Attractions in Nyeri County
44. Aberdare Country Club
Characterful old-English style buildings, alpine air, open fires, wild Africa – all in a dreamy idyllic resort suitably chronicled as the “Haven Under the Hill”, this 1,300-acres wonderland was selected, with much emotion, by an English couple who had decided to settle in Kenya. Its wealth for wildlife was the main reason for it to be declared a wildlife sanctuary. It has plenty of Kenya’s high-minded species, which include; impala, zebra, giraffe and the elusive leopard. Originally known as The Steep, thanks to its portentous set up on a slope of Mweiga Hill overlooking the spellbinding golden plains of Laikipia and Mount Kenya, it was later reestablished as the Aberdare Country Club and opened for guests. In all, the club has 47 rooms – 20-twins, 20-doubles, 2-triples, 3-deluxe, 1-VIP Suite and 1-room for physically disabled – each with a fireplaces lit on request. There are lots of other reasons for escaping to this leisurely hidey-hole. You’ll have the choice of golfing at the 9-hole golf course, play tennis, take a mountain bike ride and swim in the heated swimming pool with beautiful views. You can also dine elegantly after a day of unrivalled game drive at Solio Ranch. It is located about 28 kms from Nyeri, near Mweiga Town, via B5 Nyeri-Mweiga-Nyahururu Road.
45. The Ark Lodge
The base for the Ark Lodge is the Aberdare Country Club where visitors, booked on consecutive terms, enjoy lunch before heading off through the Aberdare National Park to the Ark Lodge. The Lodge, beautifully situated, has attractions of its own including four viewing decks, trout fishing, visits to the moorland and birding. Unique to the Ark (and the Treetops Gallery) are its excellent facility of observing the ever-present animal activity by floodlight at night. Over the years animals have become used to the floodlight and assemble in notable varieties – buffalo, elephant, rhino, rare mountain Bongo, giant hogs, bushbucks, Harvey’s duikers, baboons, warthog. And so that you don’t miss any animal sightings, the night guard will buzz your room when special animals come to the waterhole. Game can also be watched from an underground “pillbox” on the waterhole, in complete safety. Into that bargain, its alpine crisp air and coolness of the bright days have earned it its reputation as an intimate wildlife encounter. Its 60 en-suite rooms with four different options are spread over its three floors, or decks.
46. Sandai Farm
Set on 100-acres in the wildlife rich, picturesque plains of Mweiga, eyeing both Aberdare Range and Mount Kenya, Sandai has a sempiternal lost-in-the-wild air about it that is catchy and worth the experience. Its unpretentious, wooden cottages and farmhouse complements the sweeping primitive plains which have remained unchanged for millennia. There is lots to warm the heart at Sandai, most notably of the sun-downer horseback-safaris. It has the option of living on a self-catering basis in five furnished cottages. It’s found 15 kms east of Mweiga.
47. Sangare Gardens
The 20 km2 private livestock ranch, re-established in 2007 as a conservancy, is composed of moderately welted slopes, forming part of a large wildlife corridor which connects the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. As such, its views are bosting. Its centerpiece 10-rooms, self catering eco-friendly house is a dreamy wooden-cottage reached by crossing an adorbs simple rope and wood suspension bridge. In addition to many game viewing options, Sangare Gardens has several smaller surprises. The most attractive of these is probably the elevated ‘Nyama Choma Gazebo’ overlooking a pretty scenery. It is found 26 kms from Nyeri, at Mweiga.
48. Solio Game Reserve
More popular as Solio Ranch, the 300 km2 privately-run Solio Game Reserve began in 1970, by Courtland Parfet, is notable as the first conservancy in Kenya dedicated to the preservation of the endangered rhinos. Up until now, it is still an all-important forte in scores of rhino conservation projects and its success in breeding rhinos and providing a safe habitat for them to thrive a high-point of Kenya’s conservation efforts. Callers to the inter-territorial Solio Ranch, shared by Nyeri and Laikipia Counties, can enjoy uninterrupted open-top game views of the prolific wildlife, with the option of self drive or guided tours. “The wildlife experience at Solio is intense and exclusive with 19,000 acres of conservancy surrounded by 45,000 acres of ranch and just one lodge” – Safari Collection. A trip through the elaborate network of roads around Solio Ranch would not be complete without visiting the rhino sanctuary and the bespoke Solio Lodge. The main gate is located 22 kms from Nyeri, along the B5 Nyeri to Nyahururu Road.
49. Aberdare National Park
To a great degree, Game Parks in Kenya are prospered by the big-five species – lion, leopard, elephant, rhinocero and Cape buffalo. The pre-eminence of this cosset grouping of highly charismatic species originated in the days of big game hunting, when these were considered especially dangerous. You’ll find all these and more here. The Aberdare National Park, often romanticized as the valley of beauty, also has a unique floral profile, bearing many alpine ilks. A drive across the Park takes one through moorlands, bamboo forests and several clear trout streams; west through Naivasha, east from Nyeri. What the 766 km2 Aderdare National Park lacks in size is made up for by its easily accessible sites and good parkways. The Park contains the famous Treetops and the Ark Lodges. Its huge vistas have also enjoyed a share of Hollywood Fame. Gura Waterfall, the most precipitous in Kenya, and Karuru Falls, the tallest, were portrayed in the Oscar-winning film Out of Africa. It was also the set for filming of Gorillas in the Mist and White Mischief. Its links to the Royal Family and the Mau Mau Uprising have had a multiplier effect. The park’s HQ is located 15 Kms from Nyeri, along the Nyeri to Nyahururu Road. It can be reached from Naro Moru and Naivasha.