Nyeri County

Attractions in Nyeri County

50. Mau Mau Post Office

Also christened ‘the Kimathi Post’, this venerable Mugumo tree on the Abedare slopes was a germane Mau-Mau rendezvous post especially useful at the state of emergency and suppression of the uprising, where the leaders of the two main battalions stationed in the forest would leave each other letters. Remarkably, this one-of-a-kind secret post remained unheard-of until toward the end of the strife, despite of the British forces and Home Guards continually reconnoitering this forest area. “To most of the fighters, the tree came to be known simply as the Kimathi Post Office in honour to their leader Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi who was said to have mooted the idea of having one point where the Mau Mau would deliver and collect letters to communicate with sympathetic villagers and among troops” – The Standard Group. It’s easily accessible from the Ark Lodge.

Most travellers to Treetops assemble for lunch at Outspan Hotel in Nyeri Town before been tranferred in hotel transport, to the most celebrated of all the tree-lodges in Kenya. The honoured tree house lodge, forming a canopy near a water hole, is determinately a round the clock lookout for watching wildlife. Originally established in 1932 along an ancient elephant migration corridor, this was built high among the branches of several giant trees supported on wooden stilts. The high vantage, overlooking the waterhole, provides a facility to watch in comfort. Now accustomed to the floodlight around the waterhole, the animals ignore it, and stream in at their convenience to drink and dig for salt. This offers a multi-dimensional experience to discover the faunal beauty of the Aberdare National Park. Treetops has 36 en-suite guest rooms and three observation decks. One of its most popular room is, undoubtedly, the history rich Princess Elizabeth Suite.

Treetops Gallery in Nyeri County. Image Courtesy of Timbuktu Travels

For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a queen. – J. Corbertt.

52. Karuru Falls

Not to be missed on any trip that takes in Aberdare National Park is a drive to Karuru Falls Parking, at the top part of the falls, to one of the parks outstanding launches and unforgettable vista that offers great viewing at close quarters, and in perfect safety. Karuru Falls is the highest waterfall in Kenya, plummeting 273 ms in three steps – 118 ms, 25 ms and 130 ms – that form a fantastic turbulence as it roars down into the wooded gaping valley. This vista is only rivalled by the variety and abundance of big game. What’s more, just around the bend, visitors can enjoy sights of the Queen’s Cave Waterfall (also known as the Magura Falls) from the comfort of the lovely Queen’s Picnic Site. Karura Falls is found 48 kms from Nyeri Town and 20 kms from Treetops (Nyeri) Gate to Aberdare National Park, passing the turnoffs to the Ark Lodge and Treetops Gallery – all of which are well signposted and easily located. It is located in the south area of the Park.

View of the splendorous Karuru Fall in Aberdare National Park.  Photo Courtesy
Karuru Fall in Aberdare National Park. Image Courtesy of WikiMedia

53. KWS Fishing Lodge

Tucked away in the tranquil Aberdare Park, about 5 kms from turnoff to Karuru Falls Viewpoint, via Nyeri Gate, is the self-catering KWS Fishing Lodge which sleeps up to 7. There are several camp sites found in the general area, as well as, several trout fishing streams on the moorlands. Trout fishing is permitted and fishing licences are available at the park’s entrance. If fishing were not sufficient enough, the Lodge is a perfect jump-off base to explore many areas of the park. Found within easy reach are the Reedbuck Camp, Queen’s Picnic Site, Queen’s Falls, Mau Mau Cave, Chania Falls and Campsite, Karuru Falls and Sapper Hut.

Map of Aberdare National Park.  Image Courtesy of Mama Savana
Map of Aberdare National Park. Image Courtesy of Mama Savana

54. Rhino Watch Lodge

The road system from Nyeri to Nyahururu is relatively good, and a sequence of hotels and lodges, managed by individuals and companies, are attractively sited throughout this stretch. Among the variety of attractions is Rhino Watch Lodge. It is in a country of rich wildlife, beautiful valleys and open plains., surrounded by three wildlife sanctuaries – Giraffe Walk, Solio Ranch and Aberdare National Reserve – that provide great opportunities for open-top expeditions. The lodge itself, decorously thatched in a traditional roofing style to enhance the outlook, is comprised of 7-chalets and 8-exclusive tents. Other highlights at the Rhino Watch Lodge include its infinity pool overlooking Mount Kenya, lovely spa and sauna, a gift shop and a conference room. It is situated 27 km from Nyeri Town.

55. Giraffe Ark Lodge

The 30-rooms Giraffe Ark Lodge situated at the edge of the Aberdare National Park overlooks nice scenery with switch-backs of rolling savanna and woodland backdropped by Mt. Kenya. Quite modern it its style, it is a place of informality and relaxation. It is also a place to divest oneself from the ballyhoo of modern life and enjoy a unique game of chess at the giant life-size outdoor board. Apart from its stellar views, places to visit include Solio Ranch and Aberdare National Park. Visitors may take many memorable landscape pictures on horseback rides around the lodge. It’s located 40 kms from Nyeri via B5 Nyeri-Nyahururu Road.

56. Tafaria Castle

Just 66 kms from Nyeri via the B5 Nyeri-Nyahururu Road at Ndaragwa sits the unusually inspired Tafaria Castle, firing the imagination of the Medieval Gothic Castles popular in the 1300’s to 1400’s. On arrival, holiday-makers are in equal parts surprised and fascinated by the gothic design blocks of dressed masonry, columned arches and towers, and which, in the 21st Century rural Kenya, sit dauntless as a fairytale hidey hole retreat. The landscape in no less impressive, overlooking Mount Kenya, Aberdare Range and the Laikipia Plains (plateau). The singular architecture of Tafaria Castle and its surrounding landscape piece together one of the rather unique but heartwarming country hotels in Kenya. As its name suggests, Tafaria Castle is fused with lots of activities to keep its royal guests always smiling and happy, from the lookout-decks, horse stables, horse riding, horse carriages, swimming, archery, lawn tennis, medieval bowling, art studio, birding and game drives. Their art exhibition runs throughout the year either by its artist-in-residence after the end of each residency or by established and upcoming artists. For accommodation Tafaria Castle has 57 rooms, in the various residential quarters, with a capacity of up to 160 guests in different set-ups. The Castle building has the Lord’s Room, the Chamber and seven rooms in the Lord’s Court. The rest of the rooms are set around the Castle. Then, there’s the Moat Bar, Bailey Lounge, and the Dungeon with a tuneful disco and cinema.

The Unique Tafaria Castle in Kenya. Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons
The Unique Tafaria Castle in Kenya. Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons