Twende Likizo: Circling Mount Kenya

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The first chapter in learning the history of Kenya would be by touring the region around Mount Kenya National Park.

The National Park that circles 5 counties covers an area of 715 sq.km and is home to the Agikuyu tribe – Embu, Mbeere, Meru and Kikuyu. Popular for their entrepreneurial skills, the tribes traditionally led an agriculturalist and pastoralist lifestyle.

The mountain is also a sanctuary to a vast species of birds, wildlife and indigenous trees making the national park one of the major tourist attractions in the country.

Here’s a rough draft itinerary that you could help you plan for your vacation around this majestic volcanic mountain that stands at only 3-hours’ drive away from Nairobi but half a day’s journey from Mombasa.

1.      Murang’a County

First stop on your way to Mount Kenya National Park from Nairobi should be Murang’a.

For travelers looking to enjoy nature and greenery in their voyages, this is definitely the county to visit. Murang’a is popular for Ndakaini Dam which is the source of Nairobi’s water. Boat riding is a prevalent activity at a small fee as well as the annual Ndakaini Half Marathon. Dress warmly, the dam is on the foot of the Aberdare National Park.

A visit to Chania Falls or the Fourteen Falls in Thika provides a short escapade out of the city whether alone or with group of friends.

Fourteen-Falls-Thika

Fourteen Falls Thika

For a relaxing fishing expedition stay at Aberdare Fishing Cottages. Not only will you wake up to views of the ranges but you will also take morning walks to the two rivers around the small, cozy Lodge.

2.      Nyeri County

Nyeri houses a wealth of colonial history that can be used to take a class down memory lane. Consequently, Madaraka Day 2017 celebrations will be hosted in this county.

Two monuments particularly stand out in Nyeri Town that symbolize significant British rule. Check out the Italian War Memorial Church 5km from Nyeri Town. En-route to Outspan Hotel, take a detour to Baden Powell Museum, once Lord Baden Powell’s home.

Italian War Memorial Church

If you purpose to climb Mount Kenya, the Naro Moru route is the most popular and by far the easiest option. The route goes through the Mau Mau caves that were a hideout location for the freedom fighters until they were bombed in 1959 by British soldiers.

20 minutes away from Nyeri Town is Rhino Watch Lodge. The safari lodge is an epitome of serenity engulfed by the wild and spectacular views of Mt. Kenya. During your stay at the lodge, plan a safari to Solio Ranch which is 5 minutes away. The Aberdare (Nyandarua) mountain ranges are also worth a visit as they are 30-minutes’ drive.

3.      Kirinyaga County

Kirinyaga is the thrill seeker’s haven, adventurous travellers do not leave the county disappointed.

The Kamweti route up Mount Kenya National Park is the most challenging and thus the least used trekking option by hikers. This bamboo forest track is popular with wild animals such as the waterbuck, Elephant and buffalo.

There is also a historical site called God’s Bridge, locally known as Daraja Ya Mungu, which was another hideout for Mau Mau unbeknownst to the British soldiers.

Sagana is the best spot in the country for water rafting as well as for bungee jumping. Camp at Rapids Camp to enjoy both of these activities or book a luxury stay at Sagana Getaway Resort.

Bungee jumping in Sagana

Next week we’ll explore the other three counties surrounding the Mount Kenya National Park and the Aberdare Ranges.

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