Our guest blogger Sanjeev Jandu recently went on a trip to Nanyuki. Read below on her lovely long weekend.
I wanted to get away from the city life for a long romantic weekend, but somewhere I could still find things to do around town. And what better place to go than Nanyuki? This little town has some of the best restaurants, parks, forests, and of course Mount Kenya – second highest mountain in Africa.
It took us 2 and a half hours to get into Nanyuki town from Nairobi. We left at 6:30 AM on Saturday and didn’t get stuck in any traffic or behind any slow trucks (yaay). You’ll drive on a smooth road throughout the journey with clear road signs to Nanyuki, any car can get to Nanyuki but if you’re planning to go on a game drive or into Ngare Ndare forest then a 4WD is necessary.
As soon as we got to Nanyuki, we went straight to Barney’s, a lovely restaurant at the airstrip. Their food never disappoints and you get to see all the mini planes land and take off. Conveniently, Barney’s was right opposite the cottage we had booked.
I had booked a cute little caravan like cottage through Airbnb (for only £33 per night!) It is located in an area called Shepherd’s hut, One Stop. I wasn’t too keen to stay in a lodge or a hotel and trust me once you see this place, you wouldn’t want to either!
With a large signboard, One Stop was very easy to find. Once in the property, you will have to take an immediate left and follow the road round to the back.
There are only two cottages available at One Stop. One has a view of Mount Kenya (Bramble) and the other has a garden view (Oak). We stayed in Bramble.
The cottages are designed and imported from Somerset, UK. They are beautifully decorated and super cosy. It almost feels like you’re visiting someone’s grandma’s house in the countryside of England. From the moment you step in, you feel right at home and welcomed. The surroundings are surprisingly peaceful as well, considering it is right opposite the airstrip!
In the cottage, you receive a welcome pack with all the useful numbers you need such as the night guard, cleaner, local restaurants etc. As soon as we arrived, someone was waiting to hand over the keys. She gave us an introduction of the place and left us to it 🙂
The complex has a café (which serves scrumptious meals), a mini-market, kids playground, a veterinary clinic, furniture & craft shops and a salon. Everyone is so friendly and always willing to help.
The cottages are suitable for 2-3 pax (each come with one double and one single bed). Dogs are allowed as long as they have their own basket. Other than food and drinks, you don’t need to carry anything else! The cottages are inclusive of cutlery, plates, kettle, toaster, fridge/freezer, cups, glasses although it did not have a stove, instead, it has a BBQ grill.
The hut has an outdoor bathroom, with a solar heated shower (there is a booster in case the water is cold on cloudy days) and toilet. Towels and soap are also provided in the bathroom.
Bramble cottage has a beautiful view of Mount Kenya (on a clear day). We were lucky to see the mountain on our last day there!
The cottages aren’t far away from the main town of Nanyuki. So it was easy for us to pop into a supermarket to get anything we needed.
If you love food as much as I do, the must try restaurants are:
Soames: The first thing you notice is the beautiful décor and the chilled vibe. Their set menu is amazing it was so hard to choose what we wanted. Everything tastes so fresh and delicious, you feel like it came straight out of your Mum’s kitchen (my Mum makes awesome food).
If you ever feel like treating yourself the also have rooms that you can stay in. http://www.soameshotelkenya.com
Barneys: Great place for quick lunch or wholesome breakfast. It is popular as a bar too! Their pizzas are worth a try.
Le Rustique: The owner is the same as Barney’s, so you know to expect some good food. This restaurant has more of a French influence. It is perfect for date night! Their risotto and Thai chicken curry are to die for! http://www.lerustique.co.ke/
Trout Tree: You will be lucky to get a table through a walk in! This is a popular spot for tourists and visitors. But trust me, it’s not overrated! The food is so amazingly fresh! I would have this every day! We had the tilapia curry and tandoori fish. It was gone in seconds. http://www.trout-tree.com/
What we got up to:
We mostly relaxed at our cottage on the patio because it was just so beautiful. When we did leave to explore, we headed on a safari to the park and checked out Ngare Ndare forest.
Ol Pejeta: Located just about 30km (around half an hours drive) from Nanyuki town, it is easy to follow the signs from the main road. Ol Pejeta is a 90,000 acre wildlife conservancy with over 10,000 large mammals, including the big 5 and chimpanzees! We were lucky to see White Rhinos and a herd of Elephants!
Morani’s restaurant, located inside the conservancy, is a great stop for lunch or coffee. Ol Pejeta also have great campsites and lodges to stay. You can find out more about this here: http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org
Entry Fees: remember to carry your ID’s!
Adult- KSH 1,100
Child- KSH 550
Adult- KSH 2,200
Adult- USD 85
Child- USD 42
Vehicle Per Day:
Less than 6 Seats- KSH 400
6-14 Seats- KSH 1,200
15+ – KSH 10,000
Ngare Ndare: This is such a gem of a place, once you find it! It is about 40 minutes from Nanyuki town. We Google Map’d our way there, which might have been the wrong decision, as it took us the longest way round! The best thing to do is call a ranger prior to your departure and get directions. You can find contact numbers and information here or read Traveldote’s previous post on Ngare Ndare 🙂
It took us so long to actually get to the main entrance, that it started POURING down with rain.I was really excited to see this magical waterfall I see pictures of. Better luck next time I guess!
All in all, it was a beautiful drive to the forest and we got to see amazing views of Mount Kenya.
Nanyuki will always have a place in my heart. And I cannot wait to go back and stay at One Stop.