Attractions in Nyeri County
12. Chaka Ranch
Since its establishment in 2014, Chaka Ranch has resolutely vindicated its well received status as one of Kenya’s proper leisure and entertainment parks. Now practically a household name, it has, in more ways than one, hailed its merits as a bucket list destination. For a wild start, it has the biggest and widest collection of quad bikes and buggies in Kenya, yet, it is its location away from the city and away from civilization, in a picture-postcard setting with views of Mount Kenya and Aberdare Range, that captures the imagination of the revellers. In all, there are 10 different exciting outdoor activities, and the visitor may be assured that, whether it is having all out fun in the mud on the quad bikes or buggies, racing it out on the go-kart track or skating park, shooting it out at the paintball arena, splashing it out at the huge water park or simply admiring the scenery, there is something for all ages. It is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Chaka Ranch Tented Camp, just a walking distance from the leisure park, offers an intimate and exclusive one-of-a-kind accommodation. It is reached via Marua-Kiganjo-Nanyuki Road at Chaka nearby Kiganjo, with plenty of signs along the A2 Road.
13. Naro Moru River Lodge
Established in 1949 at the foothills of Mount Kenya along the Naro Moru Route, the 46-rooms Naro Moru River Lodge, set up on 70 acres of delightful montane bliss with impressive misty mountain views, is the perfect base camp for hikers. It was founded by Sir Rufus Klarwill, who mapped out Naro Moru Route – the most popular route up the mountain because it is the quickest trail to Top Hut and Point Lenana – and set the lodge at the banks of Naro Moru River that rises from the Lewis Glacier on Mount Kenya and drains into the Ewaso Nyiro River. Naro Moru River, streaming across the centre of the lodge, is the ideal natural yardstick along the hiking trail. For those looking for a healthful weekend away from the expeditious city life, the rustic cabin-styled Naro Moru Lodge offers an intoxicating rest whose appeal is completed by the awe-inspiring Mount Kenya. For the keen birder, the lodge is a top-rate ornithological destination hosting an exceptional variety of bird life. Visitors can also enjoy facilities like swimming, squash and lawn tennis courts or walks in the beautiful gardens. In addition to these, for the more adventurous at heart, there is the outdoor Naro Moru River Lodge Challenge Course. Dining facilities include the Nelion-pool restaurant and the Kirinyaga restaurant both serving international cuisine and traditional African dishes. The lodge has two bars: Lenana Bar and Batian Bar, both also serving coffee and fresh juice. Game drives to the famous Ol Pejeta Conservancy as well as to several of the lovely game ranches and parks can be organized. The Lodge is found 28 kms north Kiganjo via the A2 Marua-Kiganjo-Nanyuki Road.
14. Bantu Mountain Lodge
8 kms north of Naro Moru or 15 kms south of Nanyuki sits the Bantu Mountain Lodge well-known as a launching site for circuits taking to the northern face of Mount Kenya. This old, budget-friendly, country-style lodge sometimes known as Mountain Rock Lodge is tucked away in the woods on the lower slopes of the mountain. It offers a span of thrilling activities, notably trekking or horse back rides along the trails. The lodge itself has 28 rooms classed as either superior or standard room. Most of the 12 superior-double rooms are convertible to triples.
15. Mau Mau Caves
Another of the great launches within easy reach of Nanyuki Town, about 15 kms along the Nanyuki-Nyeri Road and 8 kms north of Naro Moru if approaching from Nyeri, accessible through Mountain Rock or Bantu Lodge (also popular as a starting-point for circuits taking to the northern face of Mount Kenya), are the Mau Mau Caves. These prevail as a solemn reminder of one of British Empire’s bloodiest struggles in East Africa and a beacon of some significant steps toward independence of Kenya. Located at the foothills of Mount Kenya, the Mau Mau Caves were utilised by the infamous Mau Mau fighters as a military rendezvous point, between 1953 to 1959. Although much of the history of the fierce battles in and around these caves was censored by the colonial government, historians estimate that about 11,000 Mau Mau fighters lost their lives in the insurgence waged in the nearby forest, including the local fighters who died in 1959 when the Caves were bombed by the Royal Air Force. Mau Mau Caves were gazetted as a National Monument in 2003. They are located 15 kms from Nanyuki Town.
16. The Trout Tree
A short drive past Bantu Mountain Lodge about 34 kms north of Kiganjo brings one to Trout Tree Restaurant, a noted stopover that has been offering good eats in unfamiliar horizons for close to four decades. Built in an enormous fig tree along the Burguret River, below Mount Kenya, Trout Tree is the home of the char-grilled trout. The menu also includes prime Laikipia beef and vegetarian options, and over the weekend a kids menu is available with its pizza oven fired up to dish out a selection of tasty pizzas. It operates on a farm-to-fork policy, its trout raised in a hatchery of 10 small fry fish ponds, 4 medium sized fingerling ponds and 21 large ponds with an average production of about 2 tons of trout per month. Although fish and fishing does not attract half as many travellers to Nyeri County as does it wildlife, this eatery has curved out an unlikely niche. A trip to Trout Tree is capped by leisurely floric walks along the banks of Burguret River. Here again, the walking trail goes past the self-contained Creaky Cottage.
The farm was started as The Tamarind Trout Farm in 1978 and managed by Elsen Karstad from 1984. It was bought by John Njuguna in 1996 from the Tamarind Group. It remains the largest commercial trout farm in East Africa.