Things you should know about Nanyuki
Language: People in Nanyuki can speak English & Swahili
Currency: The Kenyan shilling
Debit/Credit cards/Mpesa: Most places will accept cards/mpesa although you will need cash at hand in other places.
A few weeks ago, my friend and I were deciding on a weekend road trip to one of the provinces in Kenya. After a thorough research, we had a chat on whatsapp that went like this:
Me: So I think we should go to Nanyuki.
Him: Ah. Nanyuki sounds like a plan.
Me: Cool! So next time we will visit another province now that we will be going to central.
Him: Errr…Rioba, Nanyuki is in Rift Valley province not Central province
Me: Jayson, what school did you go to? Nanyuki is in central. Your folks should have really thought of buying lots of cows instead of wasting money taking another cow to school.
Him: Rioba, want to bet?
To cut the long story short, turns out I am the cow, and a skinny cow too at that because Nanyuki is in Rift Valley province. Of course I did not tell him he was right. What am I, insane? But he was elated you would think he won a lottery because let’s be real, what are the chances of men winning an argument?
You will be surprised how many people think Nanyuki is in central province. Even as I type this post, weeks later, I had to go back online to confirm that Nanyuki is indeed in Rift Valley. As if the gods of the internet will somehow work in my favor and prove me right.
It was settled and we drove to Nanyuki for the weekend. If you choose to drive to Nanyuki, it is a little over three hours should you choose to make various stopovers to enjoy the scenery and best believe you will love the landscape.
Our first stop over was the indigenous Ngare Ndare Forest. According to the pictures I had seen earlier on social media, Ngare Ndare’s landscape is emerald and the waterfalls and pools looked like the soft azure surface of an ocean. Can Someone please confirm it looks like this?
What these pictures do not tell you is how difficult it is to find the spot that is Ngare Ndare. My God! We lost our bearings so many times that we contemplated giving up. If you are not careful, you can easily miss the sign post that leads you to the right direction which we did and do not even try engaging Google maps because that damn map led us to the holy paths of confusion. So after we realized we were lost, we engaged the locals and one of them offered to take us to Ngare Ndare, at a price of course.
You know how Mark Manson likes to say that once you are successful in solving a problem, you create another problem? If you didn’t know, now you do. Anyway, this is exactly what happened to us. The road to Ngare Ndare is horrible to say the least.
As we drove on, it became more bumpy, rough and rocky. I could almost feel the pain every time the vehicle would bump on the treacherous road. I foresaw Jayson setting up a date with his mechanic after this trip. After what seemed an eternity, we made it to Ngare Ndare but because we were so late, we could only do the canopy walk and had to forget about swimming at the pools and waterfalls.
The next day, we went to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. If you are ever in Nanyuki I would strongly recommend a game drive at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It is such a lovely place to see the big 5 among other animals like the Ankole cows brought from Uganda and the story behind the Chimpanzees adopted from the Democratic republic of Congo.
- Book online your visit to Ngare Ndare and you will be assigned to a guide with whom you will be in contact with before you arrive to avoid getting lost like we did
- Entry costs to Ngare Ndare costs about 20USD per person
- The canopy walk is 1km long and is a bit terrifying for those who fear heights. Apparently, if you are early enough, you might see elephants grazing below the canopy walk.
- Ol Pejeta conservancy does not accept cash payment, you can only pay via Mpesa or Card
- Entry fees to Ol Pejeta conservancy is 11 USD per person for East African citizens, 22 USD for East African residents and 85 USD for non residents
- You have to have a car to explore Ol Pejeta conservancy. The car should be a four wheel drive in case you visit during the rainy season because the roads tend to get muddy
- Vehicles are also charged per day. We paid 4 USD for a 5 seater and the rate can go up to 100 USD for vehicles with more than 15 seats
- Although you will be offered a map at Ol Pejeta, I strongly recommend getting a guide that knows his way around the park to avoid wasting time and getting lost
- The best time for game drives is early in the morning from 7am or in the evening from 5pm. Animals tend to hide during the day because of the heat
- The best time to see the Chimps is before lunch from say 10am
- Ol Pejeta offers campsites. For more info check olpejetaconservancy.org
The incident I mentioned at the beginning of this post made me realize how little I know of Kenya’s eight provinces. Sure, seeing other parts of the universe is nice but I should at least appreciate what the motherland has to offer. If you thought Nanyuki was in central, you need to join me in exploring Kenya. Let’s make 2018 a year we explore at least one or two places we have never been in the country.
Any suggestions of places you are planning to visit in the country? Or places you would recommend?
Let me know on the comments section.
Here’s a video of my experience at Ngare Ndare and OL Pejeta.
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