Nyandarua County is best known for its huge agricultural output that is sustained by the adjacent Aberdare Ranges, a rich water tower, supplying the county’s rivers throughout the year. As for tourism, a trip to Nyandarua Country involves encountering captivating landscapes and viewpoints of the lush valleys spread across the county. Here’s a list of the top 10 places to visit the next time you’re in Nyandarua County.
1) Aberdare National Park
The Aberdare National Park was gazetted in 1950 to protect one of the most ancient mountain ranges in East Africa, the Aberdare Ranges, and its immediate ecosystem. The ranges span an impressive 160 km in length. Ol Donyo Lesatima is the highest peak in the Aberdares at 3,999 meters followed by Mt. Kinangop at 3,906 meters. The Aberdares also features 3 waterfalls; the Chania, Gura, and Karura Falls which has the deepest drop of approximately 300 meters. The park is home to elephants, rhinos, hyenas, buffalos, and bushbucks, among others.
2) Ndaragwa Nature Trail
Ndaragwa Nature Trail is found within the Ndaragwa Forest Station, approximately 230 km from Nairobi, off the Nyeri-Nyahururu highway. The trail offers a tranquil nature walk with viewpoints of the lush Ndaragwa Forest and Ndaragwa town. The trail also leads to the scenic Ndaragwa waterfall that can be seen from the footbridge at the bottom of the nature trail.
3) Kinangop Plateau
The Kinangop Plateau is a peneplain ( low-relief plain formed by protracted erosion) plateau that lies between the Great Rift Valley and the Aberdare Ranges. The plateau is seen as a gradual upwards slope toward the foothills of the Aberdares. The edges of the plateau rise to approximately 2,400 meters above sea level. The view from these points is nothing short of majestic.
4) Mt. Kipipiri
Mt. Kipipiri is an isolated volcano found on the northwestern side of the Aberdares. From Nairobi to the mountain is approximately 130 km. It stands at an elevation of 3,349 meters and is one of the best destinations for hiking in Kenya. The hike to the summit and back takes about 8 hours and will take you through a scenic walk across the Wanjohi Valley. The mountain is home to sykes and colobus monkeys, buffalos, and elephants, making it necessary to have a tour guide while hiking.
5) Sasumua Dam
Sasumua Dam is found on the Sasumua stream (a tributary of Chania River), near Njabini Township south of the Aberdare Ranges. It’s one of the most scenic locations in Nyandarua with a backdrop of the Aberdares. It’s the perfect destination for picnics and nature walks. The dam is surrounded by Sasumua Forest and the trails through the forest are an additional adventure you can indulge in while there.
6) Ol Donyo Satima
Ol Donyo Satima is part of the Aberdare and is the highest summit among the Aberdare Ranges at 3,999 meters above sea level. It is also the third highest mountain in Kenya. The mountain is also known as Mt. Satima or Mt. Lesatima which translates to ‘mountain of the bull calf’ in the Maasai language. Hiking Mt. Satima is quite popular with hikers as it presents the most scenic and gentle of all the trails in the Abardares.
7) Lake Ol Bolossat
Lake Ol Bolossat is a freshwater lake spanning approximately 44 square kilometers and is the only natural lake in the central region of Kenya. It lies between the Aberdare Ranges and Dundori Ridge giving it a picturesque view of both of them. The lake is fed by rivers and underground water seepage from the Aberdares and streams from Dundori Forest. This hidden gem is the perfect destination for seeing hippos, boat riding, and bird watching.
8) Rurimeria Hill
Rurimeria Hill is part of the Aberdares. You can access it through the Ndunyu Njeru gate in Kinangop. It’s a hill with a rich history and it was often mentioned in Dedan Kimathi’s (Mau Mau Hero) stories. The hill’s forests, bamboo thickets, and birdlife make it a great destination for hiking and bird watching.
9) Mau Mau Caves
There are several caves found within Aberdare Forest. These caves have historical significance and were used as hideouts by Kenyas’ freedom fighters during the Mau Mau uprising. The hike to the caves will take you through scenic views of rivers, waterfalls, and dense forests.
10) Elephant Hill
Elephant Hill is found on the southern end of the Aberdare Ranges. It’s part of Aberdare Simbara which is a series of hills that form the mountainous part of the Aberdares. When compared to Ol Donyo Satima, Elephant Hill presents a more challenging hiking trail. This makes it a favorite for those looking for a more challenging experience.
I am a charismatic 23-year-old student at the University of Nairobi. I enjoy traveling be it planned or impromptu. I also enjoy partying. I'll be there with a drink in my cup all through the night, chasing the sun. Life's too short not to choose the fast lane. Carpe diem!