Nyeri is found in the lush valley between Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Ranges. The county has a wide variety of tourist attractions that make it one of the major players in tourism in central Kenya. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Nyeri County.
1) Chaka Ranch
Chaka Ranch is a leisure park and entertainment facility found in Kiganjo. It’s set on an expansive land with stunning views of Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares. It’s an adventurer’s paradise that’s perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities and team building. The park boasts of having the widest collection of quad bikes and buggies in Kenya. There’s also paintball, go-karing, rock climbing, tug of war, obstacle racing, and bubble soccer. The facility also has a couple of food courts where you can eat delicious African delicacies while enjoying a beautiful view of a nearby dam. For accommodation, there are several luxurious tents to cater to your stay.
2) Nyeri Museum
The building that houses Nyeri Museum was built in 1924. Before being a museum, it was used as a native law court that dealt with customary law cases. Now, the museum serves as a preservation center for the Gikuyu culture and heritage. It also contains accurate records of the history of the Mau Mau freedom fighters.
3) Chinga Dam and Waterfall
Chinga Dam is a man-made dam established in 1957 and is the largest water reservoir in Nyeri. The dam offers an ideal destination for boat riding and fishing while taking in the scenic green landscapes and hills that surround it. The waterfall is found near Othaya Town, on your way to Chinga Boys. It’s a magnificent site to behold and the nature trail leading to it is an experience on its own.
4) Italian War Memorial Catholic Church
The church was built to remember the Italian soldiers who died in East Africa during World War 2. It’s set on a serene piece of land with manicured lawns and a tree-lined drive leading to the church. You’ll get to see the tombs, the soldiers’ names engraved on the walls, and a special vault that was for a Somali soldier who was captured during the war. The best time to visit is in November when an annual mass is held to commemorate the fallen soldiers.
5) Mau Mau Caves
The Mau Mua caves are a historical site found in Narumoru Forest. The caves were used by the freedom fighters as hideouts and also for storage during Kenya’s struggle for independence. The forest has beautiful waterfalls and is home to colobus monkeys and a variety of bird species. It’s an ideal destination for bird watching and hiking.
6) Baden Powell Museum
The museum is named after Lord Baden Power, the founder of the Boy Scout Movement Association. It’s on the Outspan Hotel’s compound in Karuri. This is also where Baden Powell spent the last 3 years of his life. He loved the place and once wrote, ‘The nearer to Nyeri, the nearer to bliss’. The museum is filled with scouting scarves and other attires from the scouts. It also provides an accurate history of the movement, aimed at preserving, communicating, and exhibiting the heritage of the Boy Scout Movement. There’s also lodging for scouts, guides, their families, and the general public. The museum hosts an annual scouts camp to celebrate Baden Powell.
7) Solio Ranch
Solio Ranch is a 17,500-acre private reserve, located 22 km north of Nyeri Town. It was established in 1970 and was the world’s first private sanctuary for the conservation of rhinos. The sanctuary’s purpose is to preserve and breed rhinos and currently, there are over 120 rhinos on the ranch. It’s also home to gazelles, giraffes, buffalos, antelopes, zebras, and warthogs. For game drives, you can choose between a self-driven tour or a guided one.
8) Aberdare National Park
The park was established in 1950 to protect one of the most ancient mountain ranges in East Africa; the Aberdare Ranges, and its immediate ecosystem. The park is characterized by waterfalls, steep forested ravines, and lush green lands. It’s home to elephants, rhinos, spotted hyenas, bushbucks, and colobus monkeys, among others. It’s the ideal destination for birdwatching, game drives, nature walks, and camping.
9) Nyeri Hill
Nyeri Hill is an isolated hill found in Mathari, approximately 7 km from Nyeri Town. You can easily spot it from the town as it’s the highest natural feature in the area. It’s an ideal destination for hiking and at the summit, you get a beautiful viewpoint of the town and Mt. Kenya.
10) Tafaria Castle and Center for Arts
Tafaria Castle is a beautiful gateway found halfway between Nyeri and Nyahururu. Some of the outdoor activities that you can indulge in at Tafaria Castle include; horse riding, cycling, swimming, and archery. The manicured lawns and beautiful viewpoint make it the perfect destination for getaways, picnics, and hosting special events. Regarding accommodation, the castle features 72 classy rooms for you to choose from.
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!