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Majestic scenery and royal connections

Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association P. O. BOX 2669 - 10140 NYERI, KENYA Office - Kimathi Way, Central Plaza, 2nd Flr. TEL: +254 020 2326170 Website:

MOUNT KENYA TOURISM CIRCUIT ASSOCIATION 2nd West Wing, Central “A duo floor, hemisphere destination.”

Plaza, Kimathi Way

PO Box 2669-10140, Nyeri Tel: +254 (0)20 232 6170 Email: REF: MKTCA/GUIDE
















Dear Sir/Madam, We are pleased to announce that Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association has appointed a PUBLISHED BY:


specialist UK-based company; Land & Marine Publications to produce our new regional tourism guide. We have chosen Land & Marine for their excellent production capability and for its experience which extends to working with several tourism authorities and associations


Escape to the sights and sounds of tranquillity


In Diamond Jubilee year, there’s nowhere more romantic to stay Who says you can’t go fishing on a mountain? Come in out of the cold – the music’s lovely


Fascinating legacy of Kenya’s secret wars


Teeing off at the equator


among them Zambia, Botswana, Seychelles, Uganda, Gambia, Emirates, Belize and here Kenya. We are confident they will deliver quality products to satisfy all. LANDin& MARINE PUBLICATIONS (KENYA) LTD Suite A5, 1st floor, Ojijo Plaza Mr. Ray Deekes, a representative of Land & Marine will be visiting you to seek 20 Plums Lane, off Ojijo Road, Parklands advertising support. feel freeVillage to contact us atMarket anytime if you00621 require any further information about this PO BoxPlease 2022, project. Nairobi, Kenya Yours (0)20 faithfully, 374 1934 Tel: +254 Fax: +44 (0)1206 842958 Email: Simon Wachira, CEO Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association.

The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor nor of any other organisation associated with this publication. No liability can be accepted for any inaccuracies or omissions. Photographs courtesy: Simon Wachira, Job Weru, Joseph Kanyi, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Solio, Ol Pejeta, and Kenya Tourist Board ISSN 2045-6476
























© 2012 Land & Marine Publications (Kenya) Ltd




here is a mindset we are trying to move

in the clear, fresh rivers and basically enjoy the

away from here at Mount Kenya Tourism

serenity of nature. Try out Rutundu cabins up near

Circuit Association that tourism is all

Lake Alice and experience the true wonder of

about wild animals, because it’s not, fortunately.

the wild. There is a rich relationship that royalty has had with the region over time and we have

Take the Aberdare National Park, for instance –

highlighted some of them in this issue.

an area of beautiful landscape and topography covering 766 sq km. And, yes, there you will find

Apart from being a tourist destination, the region

some of the Big Five, such as leopard, elephant

also offers some options for investments. For

and lion; but in addition this area has some of the

instance, the Secret Valley in Nanyuki, with its

best waterfalls in the region. In this issue, we shine

strategic location before Mount Kenya, is an

a spotlight on the waterfalls of the Aberdares and

attractive place where wild animals occasionally

other falls scattered across the Mount Kenya region.

come to drink. This area once had a lodge that burnt down, but it’s still a rich area begging for some

We have fashioned this issue towards romantics,

investment and creativity. And there are countless

lovers and honeymooners. We have combed

areas like this scattered all over Mount Kenya.

most of Mount Kenya for couples who are looking for romantic getaways. And we have suggested romantic wooden cabins where lovers can spend quality time doing nothing but fish for trout, swim

Recommended For those who may find themselves in Nanyuki and want to go out for a drink and a good time, the question normally is, where to go? In this issue we have recommended our top five spots that will ensure you have great fun. Check them out. The turnaround in perception is what we here at Mount Kenya Tourism Circuit Association are struggling with. And once we change the direction of thought towards this region then we will know we are on the right track towards achieving full utilisation of the resources the region has to offer. The Mount Kenya region is indeed a duo hemisphere destination. So please, enjoy the issue and recommend it to someone who is looking to please a loved one. Happy reading.

Simon Wachira CEO, Mount Kenya Tourism Circuit Association






he Aberdares are an isolated range of volcanic mountains forming the eastern wall of the Rift Valley, running north-

south for around 100 km between Nairobi and

and Twin Hills, moorland, Karuru Falls, Chania

Thomson’s Falls.

Waterfalls, Magura Falls and Queen’s Cave, Karimu Circuit and Sapper Hut Falls, Kimathi Post Office

There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999

and the Salient. Treetops Lodge and The Ark are

metres) and Kinangop (3,609 metres), separated by a

legendary attractions.

long saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000 metres. The topography is diverse, with deep ravines cutting

Activities: Mountain hikes and climbing, nature

through the forested eastern and western slopes.

walks in the moorland, game viewing and night

There are many clear streams and waterfalls. The

game viewing at Treetops and The Ark, trout fishing,

mountain is an important water catchment, supplying

birdwatching, camping, picnics and parties.

the Tana and Athi rivers and part of the Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.

Wildlife: The park is home to large mammals such as elephant, buffalo and black rhino. Endangered

Location: Central Highlands west of Mount Kenya.

species include the rare mountain bongo, giant forest

Surrounded by Kiambu, Muranga, Nyeri and

hog, wild dog, endemic mole rat and mole shrew,

Nyandarua counties.

leopard, endemic bird species, reptiles and insects.

Distance: 160 km from Nairobi to the park

Access: The park is readily accessible on


tarmacked roads from Nyeri to Nyahururu on the eastern side (160 km from Nairobi) A road crosses

Size: 767 sq km.

the park to connect with another from Naivasha and North Kinagop in the west. Main towns from which

Climate: Mist and rainfall throughout much of the

the park can be approached are Nyeri (154 km

year, with annual precipitation varying from about

from Nairobi), Nyahururu (188 km from Nairobi)

1,000 mm on the north-west slopes to as much as

and Naivasha (87 km from Nairobi).

3,000 mm in the south-east. Airstrips: Mweiga is next to the park headquarters. Major attractions: Ol Donyo Lesatima Peak,

Nyeri is 12 km from Mweiga.

Kinagop Peak, Elephant Hill, Table Mountains Park gates: Kiadongoro Gate is accessed via the Nyeri-Tetu road; Ruhuruini Gate accessed via the Nyeri-Ihururu road; Treetops Gate via the NyeriNjengu road; Ark Gate via the Mweiga-Amboni Lodges: The Ark, Treetops, Fishing Lodge, Ruhuruini, Tusk Camp, Sapper Hut, KWS hut at Treetops and KWS HQ bungalow.

road; Wadare Gate via the Mweiga-Endarasha road;

Campsites: Reedbuck, Ruhuruini, Wandare and Shamata.

Mutumbio Gate via the Naivasha-Kinagop-Geta road.

Shamata Gate via the Nyahururu-Shamata road;




ount Kenya is an impressive extinct

salients extending lower to 2,450 metres along the

volcano dominating the landscape of

Sirimon and Naru Moru tracks. Surrounding the

the Kenya highlands. The mountain

park is the 2,095 sq km Mount Kenya reserve.

has three main peaks: Batian (5,200 metres), Nelion (5188 metres) and Lenana (4,985 metres).

Location: Mount Kenya lies about 140 km north-north

Its slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub

east of Nairobi with its northern flanks across the equator.

and moorland, giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow.

Distance from Nairobi: 175 km.

Mount Kenya is an important water catchment area,

Size: 2,800 sq km.

supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems. The park contains a variety of habitats

Climate: Climate, f lora and fauna on Mount Kenya

including higher forest, bamboo, alpine moorland,

vary with altitude.

glaciers, tarns and glacial moraines. Major attractions: Pristine wilderness, lakes, The park was declared a Unesco World Heritage

tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological

site in 1997 and is also a biosphere reserve. It

variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered

covers 715 sq km and includes the peak, consisting

species of animals. Unique montane and alpine

of all ground above 3,200 metres, with two small

vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants. Wildlife: Giant forest hog, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephant, black rhino, suni, black-fronted duiker, mole rat and over 130 species of birds. Access: The park can be reached via the NanyukiIsiolo road via Sirimon track or the Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naru Moru. The park is also accessible via Chogoria on the Embu Meru road, about 200 km north of Nairobi. Airstrips: Closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki.

Lodges: Serena Mountain Lodge. Various lodges offer accommodation in the region.

Activities: Mountain climbing, rock climbing,

KWS catering accommodation: Batian Guest House and Sirimon Bandas. There are also various bunkhouses and climbing huts on the climbing route.

nature walks, wildlife viewing, camping, cave

mountain biking, snow marathon, birdwatching, exploration and primate tracking.




eru is a savanna grassland national park, 35 km east of Maua town in the north-eastern lowland of the

Nyambeni Hills. It is a complex of protected areas along the Tana River that includes the adjacent Bisanadi and Mwingi national reserves, Kora National Park and Rahole National Reserve. The wetter national reserve sector is hilly, with rich volcanic soils. The land f lattens towards the east, where grey alluvial volcanic soils appear. The area is crossed by many permanent streams, draining from the Nyambenes and flowing in parallel between tongues of lava south-east towards the Tana River. In addition to the many streams that cross it, the park is bounded by three big rivers: the Tana to the south, the Ura to the south-west and the Rojaweru to the east. There are several prominent inselbergs, notably Mughwango and Leopard Rock. A section of the park has been designated a wilderness area with no roads. The park is part of the

Access: Access from Nairobi (348 km) is via

domain made famous by the writings of Joy Adamson.

Nyeri-Nanyuki-Meru or via Embu all-weather roads. Access to the park from Maua to Murera

Location: East-north-east of Mount Kenya in Meru

Gate (35 km) and 348 km from Nairobi. The other

district of the Eastern Province.

access is via Embu to Ura Gate (120 km) 290 km from Nairobi (inaccessible at moment).

Distance from Nairobi: 348 km. Airstrips: Main airstrip at Kina, Mulika next to Size: 870 sq km.

Meru Mulika lodge and Elsa’s Kopje airstrip.

Climate: The parks are in a semi-arid zone with

Best time to visit: All year round.

irregular rainfall. Wet seasons are April to June and November and December. Rainfall is 635 to 766

Activities: Wildlife viewing, camping.

mm in the west and 305 to 356 mm in the east. Major attractions: Former home of Joy and George Adamson and Elsa the lioness; views of Mount Kenya, Tana River and Adamson’s Falls. Wildlife: Grevy’s zebra, elephant, eland, bush pig, cheetah, leopard, reticulated giraffe, hippo, bohor reedbuck, hartebeest, python, puff adder, cobra, buffalo, gerenuk and over 300 recorded spices of birds.


Lodges: Elsa’s Kopje, Leopard Rock Lodge. KWS self-catering accommodation: Murera Nandas, Kinna Bandas. Special campsites: Kampi Baridi, Kitanga, Makutano, Rojoweru, Mugung, Ken Mare and Kanjoo. Public campsite: Bwatherongi.


he reserve was gazetted in 1976 and covers an area north-west of Kamburu Dam at the conf luence of the Tana and

Thimba rivers. Two islands within Kamburu Dam, built in 1976, are in the protected area. The southern boundary is the Tana River, the eastern boundary is the Thimba River and the northern boundary is an electric fence that stops animals from invading Makima settlement. The earliest human settlement in Makima dates from 1914, although wildlife conservation intervention did

Wildlife: Elephant, lesser kudu, Nile crocodile,

not commence until 1972. Today, the Mwea National

hippo, giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, buffalo, leopard,

Reserve is co-managed by Kenya Wildlife Service

grey duiker, black-backed jackal, bushbuck,

and Mbeere County Council.

waterbuck, olive baboon, Sykes’ monkey, serval cat, spotted hyena, warthog, rock hyrax, bush pig,

The Mwea National Reserve Trust was founded in

impala and hartebeest. Rare animals include striped

1991 with the aim of soliciting funds to develop the

ground squirrel, genet, black-backed jackal and

reserve. Various projects have been funded through

yellow baboon.

donations including a boat and outboard engine, energy-saving jikos and translocation of zebras.

Birds: Over 200 species of birds. Mwea is renowned for its water birds and waders. It is

Location: Mbeere District, Eastern Province.

the only protected area in which the globally threatened and Kenya endemic Hinde’s babbler is

Distance from Nairobi: 160 km north-east of Nairobi.

known to occur. Two other rare species are Pel’s fishing owl and the white-backed night heron.

Size: 42 sq km. Access: From Nairobi via Thika-Matuu-Masinda Climate: Semi-arid with annual rainfall of 510

Dam (160 km). This route is surfaced until Masinga

to 760 mm.

Dam bridge. A further 10 km of dirt road lies between here and Makima Gate. Access is also

Major attractions: Game viewing; boat rides at

possible via Embu-Machanga.

Kamburu Dam; Hippo Point, realm of rare birds; walking circuit.

Airstrip: Masinga airstrip near Masinga Lodge. Best time to visit: All year round.

There are no lodges, tented camps or self-catering accommodation options in the Mwea reserve. Masinga Lodge is located at Masinga Dam outside the reserve. Various camping facilities can be found outside the reserve.

Activities: Game viewing, birdwatching, boat rides, canoeing, kayaking at Kamburu Dam and nature walks.



© Aberdare Safari Hotels


his town is located in the scenic valley between Mount Kenya and the Aberdare range of mountains with perfect views of

the snow-covered peaks of Mount Kenya and the plains of Laikipia. The valley is surrounded by hills and evergreen ranges with rivers and streams f lowing from the mountain to the plains below. Established by the British in 1907 in the early days of colonisation, Nyeri has many historical ties. It is the epicentre of Kenya’s decolonisation through

the British colonial presence in Kenya, the Second

the Mau Mau struggle for independence led by

World War and the genesis of the worldwide

Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi. There are displays of

Scouting Movement started by Lord Baden-Powell, who lived in the town with his wife and whose remains are both buried there.

Nyeri has a wide choice of hotels, lodges and camps to suit every visitor, ranging from a five-star hotel to guest houses and hostels.


Down the years, Nyeri has retained its scenic beauty and a serene, homely atmosphere. It is

1. Outspan Hotel

16. White Rhino Hotel

surrounded by three game parks of international

2. Greenhills Hotel

17. Westwood Hotel

3. Batian Grand Hotel

18. Eland Safari Hotel

reputation – Aberdare, Mount Kenya National Parks,

4. Banana Leaf Hotel

19. Imperial Hotel

5. Ivory Resort

20. Ibis Hotel

6. Mountain Lodge

21. Mountain Palace

7. Treetops Lodge

22. Tickle Hotel

8. Mpeta Guest House

23. Central Hotel

1. Paxtu Museum

9. Annbell Guest House

24. Paresia Hotel

2. Italian Memorial Church

10. Aberdare Country Club

25. Maru A, B, C Hotels

11. Ark Lodge

26. Bells Inn Hotel

3. Native Court (Ruringu)

12. Tusk Camp

27. Safari Paradise Guest house

13. Fishing Lodge

28. Regency Guest House

14. Solio Lodge

29. Green Edge Guest house

6. Kimathi Post Office/Mau Mau Caves

15. Rhino Watch

30. Serene Guest House

7. Coffee and tea farms.

and the Solio game reserve and rhino sanctuary.

‘Must see’ attractions:

4. Treetops Lodge 5. Karuru, Chania, Magura and Zaina falls


he cosmopolitan town of Nanyuki lies on the north-western slopes of Mount Kenya along the A2 Nairobi Moyale via Isiolo

Great North Road. The Kenya-Uganda railway from Nairobi to the north ends here. The town is

domestic and international visitors who find it

right on the equator on the slopes of Mount Kenya

ideal for getaway excursions and retreats from the

with a spectacular view of the snow-capped peaks

stressful daily routine of the city.

and the plains of Laikipia. Its strategic location and spectacular views prompted the British settlers during the early days of colonisation to

Where to stay:

build a town. Many remnants and descendants of

Nanyuki has a wide choice of hotels, lodges and

these early settler families still live on the ranches

camps to suit every visitor, ranging from five-star

around the town.

to non-star-rated accommodation. 1. Mount Kenya Safari Club

Today, the town is a multicultural market centre serving farms, ranches, game parks and wildlife conservancies. It is also a base for adventurers

2. Sportsman’s Arms Hotel 3. Naru Moru River Lodge

looking to climb Mount Kenya. Owing to its

4. Old House

location on the equator surrounded by Laikipia

5. Sweetwaters Tented Camp

high country and with picturesque Mount Kenya

6. Mount Kenya Leisure Lodge

as a backdrop, Nanyuki is a destination for both

7. Kirimara Spring Hotel 8. Falcon Heights Hotel 9. Kongoni Camp 10. Polini Camp 11. Equatorial Hotel 12. Mount Kenya Paradise Hotel 13. Joskaki Hotel 14. Ibis Hotel 15. Batian Guest Hotel 16. Bantu Mountain Rock

Must-see attractions

Must-do list

17. Serenkang

1. Mount Kenya National Park

Mountain climbing and hiking

18. Solio Gardens

2. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Game drives

3. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Nature walks and birdwatching

4. Ngare Ndare Forest

Horse riding and biking

20. Comfort Hotel

5. Nanyuki and Liki rivers

River fishing

21. Nanyuki Sports Club

6. The equator

Primate tracking

7. Lily Pond Arts Centre

Picnic and camping

8. Mau Mau Caves

Camel riding

9. Mackinders and Teleki Valley

19. Royal Cottages

22. Lion’s Court Hotel 23. Triple N Resort Hotel 24. Summer Garden Cottages.




urrounded by a rich and fertile farmland,

A cosmopolitan culture has developed in Meru

Meru is located in the eastern highlands

owing to its diversity of ethnic communities and a

of Kenya overlooking the Nyambene Hills

free flow of visitors.

and the snowcapped peaks of Mount Kenya. The town lies strategically on the north-eastern slopes of Mount Kenya. The Kathita River, flowing from Mount Kenya, passes through the town.

Must-see attractions 1. Meru National Museum 2. Njuri Ncheke Court

The equator is about five miles south of the town.

3. Gakoromone open-air market

Meru is the traditional home of the Ameru people

4. Nkunga Sacred Lake

with a rich cultural heritage spanning hundreds of

5. Rukunga’s private museum

years. This fast-growing urban centre is a hub for

6. King Muhuru

traditional foods and the hospitality of the Ameru

7. Mount Kenya National Park

people. Located on the edge of the forest, the

8. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

town is close to Mount Kenya National Park, Meru

9. Meru National Park

National Park and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

10. Murera Cultural Centre

In response to a growing number of visitors, Meru Town has many hotels lodges and camps. Classes range from five-star to starless accommodation.


1. Three Steers Hotel

11. Brown Rock Hotel

2. Meru Incredible Hotel

12. Milimani Hotel

3. West Wind Hotel

13. Pig & Whistle

4. Transit Motel Chogoria

14. Rhino River Camp

5. Royal Prince Hotel

15. Rhino River Lodge

6. Maua Basin Hotel

16. Meru Mulika lodge

7. Meru County Hotel

17. Ikweta Safari Camp

8. Blue Towers Hotel

18. Kinna Guest House

9. White Star Hotel

19. Bwatherongi Bandas

10. Meru Safari Hotel

20. Murera Bandas


mbu town lies about 120 km (75 miles) north-east of Nairobi. Located on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Kenya, the

town has a population of 41,092. Embu plays host to adventures on Mount Kenya and to the north. Many expeditions set out from Embu each year to scale the slopes. From Embu, visitors can go

The town has a fast-growing hospitality industry with a diverse array of hotels lodges and other accommodation. 1. The Izaak Walton Inn 2. Masinga Dam Resort 3. Kwetu lodge

water rafting on the mighty Tana River or canoeing

4. Gerish Hotels

at the Seven Forks Dam. This is an ideal base for

5. New Thuci Lodge

trout fishing on the many steams that f low from

6. Maina Highway Hotel

Mount Kenya. From Embu there are spectacular

7. Valley View Hotel

views of Mbere Plains. The nightlife in Embu is accompanied by African drumbeats with a rhythm of real fun.

Must-see attractions

Must-do list

1. Karue Hill


2. Ena River


3. Thenge Njeru Waterfalls

Nature walks

4. Njukiri Forest

Bungee jumping

5. Seven Forks


6. Kigari Church Bells


7. Bridge of God

Rock climbing

8. Mau Mau Caves

River fishing

8. Baraka Guest House 9. Philadelphia Retreat 10. Hotel Chakaka Sagana





berdare National Park, 100 km north of Nairobi, could be described as the stepchild of Kenya’s national parks.

Although not as glorious as, say, Amboseli or the Masai Mara, Aberdare remains one of the richest parks in terms of topography. Covering an area of 767 sq km, the Aberdare mountain ranges consist of deep ravines that wedge through its forested eastern and western slopes. they jump off cliffs into the churning brown waters. The park was established in 1950 and it contains

Chania Falls, to all intents and purposes, is a tamed

a rich animal population that includes black rhino,

waterfall and man’s friend.

leopard, baboon, black-and-white colobus monkey and Sykes’ monkey. A bonus for visitors is the park’s many clear freshwater rivers, ideal for

Magura Falls

trout fishing, and there are also opportunities for

In 1952 the present Queen Elizabeth lunched here

camping on the sprawling moorlands.

at Magura Falls. She sat on a wooden structure overlooking the falls and enjoyed a fish delicacy

Then there are the waterfalls of Aberdare.

prepared by Eric Sherbrooke Walker, the man who built the hotel Outspan. Apart from a fresh coat of

Karuru Waterfall

paint, the structure has not been tampered with.

This is one of the highest waterfalls in the region

Magura Fall, like most falls of its size and width,

and probably the most awe-inspiring. Karuru

is loud. It is also unique, however, because of the

plunges in three stages. The first consists of a 383

cave under the falls. Visitors can walk through here

ft fall, followed by a second fall of 84 ft and finally

provided they are wearing the right shoes. It is an

a staggering 427 ft fall. This unique formation is

ideal place for picnics.

magnificent, to say the least. A viewing platform offers great opportunities for

Sapper Hut

photography and there is a series of amazing trails

It has to be said that getting to Sapper Hut is tricky.

with viewing points leading up to the waterfall.

The road that leads there – the Karimu circuit that goes from the airstrip to Kiandongoro gate – is a

Chania Falls

treacherous path that swallows four-wheel drives

Chania is a boisterous, almost furious, waterfall.

this is what safari is all about. The good thing is that,

The water moves rapidly as it churns down a short

when you finally get to Sapper Hut, you will be glad

fall. It is not uncommon to find rafters paddling

you trudged through hell to get there.

when it rains. Perhaps it should be this way; perhaps

through this stretch and enjoying the adrenalin rush; or naked children, screaming gleefully, as

Sapper Hut is a modest two-roomed cabin house facing a nameless waterfall. It is removed from human interference; a place of quiet and calm where the only sound you will hear is the water. The hut accommodates only two people. Cooking equipment is provided and you can cook your own meals. The best activity here, apart from trout fishing, is skinny-dipping by the waterfall – that is, if you can stand the cold water.



© Aberdare Safari Hotels © Aberdare Safari Hotels



n the death of her father, King George

The original Treetops was built by Major Eric

VI, on 6 February 1952, the young

George Sherbrooke Walker, who had come to

Princess Elizabeth became Queen

Kenya from Ethiopia. He settled in Nyeri and built

while on holiday at this lodge. Do you need any

Treetops in 1932. Treetops began with only three

more convincing, in the year of the Queen’s

rooms and bunk beds. Now it is a luxury lodge,

Diamond Jubilee, that Treetops is a special place?

complete with fine dining, where lovers can enjoy

Lovers often visit places to make memories, but

excellent meals by candlelight.

at Treetops the memories are already there. All lovers do is go there to be a part of them and to develop their own.

Romantic The showy at heart might impress their dates

Treetops is quaint and in its quaintness evokes

with their Wikipedia-informed knowledge of

a sense of raw romanticism. This is an old lodge

animals such as hyena and buffalo that come to the

dating from the 1930s. It was built during a

watering hole near the hotel to drink. But the truly

tumultuous time of colonisation and it burned down

romantic will show his date what the year 1951

during the ensuing colonial upheaval. The history

might have smelt like. He will walk his date to the

is undeniably rich and lovers f lock there because

library, where a simple old bookshelf, running the

of this – but also because it’s in the middle of

breadth of the room, contains hard-cover guest

nowhere in the heart of Aberdare National Park.

books, marked according to the years from 1951 to

2012. He will then reach for the 1951 book, with its rustic-looking leather cover. When he opens the guest book, he and his date immediately notice the uniformity of the guests’ handwriting and the fact that they always wrote in blue ink with fountain pens. Back in 1951 they wrote immaculately, as if they knew that many years later,

Now, he asks his date to close her eyes and then bring the book to her nose. They smell the pinewoody smell of 1951. “Smell that?” he whispers in her ear. “That’s 1951.” It smells untouched and uninitiated – the smell of lost time.

© Aberdare Safari Hotels

people would marvel over their calligraphy.

with her for a long time, then he will have to stick to

Rutundu Log Cabins is breathtakingly gorgeous. It

memorising Wikipedia.

is a cosy, rustic private property characterised by open log fires and fresh air. Rutundu has only two

Rutundu Log Cabins

log cabins, so that privacy is guaranteed. There is

Prince William knew what he was doing when he

en-suite bathrooms.

a sitting and dining room, a veranda, a kitchen and

© Aberdare Safari Hotels

If that doesn’t impress his date, if that doesn’t stay

took the lovely Catherine to the end of the world to Given the cold climate of Mount Kenya, the cabins

to her at Rutundu Log Cabins near Lake Rutundu,

were built along the principles of the Alaska log

overlooking the north-east face of Mount Kenya.

cabin using large cedar logs, interspaced with

You won’t get a better place to go down on your

moss to keep it warm. Take the lady fishing. Or for

knees because up there nature conspires to make

a long walk. Or just sit by the roaring log fire and

every man a winner.

rub her feet as she pretends to read a book.

© Aberdare Safari Hotels

propose to her. Reports indicate that he proposed




ndemic to Kenya, the mountain bongo (Tragelaphus euryceros isaaci) is one of two recognised subspecies of the bongo

in Africa. The other subspecies is the lowland bongo (Tragelaphus euryceros).

Bongo conservations Fencing: Since 1988, Rhino Ark has supported conservation of the Aberdare ecosystem through

Reintroduction: In the 1960s and 1970s wild bongo

fund-raising for construction and maintenance

from Kenya were exported to zoos in the USA. In

of fencing around the Aberdare National Park

2004 a project was initiated to introduce descendents

and surrounding forest reserves. The fence

of the exported bongo to Kenya. Male and female

serves as a deterrent to would-be poachers and

bongo have been repatriated to Mount Kenya under

logging gangs, while keeping wildlife away from

this project, which aims to establish a self-sustaining

neighbouring farmland. It has provided a safer

population in the bongos’ native habitat.

environment for wildlife. The Aberdares are home to most of the remaining mountain bongo

Bongo education and awareness: Community


awareness and education programmes for schools are organised through the Bongo Wildlife Club.

Surveillance: The Bongo Surveillance Unit is a group of experienced trackers from local communities supporting conservation. They

Conservation status: The mountain bongo is an

conduct regular patrols, collect evidence of bongo

endangered species, found only in Kenya. Fewer

presence, report on illegal activity and remove

than 200 are believed to survive in the wild. Their

snares and traps. Through their efforts, a clearer

known distribution is restricted to parts of the

picture is emerging of the range and population

Aberdare and Mount Kenya forests; east of the Rift

size of bongo.

Valley; and small, especially vulnerable, groups in the Mau and Emburu forests, west of the Rift Valley. The human population has increased considerably

Physical characteristics: Bright chestnut colour with old males almost black; 12 to 14 vertical stripes; large and broad ears; spiral lyre-shaped horns (male and female). Swahili name: Bongo. Scientific name: Tragelaphus euryceros isaaci Size: Height (standing) 1 to 3 metres; length (nose to tail) 1.8 to 2.4 metres;

Weight 240 to 400 kg (male) and 200 to 250 kg (female). Lifespan: 19½ years recorded in captivity. Habitat: Rain forest and dense undergrowth. Diet: Herbivorous browser.

in the past decade in the areas surrounding the Aberdare Forest. This human increase has brought a greater demand for meat, regardless of the source. In recent years, poaching, together with illegal logging activities, have been a real threat to the bongo. Bongo are susceptible to diseases such as

Gestation: About nine months.

rinderpest and various predators have taken

Predators: Humans, spotted hyenas, leopards.

their toll. But certainly, the most serious of these predators are people living near the forest.




enya is blessed with some beautiful

tarns’, characterised by glacial water and a rich

lakes. Its diverse countryside provides

school of gigantic trout. Some of the best trout

an array of lakes that are not only scenic

fishing happens in these waters, where you are

but offer excellent opportunities for fishing. These

likely to net rainbow trout, introduced to Kenya

range from the cool highland trout streams of the

from Scotland.

Aberdare Mountains and the mountain tarns of Mount Kenya to Lake Turkana in the north. To the west there is also Lake Victoria, where Nile perch offer excellent sport fishing.

Unique Lake Rutundu is situated on the northern slopes of Mount Kenya, 10,200 ft above the forest line. It is

Mount Kenya itself has small beautiful lakes that

surrounded by alpine moorland, a home for unique

add to the grandeur of the area. High-altitude

birdlife and vegetation. This is a most stunning

fishing is possible at over 11,000 ft in the ‘blue

mountain tarn with crystal-clear water. You won’t get much fishing done from the shores, but if you take a rowing boat (available) and row further inside, you will increase your chances of catching something big. Since the lake is quite deep, catching a big trout is a possibility. The wonderful scenery makes this lake a true fisherman’s haven. Lake Alice is a different kettle of fish. Situated slightly higher up the mountain, inside the national park, this is undeniably one of the best places in Kenya for trout fishing. It has an amazing topography and the silence here is broken only by the sound of fish eagles and mountain hyrax. The waters are so clear that you can actually see the fish swimming about.




anyuki is deceptive at night. At 10 pm

highway. This old-style colonial farmhouse is built

this town on the equator settles into

at the edge of the Nanyuki River in a setting of

an eerie quiet. There is an occasional

open pergolas that assures privacy. It gets nippy

boda boda zipping down the street, chasing a

at night because of its proximity to the river.

fare, or the odd truck trumpeting up the road

There is a pool table. The music here is beautiful.

towards Isiolo. An outrageously cold breeze blows

They play old Congolese music like Pepe Kale,

into the town from the icecaps of Mount Kenya.

Madilu System and the great Franco Makiadi. Most

It’s a ghost town. But Nanyuki at night is a rough

customers order their whisky or other spirits by

diamond, waiting to be turned into an adventure.

the bottle and it’s not uncommon to see others with thermos f lasks of tea in front of them. Laughter will

Your voyage of discovery should begin at Old

occasionally fill the air, yes, but what mostly fills

House Bar and restaurant off the Nairobi-Nanyuki

the air is nostalgia.

Shiny dresses Before your beer freezes over in your glass, slip some money into the glass containing your bill and slip out. Drive to Sherlock’s Den, just above Nakumatt supermarket. This is a bar you can never quite predict. Some days it will be spilling over with patrons and on others you will feel as if you’re drinking in a cave in Tora Bora. If you go there on a good night – Fridays usually are – you will find a youngish crowd, no doubt drawn by the more conventional modern sound. Chris Brown will be holding court, and so will Beenie Man. Beers are fairly priced but the price of spirits might force you to break into a bank. You might see British servicemen from the barracks doing body shots, cheered on by frail girls in small shiny dresses. So, yes, it can get boisterous and loud at times, but


before it gets to that point because you can head down the staircase, zipping up your jacket against the cold, and hightail it out of there. Stop by the bar at the Falcon Heights Hotel, a fivestar boutique property, opened less than a year ago. Falcon Heights has gained a reputation as an alternative luxury venue for those looking for high-end accommodation in Nanyuki other than the conventional big hotels. There is a pool bar and on most weekends they will be roasting meat on the spit. The bar is simple, the music is hip and the patrons are upper-middle-class Nairobians who are staying over or passing through town. Because of the cold weather, patrons will sit around fires and bond. The cold brings night revellers together because when you’re forced to share a fire with a total stranger over drinks, at some point you will feel obliged to say more than: “ If this cold isn’t about global warming, I don’t know what is.”

Drinking dens

This is loud and packed like a sardine truck. Old

Nanyuki by night is a bit like quicksand: you stay in

air conditioners spit cold air above the club. The

one place for too long and you won’t leave. So jump

music is excellent, with modern hits. Everywhere

in a cab and tell the cabbie: “Take me to a place

is a dance f loor. You walk past revellers standing

with the loudest music, loud enough to warm my

all over, clinging to their drinks as they sway to the

frozen bones,” and he will head towards the most

music. It’s great fun. It’s electric. Just don’t leave

famous joint in Nanyuki, the Sportsman Arms. This

your drink unattended – not to say that it’s likely to

famous establishment has been there since God

be spiked, but why take the chance?

was a boy. It’s synonymous with Nanyuki town. To put it graphically, if Nanyuki were a picture, the Sportsman’s Arms would be its frame. There are a

War stories

few drinking dens here, but the cabbie will point

The night, as all great nights should, will end in

you towards the club.

Kongoni Camp, a traditional lodge popular with patrons looking for that old quaint feel of huts and basic accommodation. With its fantastic two-storey wooden bar and restaurant, this is the home of the local Nanyuki mzungus. You will find lots of British soldiers there, enjoying a night on the tiles as they swig beers and trade war stories. They are loud and they drink like lads, but they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Fights are uncommon because civility reigns, somehow. The pricing is not easy on the pocket, but it’s well worth the fun. Dancing, as you would expect of this group, is atrocious and hilarious, but somehow nobody minds, or even notices. Neither should you.





he history of the Mount Kenya region is bound up with the struggle for independence. It is a place of war secrets

and untold tales, with places of interest that few outsiders know of and insiders often dismiss as normal. Yet these locations are an important part of the history of the region and its people. Below are a few:

Kimathi Post Office, Nyeri This is not your conventional post office with postboxes and postmen. This is a post office without a key, a secret post office, if you will. Over 60 years ago, when the Mau Mau fighters were combating the British, they adopted ways of passing on messages between themselves. The mugumo tree, an important tree for the Kikuyu, was often used to hide messages for different squadrons of the Mau Mau soldiers. The messages were left between the thick curling trunks of the huge tree, away from the reach of the British.

The first missionary in that church, John Comely, received the bell on behalf of his f lock and it was

One of these trees can be found in the Aberdare

hoisted up a tree. Years later, Comely fell gravely

National Park. It is well over 100 years old, the

ill and was taken to King George’s Hospital (now

wardens believe, and represents a significant

Kenyatta National Hospital) in Nairobi. Legend has

chapter in the struggle for Kenyan independence.

it that, on the day Comely died, the bell started ringing on its own. Without prompting, it rang nine

Bells of Embu

times as birds f luttered around his house and, it is

In the compound of ACK Emmanuel Church in

event is still the talk of Embu. Although the tree

Kigari, a bell hangs. Weighing about 200 kg, this

from which the bell originally hung has since fallen,

bell was a gift from the Church Missionary Society

the legend remains alive.

said, outside his hospital window. This inexplicable

in Canada, who shipped it to Mombasa in about 1910. From Mombasa it was taken by rail to Thika, where nine strong men carried it on their shoulders to Embu. The 190 km journey took over a month.

Secret Valley, Nanyuki To get here, you have to drive to up the forestry office and then many kilometres deep into the indigenous forest. You need a sturdy vehicle for this journey, and warm clothing, because Secret Valley overlooks Mount Kenya. Once upon a time this valley was home to Forest Lodge, which burned down. This is a beautiful valley with a calm watering swamp where wild animals congregate to drink. On a clear day, the view of Mount Kenya is clear and unobstructed. And it is silent – that loud silence.



The beauty of this area inspired the making of the film ‘White Mischief’ which tells the story of a white millionaire coming to Kenya with his wife to find the British expatriates living a disreputable life, with drugs, wife swapping, horse racing, etc. Someone is murdered – but who fired the fatal shot? Well, like the valley, that’s a secret.

Embu Tunnel, Embu This actually looks like a cave at first glance; or rather, it starts as a cave but turns into a tunnel because it opens up on the other side of the mountain. The 3 km long Embu Tunnel lies next to Thege Njeru Waterfall and was used by the Mau Mau when evading the British soldiers. It is a monument to the struggle for independence. wooden lectern and antique features such as a

St Phillip Church, Naro Moru In 1952 Princess Elizabeth attended a service at

British coat of arms, a gift from the Queen.

Italian Memorial Church, Nyeri

this church. The next day she was proclaimed

Built in 1952, this church represents Italian

Queen of England after the death of her father, King

martyrdom of a sort. Located about 5 km from

George VI. Recently, to mark the Queen’s Diamond

Nyeri town, the church is special because it is

Jubilee, CNN filmed the proceedings from this

the burial place of 676 Italian soldiers who were

church and broadcast it to the world.

captured by the British in Ethiopia and transferred to Kenya as prisoners of war. Many of them died of

The first stone of this church was laid by Major G.

malaria and tuberculosis in the war camps.

Baynes in 1949. Over time, the brick church has retained its different-era feel of wooden pews, a

There is a marble tomb of Prince Amedeo SavoiaAosta, the Duke of Aosta, a distinguished soldier who was appointed commander-in-chief of the Italian forces by Benito Mussolini. In a separate structure there are several vaults containing the remains of African soldiers, mostly from Somaliland, who fought alongside the Italians. Every year, on 4 November, a mass is held at the church to commemorate the soldiers’ dedication to their country. This service is attended by Italian families, friends and government officials in Kenya. The Italian and Kenyan f lags are hoisted at the entrance and the interior walls of the church are decorated with green, white and red ribbons.




t Mount Kenya Safari Club you can drive

Kikuyu grass, which holds the ball well and offers a

off from any tee and land your ball in a

good – albeit slow – putting surface.

millionaire’s backyard. Probably most memorable hole on the course is

It’s only a par three, nine-hole course, but Mount

the third, which promises every golfer the longest

Kenya Safari Club attracts golfers from all over

drive of his life. While the hole measures only 174

the world to this meticulously tended setting with

yards, the tee is halfway round the world from the

its rich royal history and, of course, the enigmatic

green. To put it more succinctly, the tee is situated

Mount Kenya.

in the southern hemisphere while the green is in the northern hemisphere because the fairway

The course has recently been renovated to meet

straddles the equator.

international standards and there has been a growing level of interest from corporates, with

The most difficult hole is the 144-yard sixth, where

business people making their way to Mount Kenya

a high and straight drive is required in order to

Safari Club for a round or two. The picturesque

avoid the two large bushy trees located between

landscape lends a serene atmosphere to the

the green and the tee. After the game, you can sit

course and provides an ideal backdrop. The

on the patio of your suite and watch the snowcaps

weather is perfect, never too hot or cold.

of Mount Kenya. This can ease the pain of a poor round and a few lost balls.

This exclusive rich man’s retreat opened in 1959 and Sir Winston Churchill is believed to have been one of its founding members. Celebrities and royal family members are known to be among its current members. The club is set in 37 hectares of pristine gardens and the area teems with wildlife. There are over 65 species of birds including marabou storks and peacocks. When you cross into the Mount Kenya Game Ranch you will find eland, zebra, Cape buffalo and other animals. Both on its fairways and its greens, the well maintained golf course is carpeted by indigenous



ne of the little known facts about Nyeri is that the town’s St Peter’s cemetery is the final resting place of Lord Robert

Baden-Powell of Gilwell – the founder in 1908 of the worldwide Scouting Movement. Today, Scouts are thought to number between 25 and 45 million. Aside from his famed association with the Scouting Movement, Baden-Powell was a man of many talents; excelling at fishing and polo while enjoying big-game hunting. He was also an accomplished watercolourist and sculptor and took a keen interest in cine-photography.

Soldier Despite his dalliances with the arts, Baden-Powell was ostensibly a soldier at heart; rising to the position of Inspector General of Cavalry in the British Army. The Scouting Movement’s roots and

It was Baden-Powell’s second property named

activities are firmly embedded in the bushcraft that

Pax (Latin for ‘peace’) as the great man had also

Baden-Powell learned as a soldier during his time

lived in a property with same name in the UK, so it

in southern Africa.

became known as Pax Two or Paxtu.

Lord Baden-Powell first visited Kenya in 1906 and

Baden-Powell, who had earlier recuperated at Outspan

was immediately smitten by the area around Mount

after an illness, bought a share of Walker’s hotel

Kenya. So many years later and his work more

business to pay for his cottage. Baden-Powell once

or less done, Baden-Powell and his wife Olave

remarked that “closer to Nyeri, closer to bliss”. Sadly,

decided the to live full-time in Nyeri. They rented

his final years in Nyeri were short-lived. On 8 January

a modest one-room cottage in the grounds of the

1941, aged 83, the founder of the Scouting Movement

Outspan Hotel close to the centre of Nyeri. Baden-

died and was later buried in St Peter’s Cemetery.

Powell named his humble dwelling Paxtu. His gravestone bears a circle with a dot in the centre

which is the trail sign for ‘going home’

or ‘I have gone home’. Otherwise, the headstone just states: ‘Robert Baden-Powell, Chief Scout of the World’ surmounted by the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Badges. It summed up the man who led a simple life and wanted for little in the way of material possessions. When his widow Olave died 36 years later in 1977 in the UK, her ashes were flown to Kenya and interred next to her beloved husband.





he Safari & Conservation Company (SCC) is a portfolio of lodges and unique safari experiences in Kenya with a significant

presence in and around Mount Kenya – a prime location with a diversity of environments ideal for exploration and adventure. SCC offers its guests a chance to experience all the thrills and wonder of the mighty mountain. Guests can choose from a range of activities that includes tailor-made riding safaris with Riding Wild; helicopter and f ly-fishing excursions with

Escape on foot, on horseback or by helicopter to

Tropic Air; and luxury accommodation at Borana

the rustic-chic cabins of Rutundu, on the edge of

Lodge, Laragai House and the charming Rutundu

Lake Rutundu, overlooking the north-east face of

Log Cabins.

Mount Kenya. Located off the beaten track, the cabins are surrounded by pure wilderness, a

Borana Lodge and Laragai House are perfect

paradise for hikers and fishermen, with heather

bases for an African adventure on Mount Kenya,

forests and glacial streams teeming with brown

whether hiking, riding or f lying to the summit.

and rainbow trout.

Both lodges offer unparalleled panoramic views of the mountain with its white-tipped peaks and undulating foothills. Here, guests can enjoy some


luxury before their epic mountain quest, encounter

Guests can enjoy their own tailor-made safari

fascinating wildlife and revel in the astounding

experience of the mountain with Riding Wild

beauty of the area.

or Tropic Air. Ride across Borana Ranch and neighbouring ranches and journey through the rugged Laikipia Plains, lush fig and cedar forests and the moorlands of Mount Kenya with Riding Wild. Or take to the sky and soar above the scenery in a Tropic Air helicopter, witnessing a view fit for the gods. Embark on the ultimate adventure safari and become part of the exquisite landscape and wildlife with the Safari & Conservation Company.





atering & Tourism Development Levy Trustees (CTDLT) is established pursuant to the provisions of the Hotels

and Restaurants Act, Cap 494, Laws of Kenya.

The mandate of the organisation includes:• To collect, control and administer the training and tourism development levy fund. • To establish, equip and control such establishments for the training of persons for employment in the


hotels and restaurants as the Minister may approve. • To establish and develop national standards for

To be a lead source of funding for the sustainable development of the tourism industry.

testing the skills required by the tourism industry. • To make such payments out of the Fund as may be necessary to enable the Kenya Tourist Board promote Kenya as a tourist destination both locally and internationally.

Mission To effectively collect levy, establish and fund training institutions, facilitate destination, marketing and develop standards for testing skills in the tourism industry.



ropic Air, located at the foot of Mount

evacuations and support for conservation initiatives.

Kenya, is a leading air charter company

A decade ago, Tropic Air launched its helicopter

with 20 years of f lying experience. Its

division, pioneering heli-safaris throughout the region.

base, Nanyuki Airfield, is a busy hub linking

Its tailor-made safaris cover wild and spectacular

Samburu and other northern destinations with

mountains, valleys, forests and deserts with a focus on

Nairobi, the Masai Mara and Meru.

‘remote and unknown, unexplored and unforgettable’ destinations. The company operates Eurocopter AS 350

Tropic Air operates a fleet of Cessna aircraft and

B3 helicopters, chosen for their superior performance

employs a team of experienced and knowledgeable

in hot and high altitude environments, and for their

pilots. In addition to charters, its services include

flexibility to work on a wide range of tasks in the East

aerial filming and photography, geo-survey, medical

African environment. Tropic Air is committed to supporting the Mount Kenya National Park, providing mountain rescue support. Its pilots are familiar with the mountain terrain, experienced in high altitude flying and trained in first aid. Every year Tropic Air, together with the park rangers, carries out a mountain clean-up operation to help conserve the natural environment.




aikipia is one of the world’s most exciting

Large areas have been set aside by local

wilderness safari and wildlife tourism

communities for conservation and ecotourism

destinations. Lying on the threshold of

developments. Tourism investments have been

Kenya’s wild northern rangelands, it stretches

structured as jointly owned ventures, in the form of

from Mount Kenya to the rim of the Great Rift

lodges or tented camps, between private investors

Valley and is larger than all of Kenya’s national

and the local land-owning communities. These

parks and reserves except Tsavo.

ventures include Il Ngwesi Lodge, Tassia, Koija Star Beds and The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille.

After Tsavo, Laikipia is Kenya’s most extensive wildlife haven. All of the Big Five mammals can be

There is a diverse range of facilities including

found here. It is a sanctuary for over 80 species

small lodges, tented camps, ranch houses,

of mammal including black rhino, elephant, lion,

community lodges and resorts/hotels. Based in

leopard, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe,

natural wildlife areas, they focus on wilderness-

aardwolf and wild dog. Laikipia is also renowned

based tourism. There are over 40 places to stay in

for the richness of its birdlife.

the wider Laikipia area, many of which have won tourism awards.

Night game drives, guided nature walks, bike tours, horse-riding and camel treks – all prohibited in most

The Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) is a member

parks – are just some of the exhilarating activities.

based environmental conservation organisation.

In addition, visitors have privileged access to the

LWF promotes the region’s tourism internationally

cultures and customs of the region’s Mukogodo,

to help generate benefits from wildlife and to

Maasai, Samburu, Pokot and other peoples.

develop the local economy. It supports the sector in many different ways, with special attention to community owned tourism enterprises. For more information on Laikipia’s tourism, visit For more information on conservation in Laikipia, visit





here are many reasons why the White Rhino Hotel is special. First, there is the Aberdare National Park, not far from the

hotel. This is an old volcanic mountain range with short peaks owing to long erosion. For a modest outlay, guests can go and experience the beauty of this park with its waterfalls, campsites and game viewing opportunities. Weather permitting, they will have an opportunity to see Mount Kenya and the Great Rift Valley.

The park is also home to endangered species that include the rare bongo as well as giant forest hog,

The rugged terrain of Aberdare, with its deep

wild dog, black rhino, leopard, reptiles and birds,

ravines cutting through the forest and its clear-

so be sure to carry your binoculars.

water streams, make this national park a ‘must visit’ location. Be sure to visit the Karuru Falls with their spectacular drop of 272 metres. If you can,


go fishing in those clear waters, where you may be

The White Rhino Hotel is an important fixture in

lucky enough to catch a rainbow trout.

Nyeri. It is located right in the town centre, yet has its own distinct identity. Accommodation consists of 11 tastefully furnished rooms, all en-suite with private balconies. The rooms feature a classic blend of rustic charm with a twist of modernity. All come with digital satellite TV. The rates are friendly, so if you are in town on business and need a comfortable place that does not compromise on quality, this is it. Five twin rooms and six double rooms are available, while 90 more rooms are being built and will open soon.




ongoni Camp Restaurant is a piece of

by contemporary decor with a gigantic fireplace

paradise set in a forest glade with Mount

out on the porch. A display of classic ‘retro’ art,

Kenya as an iconic backdrop. Guests can

featuring showbiz personalities, adds to the special

enjoy a tranquil natural environment surrounded

ambience. A spacious fully stocked bar is available

by cedars and cypress trees.

with DSTV and Wi-Fi. A fine selection of wines from around the world can be purchased from the

The resort is situated off the Timau Road

restaurant and natural organic products from the

just outside Nanyuki town and offers quality

coffee shop.

accommodation in an informal atmosphere as well as a grill, pizzeria, bar and coffee shop.

Guests can relax in sofas and armchairs round a huge open fireplace on the porch, or sit in the

Kongoni and its staff pride themselves on being

shaded garden and enjoy the bright sunny days

good hosts and offering guests a high quality of

and clean crisp air of Nanyuki.

service. All the buildings work in harmony with the landscape. The restaurant is housed in a traditional

Kongoni Camp Restaurant is an ideal spot for mountain

double-storey cedar farm-style building and offers

enthusiasts on a weekend getaway or looking to tour

a warm and rustic dining experience surrounded

Laikipia. Nature walks, horse riding and camel riding can all be arranged. Its close proximity to Sirimon Park base, the gate to Mount Kenya, makes Kongoni Camp ideal for trekking. There are also excellent opportunities for birdwatching, with up to 75 species within the grounds. Guests can choose to camp or stay in one of the rustic double rooms. Kongoni has various accommodation options including five thatched double-bed rondavels, a rustic self-contained 17bed double-storey cabin and the option of a natural campsite surrounded by a forest landscape teeming with birdlife and offering views of Mount Kenya.





frica is the new frontier for tourism and development. The potential for growth is huge for both investors and stakeholders

and there is no better time than now to invest in the continent. While opportunities for tourism development abound, the conference also addressed the challenges that face Tourism Development in Kenya and in Africa as a whole.

development financing for long-term investments in Kenya’s tourism sector.

The two-day conference was hosted by the Kenya Tourism Development Corporation

Vision 2030 acknowledges the vital role played

(KTDC) in partnership with Bench Events. It

by tourism, stating that ‘Kenya aims to be among

attracted government leaders and officials,

the top 10 long-haul tourist destinations globally’.

financiers, entrepreneurs, architects, lawyers and

Achieving this involves addressing constraints

transactional advisers.

facing the sector and implementing strategic projects to improve the quality and breadth of

The Corporation’s managing director, Marianne

Kenya’s tourist offerings at the coast, in game

Jordan said the conference showcased to potential

parks, in the conference sector, and in niche

investors different locations with tourism potential

products such as culture and ecotourism.

and the distances between them hoping that they would consider investing in Kenya.

Major projects now being fronted for funding by the KTDC under the Public Private Partnership

About KTDC

(PPP) include a world-class convention centre in Mombasa and development of a marina at Shimoni.

KTDC is a Development Finance Institution (DFI) with a mandate to facilitate and provide

These and other projects are aimed at reducing poverty, creating jobs, boosting foreign exchange earnings and increasing GDP. This conference has been a catalyst for the realisation of these projects.

About AHIF AHIF was a platform that brought together both local and global players in the tourism and hotel industry to share their expertise and who discussed best practices for hotel development. The forum also looked at how to conduct business across the whole continent and how to assess the potential risks and rewards of what is a hugely varied product base.




afari Air Express (SA X) is a proudly Kenyan-

All of the company’s aircraft are available for

owned airline operating f rom both Jomo

private charter.

Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and

Wilson Airpor t. SA X is small enough to offer its customers a personal service, but large enough to accommodate all kinds of requests and requirements.

Diverse SAX operates from both Wilson Airport and JKIA and caters for a diverse and dynamic market. Its flights from


Wilson Airport serve the domestic and international

The SA X f leet comprises one 80-seat Douglas

C208 aircraft. The airline’s safari circuit operates to

DC-9 aircraft, one 68-seat Fokker F28, one 19-seat

Amboseli, Masai Mara, Ukunda (Diani), Kilimanjaro,

Beechcraf t B1900 and two Cessna C208 Caravans

Vipingo, Nanyuki, Lamu, Meru and Malindi airports.

tourism market and are performed using B1900 and

seating 10 and 12 passengers respectively. SAX operates from a bright, happy and recently refurbished departure lounge alongside its own 40s café in Langata House at Wilson Airport. Its f lights from JKIA are performed using DC-9 and F28 aircraft and operate to regional airports in East Africa. These f lights operate from Unit 3. The airline’s international f lights check in and depart from the international terminal at Unit 1. SAX foresees an exciting future in Kenya.





enya is a destination of diversity: from

landscapes, a diversity of culture and myths, sandy

safari, finest beaches on the Indian Ocean,

beaches, a range of adventure sport activities and,

entire spectrum of luxury hotels, tented

above all, the chance to observe rare wildlife.

camps, our breath taking landscapes, all wrapped in the warmth of the Kenyan people. The Kenya

Kenya’s cosmopolitan capital, Nairobi, is the only city

Tourist Board (KTB) was voted Africa’s leading

in the world with a national park attached to it. The

Tourism Board 2012 in the Africa category during

city’s famous hotels and restaurants offer the perfect

19th World Travel Awards nomination ceremony

start to a memorable vacation. But it is on the plains,

held in September in the UK .

beneath the majestic snow-capped mountains, that you will find Kenya’s most memorable entertainment

Kenya is the original home of the safari and the

– the great annual migration of some 2 million

ultimate destination for a world-class holiday.

wildebeest, half a million zebra and thousands of gazelle in search of pastures new.

Sitting astride the equator, halfway down Africa’s eastern coast, Kenya is the most accessible country

After the wonders of a wildlife safari, Kenya’s

in the region. With some 90 international flights

beaches offer the ultimate in relaxation. With 480

arriving and departing Nairobi every week, visitors

km of beaches – 50 per cent of them sheltered by

can be enjoying dinner and observing elephants and

unspoilt coral reef – Kenya is the ideal destination for

other wildlife within a few hours of leaving the office.

adventure and sports tourism.

Kenya offers a world of attractions and opportunities

Kenya’s wild assets are accompanied by the warmest

for the discerning visitor – more than any other

of welcomes. Visitors can experience the vibrancy of

destination. Visitors can expect to find stunning

Kenya’s 42 cultures and become part of an extended national family. Home stays can also be arranged. In the Northern Laikipia area, ranches covering hundreds of thousands of acres offer private game viewing with eco-friendly private community lodges catering for only a couple of customers. Wherever you go in Kenya, you are delivered right to the heart of the action.




alcon Heights is a small, luxury, boutique

Wi-Fi, hairdryer and shaving unit and plush

hotel, less than a year old, situated in

lounge chairs as well as complimentary tea and

Nanyuki town. Accommodation consists of

coffee services.

16 luxury rooms and an executive two-bedroom cottage. The rooms have all the trappings of an

In addition, the hotel has a conference facility that is

upmarket hotel, with LCD flat-screen televisions,

able to host up to 50 guests indoor and outdoors. There is a swimming pool and a separate baby pool where children can play. At night, the chefs bring out a grill and serve dinner by the poolside. The choice includes meats, salads and Continental cuisine.

Intimate Falcon Heights is an alternative destination for those looking for something small, intimate and uncomplicated.



ne of the best and more experienced

from airport and city shuttle services to external

operators of specialist helicopter

load and fire suppression.

services is Lady Lori, which provides

a comprehensive range of air transport and

In March 2012, when fires raged out of control on

support services in East and Central Africa. These

Mount Kenya, the pilots of Lady Lori played a key

range from scenic f lights and helicopter safari

part in tackling the crisis.

adventures to highly technical surveying and logistical support for the oil and gas industries and

Award-winning Lady Lori operates a fleet of modern, well appointed helicopters, with cabins in mint condition. The helicopters are maintained by the company’s awardwinning in-house engineering team. Every detail of each flight is meticulously scrutinised by this team. The company also operates a hot air balloon service in the Masai Mara and provides a tailor-made travel concierge service throughout East and Central Africa.





atian Grand Hotel and Mpeta Guest House

environment. It is also an excellent venue for

offer visitors a choice of accommodation

seminars, conferences, parties and other functions.

in Nyeri with ready to access to local

The hotel has a 70-seat restaurant, a coffee shop,

services and amenities.

a residents’ bar and a sports pub, all offering excellent cuisine and service.

Batian Grand Hotel, located in the heart of Nyeri town, is a favourite stopover for travellers on their way to the Mount Kenya highlands with its many

Mpeta Guest House

fine features, including Mount Kenya National Park,

Mpeta Guest House offers comfortable self-catering

the Aberdare Ranges, the Mau Mau Caves and the

apartments for both families and business travellers.

grave of Lord Baden-Powell. The two-star hotel

Located within easy reach of the central business

offers warm hospitality in a friendly and tranquil

district of Nyeri, the apartments are located in the lush green suburb with fine views of Mount Kenya and the surrounding farmlands. The smartly designed apartments consist of one- and two-bedroom units with a modern kitchenette, large living room and terrace. Each apartment has wireless internet, DSTV, intercom and personal safes.



ne of the pioneers of Kenya’s soft

The company operates through distributors

drinks industry, Kenya Highlands

countrywide and in the East African region.

Mineral Water Co Ltd was established

Highlands is committed to giving something

in 1954 in Nyeri. As a world-class organisation

back to the community through corporate social

with products conforming to Kenyan and

responsibility projects.

international standards, it has been providing high quality soft drinks for over half a century

Highlands is the official supplier of water for

Highlands offers bottled drinking water, certified by the

Charge, supporting wildlife conservation. It

Kenya Bureau of Standards Diamond Mark of Quality.

also supports the East African Wildlife Society,

the Safaricom Lewa Marathon and the Rhino

East African Environmental Network and other


conservation projects.

The Highlands range also includes still natural

Other events in which Highlands is proud to be

and fruit flavoured cordials and ready-to-drinks

involved include rally sport, the Diabetes Walk and

in orange, pineapple, tropical, lemon, strawberry

Operation Smile.

and blackcurrant flavours. In addition, sugar-free


Highlands Light Drinks, developed for health conscious

Highlands is continuing to expand its market share

individuals and suitable for diabetics, are available.

in Kenya and East Africa.



ount Kenya is recognised as a World Heritage Site and Biospehere Reserve.

The Mount Kenya Trust has been working for 12 years in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Kenya Forest Service, local communities and other Kenya. The Trust works with Government agencies, provides employment and community education, saves wildlife and sensitizes the public about habitat destruction. The Trust is wholly reliant on donations from individuals, local companies and the international community.

Š Peter Coleridge

non-profit organisations to help conserve Mount




Royal Prince Hotel

L 47

Banana Leaf Hotel



Batian Guest House


Serena Mountain Lodge


Batian Grand Hotel


Sportsman's Arms Hotel


Blue Hills Resort


Sweetwaters Tented Camp


Greenhills Hotel


N Nyeri Youth Mount Kenya Climbing Club




Sagana Total Station



Thomson's Falls Lodge


Slopes Mineral Water



Transit Motel



Treetops Lodge


Uniq Shop

G Gerish Hotels

Lorian Safaris

H Hotel Incredible



Hotel Three Steers


Valleyview Prime Lodge





Imperial Hotel


Westwind Hotel



Ivory Resort Hotel Ltd


White Rhino Hotel



Izaak Walton Inn


Raybells Restaurant


K Kwetu Lodge



M Mark 5 Resort



Masinga Dam Resort


Africana Curio Shop

Maua Basin Hotel


Mount Kenya Safari Club



Mpeta Guest House


N Naru Moru River Lodge New Thuchi Lodge

47 47

O Old House


Bongo Asili



For further information regarding membership, existing members and their services contact:

E Embu Tourism Development Organisation

P. O. BOX 2669 - 10140 NYERI, KENYA Office - Kimathi Way,



“A duofloor, hemisphere destination.” 2nd West Wing, Central

TEL: +254 020 2326170 Plaza, KimathiWebsite: Way

PO Box 2669-10140, Nyeri Tel: +254 (0)20 232 6170 Email: REF: MKTCA/GUIDE

K Kenya School of Adventure and Leadership

Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association

46 Dear Sir/Madam,

We are pleased to announce that Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association has appointed a specialist UK-based company; Land & Marine Publications to produce our new regional tourism guide. We have chosen Land & Marine for their excellent production capability and for its experience which extends to working with several tourism authorities and associations



Location: Sagana Address: PO Box 1890, Sagana Tel: 061 72556; 0722-881991 Email:

Location: Nyeri Mr. Ray Deekes, a representative of Land & Marine will be visiting you to seek Address: PO Box 2081, Nyeri advertising support. Please061-2031655 feel free to contact us at anytime if you require any further information about this Tel: project. Email: Web: Yours faithfully,

Conveniently located on the Nairobi-Nyeri highway, this is a one-stop shop for all African curios and gifts.

among them Zambia, Botswana, Seychelles, Uganda, Gambia, Emirates, Belize and here

in Kenya. We are confident they will deliver quality products to satisfy all.

Banana Leaf, on the main Nairobi-Nyeri highway, is a tranquil town hotel offering a Simon Wachira, blend CEO of comfort and luxury. Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association.




Location: Nanyuki Address: PO Box 1391-10400 Tel: 0718-635577 Email:

Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 12100-10109 Tel: 061-2030743/020-3535266 Email: Web:

Situated in Nanyuki, on the main highway from Nairobi, this standard hotel is the town’s newest landmark.

Located in the heart of Nyeri town, overlooking the stadium, this luxury hotel offers great views of the peaks of Mount Kenya and the plains of Laikipia.

BLUE HILLS RESORT Location: Sagana Address: PO Box 41-00520 Nairobi Tell: 0722-581497 A country hotel located on the banks of Tana river, on Nairobi-Sagana highway with a perfect view of the meandering waters of Tana.

BONGO ASILI Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 873-10100 Tel: 0700-391203 Email: Web: As an international tour operator, Bongo Asili is familiar with the local terrain and offers top-ofthe-range services.

EMBU TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION Location: Embu Address: PO Box 1760 Embu Cell: 0716376356/0725603231 Email: ETDO is a community-based organisation that brings community members together with the aim of facilitating the growth of tourism in Embu.



Location: Embu Address: PO Box 1760-60100, Embu Tel: 06830440/0202056649 Email:

Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 313-10100, Nyeri Tel: 061-2030604 Email: Web:

Gerish Hotels is a budget hotel 2 km from the central business district of Embu town. Along with its convenient urban location, the hotel has the ambience of a rural setting.

Located in the suburbs of Nyeri, this threestar town hotel is surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens and enjoys stunning views of Mount Kenya.



Location: Meru Address: PO Box 2020-60200, Meru Tel: 0722-885511/064-30227 Email: Web:

Location: Meru Address: PO Box 21113-00505, Meru Tel: 0728-588005/0724-398935 Email: Web:

Located on Kirukuri Road in Meru, this town hotel is a magnet for business travellers and a popular venue for domestic and foreign visitors.

This cosy and luxurious town hotel on the Meru-Isiolo road offers a wide variety of cuisine and accommodation to meet the demands of business travellers and domestic and international visitors.



MEMBER INDEX IMPERIAL HOTEL Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 2606-10140, Nyeri Tel: 0722853724 Email: This town hotel in the heart of Nyeri offers luxury accommodation and is an ideal place for business.

IZAAK WALTON INN Location: Embu Address: PO Box 1, Embu Tel: 068-31128/9, 31237 Email: Web: The style of this historical masterpiece combines a flavour of bygone days with a touch of the future. The hotel is located 2 km from the town centre in the serene outskirts of Embu.

Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 959, Nyeri Tel: 0722-929013 Email: Located on the Nyeri-Nairobi highway at Skuta, this town hotel is set in a lush green environment of coffee and tea plantations.

KENYA SCHOOL OF ADVENTURE AND LEADERSHIP Location: Meru Address: PO Box 4055-00506 Tel: 020-237626 Email: Web: Established in 1990, the Kenya School of Adventure and Leadership (KESAL) offers a unique and highimpact range of experiential-based training solutions.



Location: Embu Address: 1241-60100, Embu Tel: 068-30692

Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 2669-10140, Nyeri Tel: 0720-957881 Email:

This lodge in the heart of Embu town is ideal for business travellers or those looking for a quiet place to relax.,

For lovers of adventure, Lorian Safaris can provide skilled experts familiar with the local terrain and equipped to provide insightful community integration.



Location: Embu Address: PO Box 65-60121, Embu Tel: 0705-585857 Email: Web:

Location: Embu Address: PO Box 47309-00100, Embu Tel: 020-2096288 Email: Web:

A gateway to Mount Kenya and stopover on the main highway from Nairobi to Sagana equipped with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

Located next to Masinga Dam in the Mwea National Reserve, this resort enjoys spectacular golden sunrises and sunsets all year round.



Location: Maua Address: PO Box 452, Maua Tel: 0617-21519 Email: With its tranquil setting, affordable accommodation and excellent customer services, the Maua Basin Hotel prides itself on creating an atmosphere that is both relaxing and comfortable.



Location: Nanyuki Address: PO Box 35-10400, Nanyuki Tel: 062-2030000 Web: A five-star club located on the slopes of Mount Kenya in the serene Mount Kenya Game Ranch.

MEMBER INDEX MPETA GUEST HOUSE Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 12100-10109, Nyeri Tel: 061-2030743/ 020-3535266 Email: Web: Mpeta is a cosy and luxurious furnished apartment located on the Nyeri-Nanyuki highway with spectacular views of Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains.

NEW THUCHI LODGE Location: Meru Address: PO Box 7-60100, Meru Tel: 020-2074549 Email: New Thuchi Lodge is situated on the banks of the Thuchi River on the Nairobi-Meru highway on the eastern side of Mount Kenya.

NARU MORU RIVER LODGE Location: Naru Moru Address: PO Box 18-10105, Naru Moru Tel: 062-31047/ 062-31048 Email: Web: This country lodge on the banks of Naru Moru River is an ideal base for climbing Mount Kenya, with splendid views of the snowcapped peaks.

NYERI YOUTH MOUNT KENYA CLIMBING CLUB Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 2669, Neri Tel: 0721-119708 Email: This is a club of experienced and skilled young tour guides and porters serving mountain climbers and hikers on Mount Kenya.



Location: Nanyuki Address: PO Box 340, Nanyuki Tel: 062 31556/ 020-3526007 Email:

Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 24, Nyeri Tel: 061-2032424 Email: Web:

A standard town hotel on the banks of Nanyuki River in the serene suburbs of Nanyuki.

Located on Baden-Powell Road in Nyeri, the Outspan is a country hotel surrounded by beautifully kept gardens and lawns.



Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 1363-10100, Nyeri Tel: 020 2370035 Email:

Location: Meru Address: PO Box 964-10200, Meru Tel: 064-30115/0722-508417/0701685455 Email: Web:

Popular with both local people and international visitors, Raybells is a modern family restaurant in the heart of Nyeri specialising in Continental and African cuisine.

Located in the heart of Meru, the Royal Prince Hotel is a magnet for local and international tourists visiting this busy eastern town.



Location: Sagana Address: PO Box 317, Sagana Tel: 020-2033985/ 020-2737100 Email:

Location: Naro Moru Address: PO Box 123, Kiganjo Tel: 0711-109637/ 0711-109638 Email: Email: Web:

An ideal halfway gas station on the Nairobi Highway at Sagana town with a convenience store, restaurant and rest rooms.

A forest lodge in the pristine tropical forest of Mount Kenya. The lodge faces a watering hole frequented by big forest game.





Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 1290-10300, Nyeri Tel: 0723-878932 Email:

Location: Nanyuki Address: PO Box 3, Nanyuki Tel: 062-2032348/7 Email: Web:

Serving the tourism industry in the Mount Kenya region, this bottled water company offers crystal-clear mineral waters.



Location: Nanyuki Address: PO Box 763, Nanyuki Tel: 062-32430/062-32409 Web:

Location: Nyahururu Address: PO Box 38 ,Nyahururu Tel: 065-2022006/065-2032176 Email: Web:

A tented camp situated in Ol Pejeta Conservancy facing an animal waterhole with scenic views of Mount Kenya.

Situated at the world-famous Thomson’s Falls, this Swiss chalet-style lodge is set in lush lawns shaded by African olive and cedar trees.



Location: Chogoria Meru Address: PO Box 190-60401 Chogoria Tel: 0733-573494 Email: Web:

Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 24, Nyeri Tel: 061-2032424 Email: Web:

Offering a perfect base for climbing Mount Kenya, this motel has a rural location at the base of one of the three main routes to the summits of the mountain.

UNIQ SHOP Location: Karatina Address: PO Box 412-10100, Karatina Tel: 061-72 343 Email: Uniq Shop is a specialist in African designs and artefacts located on the main highway from Nairobi to Nyeri.

A five-star forest lodge located strategically overlooking a legendary waterhole visited by wild animals. The queen of England ascended to the throne while on holiday at this lodge and has revisited the lodge while on her visit to Kenya.

VALLEYVIEW PRIME LODGE Location: Embu Address: PO Box 563, Embu Tel: 0721-813867 Email: Suitable for business guests, this town hotel in the heart of Embu offers luxury accommodation and mouth-watering African cuisine.



Location: Meru Address: PO Box 730-60200, Meru Tel: 064-31980 Email: Web:

Location: Nyeri Address: PO Box 3011-10140, Nyeri Tel: 020-202609198 /0726-967315/ 0736-046784 Email: Web:

This town hotel on the Meru-Maua road at Makutano is a favourite destination for visitors to the mountain region, offering superb African cuisine.


A three-star hotel in the heart of Nanyuki town overlooking the snowcaps of Mount Kenya.

Located on the main highway from Nairobi, this newly refurbished hotel is the jewel of Nyeri town and a favourite spot for entertainment.

MOUNT KENYA TOURISM CIRCUIT ASSOCIATION GUIDE 2013-14 is the official publication of:

Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association


2nd f loor West Wing, Central Plaza, Kimathi Way, PO Box 2669-10140, Nyeri

P. O. BOX 2669 - 10140 NYERI, KENYA Office - Kimathi Way, Central Plaza, 2nd Flr. TEL: +254 020 2326170 Website:

Tel: +254 (0)20 232 6170 • Email: REF: MKTCA/GUIDE Dear Sir/Madam,

We are pleased to announce that Mt. Kenya Tourism Circuit Association has appointed a specialist UK-based company; Land & Marine Publications to produce our new regional tourism guide. We have chosen Land & Marine for their excellent production capability and for its experience which extends to working with several tourism authorities and associations among them Zambia, Botswana, Seychelles, Uganda, Gambia, Emirates, Belize and here in Kenya. We are confident they will deliver quality products to satisfy all. Mr. Ray Deekes, a representative of Land & Marine will be visiting you to seek advertising support. Please feel free to contact us at anytime if you require any further information about this project. Yours faithfully,

Mount Kenya Tourism Circuit Association Guide 2013-14