enticing someone somewhere to join us coz I believe everyone is  an ambassador of their own country. How? whenever you travel, work, study abroad people are always asking to recommend places they can visit in your own country, how then can you represent it if you haven’t experienced it yourself? Always try to be better than google lol! Everyone still wants to interact with a fellow human being.

Cheers! For now we are getting fit to experience #KakamegaCounty where traditional music got some wonderful rhythm and ringo that makes your Shoulders shake like papyrus Leeds…

The Giant within–when you visit Nyeri county take a moment and explore..

As I sip down my dawa at Valley Coffee in Yala Towers Nairobi, admiring the view of Nairobi from the balcony couldn’t  help but remember a journey I had taken a few days earlier so  I decided why not share it with others as I awaited for my meeting to commenceimg_8773

There is always something exciting that’s ignited in my stomach whenever I go to Mt.Kenya tourism Circuit the atmosphere is quite unforgettable. On this particular day my longtime friend Phoebe [my partner in crime lol!—no we are actually very innocent girls.] was joining me as we honored an invite to visit Nyeri and familiarize ourselves with the attractions in this area and also, to actually understand why even after being such a gorgeous place, with lots of attraction, Nyeri is still not reaping from its potential as a touristic destination. Leisure and Destination Marketing is something I hold dearly to my soul. So u can imagine how much my adrenaline was racing for such a challenge.

A journey to Nyeri from Nairobi is such scenic one as it traverses you through central Kenya from Pineapple plantations, coffee and farm fields, with beautiful landscapes, its everything a rural area would look like, on the way you will find farmers selling their produces e.g Rice, Irish and sweet potatoes, fresh fruits and vegetables, chickens, roasted maize and yams hehe..

For new people on this route watch out as it has lots of corners, drive at controllable speed especially if the road ahead is not visible for a distance. After a disappointing “Continental Breakfast “ at Lazarus café in town we departed for Nyeri our chit chats made the journey of 150KM short.. Upon arrival we met with the owner of Legacy Gardens who was our host and guide throughout our stay. Winfred is so passionate about Nyeri shes quite informed and up to date with things that could attract some one from whichever part of the Earth you belong to: we had a perfect guide…[I always advice travelers get yourself a reliable local guide and you will learn and enjoy a destination beyond the guide book and way beyond google].

We arrived in Nyeri around midday, checked in at Legacy gardens freshened up and we officially checked in Nyeri town [Rware as the natives call it]

Nyeri is famous for its hardworking and strong willed women –women of steel-women who have taken over the role of heading their families as some husbands had turned into alcohol, women who works soo hard to sustain their families the best way they can. It’s a role most find a ridicule to the masculine gender but what could she have done?? Well I find her extra-ordinally although some incidences reported perhaps due to frustrations etc can’t be erased.

Well, we first went to a restaurant for some chicken Kienyenji and Winnie just knew the right place, the bird was big and yummy and some Mataha [a mix of boiled dry maize, beans, potatoes and pumpkin leaves mashed together]. Mataha is a traditional food among the Agikuyu community. It used to be made in plenty and would be stored with Itairu [woven trays] in granaries and if you needed to eat all you had to do is go to the granary and fetch some hehe.. life wasn’t complicated then,  you didn’t need soup, maybe a glass of milk or water and you super..

We had an observation though every place that we visited that was frequented, the welcome was always a smelly toilet down stairs before you get to a wonderful place upstairs hehe.. so was the goodbye….but we are smart usitudharau..on our way down we held our noses till we hit the road across hehe… waa two minutes felt longer and I guess Our cheeky laughters attracted quite a few curious looks but well at-least the yummy kienyenji chicken wasn’t spoilt lol! #MissionAccomplished.

Our next stop was the newly 4star rated, one of the few in Nyeri county and that’s White Rhino hotel, a historical hotel built during the British east Africa era, in 1910 by three white settlers who had shot a white a rhino in the same location. The hotel now is open to all unlike before it had a sign “White Only” sits evident that this hotel has a history of over 100yrs. Well, from having rooms that aren’t self-contained to a modern classic city hotel with international standards, surely this hotel has rebranded…

There are other historical buildings in nyeri town like the Osmana ollus shop dating back to 1899, The baden powels grave site memorial, The Italian war Memorial chapel in Mathari, The Paxtu cottage belonging to Baden powell at Outspan hotel which was later occupied by.., The colonial civil and  criminal lawa courts situated in Ruringu: Did you know the first colonial African cell was in Nyeri, well it was, near provincial police post.

There quite a nurhinomber of historical places in this blissful town as Baden powell referred it… e.g Field Marshal Dedan Kimathis Famous fig tree post office in the Aberdares, The treetops Hotel where queen Elizabeth II became Queen while vacationing in Aberdares, The Sacred site where Dedan Kimathi was shot in Tetu… Nyeri still continues to add on its history with Wangari Maathai Becoming the First African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace in 2004. Just like a cherry on top in May 2015 this town received world attention during the Beaitification of Sister Irene Stefani –Nyaatha, she was declared to have lived a life of Heroic virtue through her service to the sick in Nyeri before and during the world War 1.. I guess Nyeri is here to continue making Headlines both local and international.

Other attractions include; Zaina falls in Tetu, Mau Mau caves, Nyeri Hill, Othaya Hill zainacommon wealth graves, karura falls, lots of private ranches with magnificent waterfalls and landscapes. This place is a hikers galore, Religion traveler, wildlife enthusiast, birdwatcher’s haven, fishing expeditions, cultural and historical enthusiasts.
During our visit here I purposed to meet with few hotel owners and also to learn quite a few things about this town as a tourism destination. It wasn’t pleasing to learn that even if this county has world re-knowned attractions like Abedrare National park, Mt.Kenya National park, Solio game ranch, Olpejeta conservancy etc its still struggling on how to maximize on its full potential. Travelers still to choose to stop-over more than sleep over. Where else some hotels are struggling others are at 80% occupancy because they can afford costs arising from Marketing strategies. What happens to those who can’t afford? I would advise them to join hands and create some leverage. Being in tourism for quite a long time doesn’t turn me into an expert but its does expose me to realism—[is that English]- There is no way I can just leave my residence just to go stay in a hotel without a particular reason, there must be a reason for me travel…only then will I check where to sleep. Could this county be spending more time marketing their own individual hotels more than the Destination? If the already existing attractions aren’t attracting enough travelers, can they create reasons for travelers to want to stay or desire to visit Nyeri County more than any other destination?  Can they repackage this county to a more enticing product? The ball is in your court both the private sector and the county government of Nyeri.

#MyUnforgettable; The Nyeri observation point on your way to Ihururu has awesome sunset, it gives you this priceless sense of peace and stillness.img_8217.you basically loose yourself, the view below of coffee plantations and Nyeri town, Mt.kenya at a distance and Nyeri Hill at your back, Nature protecting you and exposing you to its beauty

As we departed Nyeri we had a lot of questions and recommendations for this county.. Would creating a happy valley tour or  recreating a mau mau route whereby travelers can experience our colonial era refresh this product? All I can say is unless they join hands and come up with campaign to #TembeaNyeri the best will get better and the rest will go worse with only getting overflows or very few check-ins.

We can’t forget to thank the White rhino Hotel, To Mr.Muchiri of Mpeta Guest House- if you are looking for self catering modern, furnished apartments this place would be for you especially for those travelling for business, need a short stay etc. It also has a high speed free internet and in a very accessible location.

Our utmost Gratitude goes to Winfred of Legacy Gardens for being such a passionate guide in Nyeri county and a wonderful host. Legacy gardens have self catering fully furnished Holiday homes, well manicured gardens, vibrant interiors and above all its just home-away-from-home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What comes to mind when you hear of Murang’a?

For many when they want to getaway from their usual routine  few consider or actually try this town in central kenya…something I witnessed last week on a journey to my rural town Kiria-ini with my fellow Travel ethusiasts…Murang’a rocks our television screens for both good and bad news but most importantly its rumored you want a good wife #TembeaMurang’a hehehe sio sifa it must have been proven. Haithuru….

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Gosheni farm Hotel

Murang’a town was called Fort hall during the colonial era, named after its first district commissioner Mr.Francis Hall, but unfortunately the chambers which could have served as a historical fact were demolished to pave way for a more modern county assembly and only a gate to the original house that’s remaining and a few newspapers of 1900, a grave site for deported samoei clan members serves as a bond between the kikuyu and kalenjin communities but I guess this part of history has been forgotten too. A memorial site  was  made to honor home guards and white settlers who were killed by Mau Mau……There is soo much history in this area that was left to rot unless the county govt collects it and preserves it, most resident don’t even have a clue about it….. A tour within the premises didn’t have much to see of yester years and even the archives are unkept dusty and left to rot somewhere in the ceiling……

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Standard newspaper I guess corruption is older than most….

There are quite interesting stories to tell about Muranga and one would be that of a woman subchief called Wangu wamakeri who was said to be using men backs as her chair while addressing the crowd…. but if you are curious to know what exactly happened while in Muranga Visit the Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga Shrine the origin of Kikuyu community and also get to learn a beautiful legend of clans and communities origins and naming -I must visit while in this area. The landscape in this part of central kenya is quite appealing and hair raising too as you meander through this rugged country side full of hills and valleys, small farms….

After Our stop-over at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga we drove further on to Gosheni Farm Hotel in Kiriaini town a beautiful property set on a hill overlooking the tea farms that surround it. The concept of the hotel is to expose children and adults in a farm setup kind of a holiday where activities like Milking, feeding domestic animals, picking tea, visiting coffee factories, fishing, biking are part of your stay.

Attractions in Muranga County;

Aberdares National Park

The Southern parts of the Aberdare ranges forests fall in Muranga County and contain numerous tourist attractions which are yet to be exploited. This constitutes northern parts of Muranga County which fall under the Aberdare Ecosystem Management Plan which is a a low use zone.This region is suitable for establishment of eco-lodges, permanent tented camps, self-help bandas, public campsites and other recreational facilities. Tourism and leisure activities which can be exploited in this region include; hiking, nature trails, Sport fishing, Paragliding, Bird watching, Orienteering, Caving and Game viewing.


Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga

Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga is located in Gaturi location in Murang’a East District of Kiharu Constituency. It is believed to be the mythical Garden of Eden of the Agikuyu tribe. Historically, it was the central point of dispersal of the Agikuyu after arrival into the Mt. Kenya area. Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga today attracts curious Kikuyu wishing to know their history as well as tourists and researchers who want to learn more about the tribe that is associated with the Mau Mau and played a crucial role in Kenya’s struggle for independence. Sacrifice and prayers are also conducted here by Kikuyu traditional elders. It is also used by the Kikuyu political elite to rally the tribe around a common cause.

It is gazetted as a national monument, under the custodian of National Museums of Kenya. Instead of a museum, people want it promoted as a cultural and heritage centre where Kikuyu customary activities like dowry payments, engagements, cultural rites and family outings can be held. This has led to an impasse and the place remains undeveloped with two unfinished buildings, the Cultural Center Performance Hall and a hotel. The walls of the buildings are covered in graffiti with guests using the walls as a “Visitor’s Book”. Disputes have also arose over the building of an exterior wall.

The compound also has ten huts named after the nine plus one clans of the Agikuyu and a reception.

Consolata Tuthu Shrine

The Tuthu Shrine is located at Our Lady Consolata Catholic Church, Tuthu Parish which is under the Catholic Diocese of Muranga. The church was established in 1902 by the Consolata missionaries and was the first catholic church in the area. It is situated in Tuthu town, which is Kangema Constituency, Muranga County.

Tuthu Catholic Church also houses the mausoleum of Paramount Chief Karuri Gakure who welcomed the missionaries to Tuthu and assigned them a compound to stay in and to conduct their first Mas130511_0467Tuthu-Pilgrimages which was under a Mugumo tree.

Mugumo tree is a sacred tree among the Kikuyus and was a place to offer sacrifices and it is symbolic that the missionaries did their first mass under a sacred tree where other sacrifices had been offered.

Today, a modern shrine has been built in the design of a cut tree trunk which is going to grow into a tree, symbolizing faith.

The shrine significant to the Consolata Missionaries because it was the first place where the missionaries celebrated mass and shared with the local people in Kenya their faith and it was from Tuthu after being taken care of by Chief Karuri that the missionaries started doing their work in Kenya.


Ndakaini Dam (Thika Dam)

The dam is owned by Athi Water Services and operated by the Nairobi City Water & Sewerage Company. The dams construction started in the year 1988 when the Kenya Government compulsorily acquired approximately 1,200 acres of land to create space for the construction of the dam to supply portable water to the residents of Nairobi City and its environs.Ndakain Dam is located in Gatanga Constituency, Muranga county. It is home to the Ndakaini Half Marathon held every year in September and sponsored by UAP Insurance Company.

Catchment Features
The Dam’s catchment area measures 75 square Kilometers. It consists of Kimakia and Gatare Natural forest which form the Aberdare Ranges. The main rivers that drain into the Dam from this catchment are Thika, Githika and Kayuyu. Thika drains 50% Githika 30% and Kayuyu 20% of the catchment into the Dam respectively. The area receives ample rainfall of between 2000 – 2500 mm annually.

 


Rapids Camp Sagana

Activities at the camp include:Rapids Camp is situated on the border between Kirinyaga County and Muranga County. With its proximity to the city of Nairobi and the Thika super highway makes it very easy to access. Rapids Camp has a river frontage of about 450m and the largest waterfall in terms of volume in Kenya, combined with very huge boulders (rocks) within the camp which are good for rock climbing plus 4 acres of neatly manicured lawns which makes it a perfect adventure camp.

  • Bunjee Jumping
  • Canoe Kayaking
  • White water rafting
  • Team Building
  • Camping
  • Rapids River Trekking
  • Sagana Chopper trips

Kimakia Fishing Grounds

Kimakia Stream in Kimakia is located in Kimakia Forest which is a conservation area of the Aberdares Forest National Park.The fishing groungs offer leisure fishing sites and is among the finest fishing or outdoors adventure locations in the region due to its reserved location. The Stream is located at the latitude and longitude coordinates of -.9 and 36.883333. How to get there: Fishing enthusiasts interested in fishing near or at Kimakia should print out the Google map and take it with them on their fishing trip. Others attractions are: Heritage sites such as Karia Ka Mbari ya Ngware.


Accommodation in Muranga: Hotel Nokras, Stanleys Haven, Aberdare cottages, Goshen Farm Hotel, Fortune green hotel, Monkey bay resort, palms Hotel kenol, Trotters Hotel Kenol, Murang’a Mukawa.