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….
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……
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;
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 Mass 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.
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.
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
- 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.