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Outspan Hotel, Nyeri, Kenya – Hotels in Nyeri

Outspan Hotel is a select, intimate boutique hotel establishment and one of the best hotels in Nyeri, Kenya offering the very best in luxury accommodation, whilst offering personal customer service and hotel facilities. Outspan Hotel Nyeri and its sister Treetops hotel offers you the chance to take a step back in time and enjoy the unique luxury and history of a hotel stay during your vacation in Kenya, Outspan Hotel is a luxury country hotel located in Nyeri, Kenya and was built up from an old farm by Eric Sherbrooke Walker in the 1920s. Famous visitors include Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell and his wife Olave Baden-Powell from 1938 until Baden-Powell's death in 1941. Jim Corbett also lived there. The son of Reverend George Sherbrooke Walker and his wife, Jessie Elizabeth Carter, Eric Walker was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham in Warwickshire on 4 July 1887, and brought up in March, Cambridge shire where his father was rector of St Wendreda's church, He was educated at Oakham School and King Edward's, Edgbaston and then read Theology at The Queen's College, Oxford. After graduating in 1908, Walker was associated with the Scouting movement, and was a personal secretary to Baden-Powell, the founder of the movement. He was one of the first two Scout inspectors, overseeing Wales and the South of England. He was present at Baden-Powell's first Scout camp in Humshaugh in 1908, and toured Canada with sixteen Scouts in 1910 to demonstrate Scouting, Walker was commissioned in the army in August 1914, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps but was shot down and held as a prisoner of war in Germany, he is said to have made 36 attempts to escape, Apparently, on one occasion, a German girlfriend from before the war helped him by supplying him with wire cutters provided by Baden-Powell hidden inside a piece of ham. After the War's end he was employed as a temporary captain on the General List, fighting against the Bolsheviks with the British Military Mission in South Russia alongside the White Army in the Russian Civil War. He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry at Ushun in the Crimea on 8 and 10 March 1920, where he attached himself to the Police Regiment and remained with them throughout the two days of counter-attacks, during which they sustained heavy casualties. By his personal example and coolness, under heavy machine-gun fire, he was largely responsible for the decisive success gained. In addition, he received the Order of St. Anna and the Order of St. Stanislaus from the grateful White Russian authorities, Walker returned to England after the war, and became engaged and ultimately married to Lady Elizabeth Mary "Bettie" Feilding (22 August 1899 – ?), the daughter of Rudolph Feilding, 9th Earl of Denbigh, on 26 July 1926. Needing money to finance his marriage, he ran a bootlegging business, smuggling liquor into America during the Prohibition era, while his fiancée Lady Bettie worked as social secretary in the British Embassy in Washington DC. When Walker shot and wounded a corrupt state trooper who had tried to steal his cache of whiskey, the couple fled to Canada. Walker later wrote The Confessions of a Rum-Runner under the pseudonym of James Barbican about his life during this period. The couple finally emigrated to Kenya, where Walker purchased approximately 70 acres (28 ha) of Crown Land in Nyeri and - in 1928 - opened the Outspan Hotel Kenya, overlooking the gorge of the Chania River in the Aberdare Range near the present day Aberdare National Park). In 1932, he opened the adjunct Tree tops Hotel as a night-viewing station for wildlife. These business ventures may well have been based on profits made during his bootlegging days in America. In 1938, his former employer Lord Baden-Powell retired to the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri (Baden-Powell once remarked "closer to Nyeri, closer to bliss"), bought a share of Walker's hotel business to pay for his cottage (named Paxtu and now home to a Scouting museum) in the hotel grounds, and died there in 1941. He saw further military service during World War II, first enlisting in the Royal Air Force, and then going on to serve with the South African forces in Abyssinia and in the Western Desert during the North African campaign, narrowly avoiding capture at Sidi Rezegh. He was host to Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, during their February 1952 visit to Kenya. The couple had accepted an invitation to spend a night at Treetops Lodge, and arrived there on the afternoon of 5 February 1952. During the night, unknowingly, the Princess succeeded to the throne of England. Her father, King George VI, died at Sandringham in England in the early hours of 6 February, and the Princess received the news later that day, after leaving Tree tops Lodge, at the Royal Lodge, Walker was again employed on military duties during the Mau Mau Uprising in the early 1950s. Treetops Hotel and Outspan Hotel were offered as a lookout point for the King's African Rifles, but was burned down by Mau Mau fighters on 27 May 1954. Walker built a bigger hotel at the same location in 1957, and business prospered - encouraged by public interest in the accession of Elizabeth II some years earlier. His hotel business was featured in National Geographic Magazine, and famous celebrities, including Charles Chaplin and Paul McCartney visited both treetops hotel and Outspan Hotel in Kenya. Walker also wrote a book about his life in Kenya and Treetops, named Treetops Hotel. The famous hunter Jim Corbett moved to Kenya after the Independence of India, took up residence at the Out span Hotel in Kenya, and became a resident hunter at Tree tops Lodge. A house on the Walkers' farm was used during the shooting of the film of Born Free. An avid hunter during his younger days, Walker, like many others, became an advocate of wildlife conservation in his final years in Kenya. He retired to live in Majorca, Spain, and died there at his home, Cás Fidavé, on 13 May 1976. The Outspan Hotel Nyeri lies on the fringes of the Aberdare National Park. To ‘outspan’ means to unyoke one’s weary oxen at the end of a day’s journey. Lord Baden Powell, who in 1920 was proclaimed Chief Scout of the world, recognized the tranquility and beauty of the Outspan Hotel and chose to ‘outspan’ at the hotel with his wife for the last three years of his life. Baden Powell’s grave faces towards the glistening snows of Mt Kenya and the walls of his cottage Paxtu are covered in memorabilia. The 30 acre setting and two purpose-built conference rooms lend themselves to creative meetings and training sessions with numerous tempting leisure activities for when ‘school’s out’. There is tennis, squash, billiards, badmington, and adjacent to the hotel, a 9-hole golf course. For the less sports-minded, there is a daily display of traditional Kikuyu dancing, another 16 acres for nature walks along the Chania River, escorted bird walks, excursions to nearby tea and coffee farms and of course, morning and afternoon game drives in the Abedares Salient where Treetops Hotel in Nyeri is sited and where only specially licensed 4 wheel drive vehicles are permitted to enter. We’ll challenge anyone to say they’re bored! Just 160 kms on a good road from Nairobi and 2 kms from Nyeri town center, the Nyeri Outspan Hotel offer guests a range of accommodations - twin rooms, garden suites, or cottages. Since the hotel’s inception in 1920, the atmosphere has changed little. The gardens are a riot of sculptured colour and the rooms, many with their own log fires, have been recently redecorated to retain the charm and comfort of an historical and well-established hotel. And many of our guarded recipes go back a year or two. Supplied with abundant dairy and fresh produce from nearby farms, our chefs lovingly create dishes. For a pampered but entertaining country holiday or a rewarding and enjoyable conference, we are proud to welcome you to Kenya’s traditional country hotel, The Outspan. So lavish is Outspan Hotel experiences that patrons can be reluctant to return home, so welcoming, relaxing and mind-body-spirit cleansing that guests cannot rate us highly enough, the option to live like royalty and experience the finest lifestyles is probably nowhere more pleasurable than in this country hotel, elegant but unstuffy, its magnificently manicured grounds, lavish and historic interiors, the finest Kenyan cuisine and exceptional service are perfect for living the lord and lady dream. Relax from the moment you discover Outspan Hotel – This luxurious country house hotel on the borders of Mount Kenya National Park is high-end style without the stuffiness. It’s an idyllic place for a romantic retreat and a favourite with families on holidays seeking a relaxing break with a dash of adventure only minutes drive from Nyeri Town. An understated palette of subtle colours lends an air of calm to the spacious rooms and garden cottages. Head to the luxury spa for a refreshing swim in the inviting pool, work out in the gym or indulge in a relaxing treatment like an aromatherapy massage. Having worked up an appetite, enjoy a healthy bite to eat and a chilled glass of champagne at our bar. Guests making their way to the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri are faced by this signboard, WELLCOME fixed to a pepper-tree at a turn of the drive. The Outspan Lodge has a lot of visitors: those who stay there while visiting in Nyeri on conferences or business travelers, those who stay there as park of packaged Kenya safari, those who use it as their base before going on to the world-famous "Tree tops Hotel", and those who go there especially in order to see "Paxtu" itself, the last home of Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Movements. B-P first visited East Africa - each of the present countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania - in 1906, and he recorded his impressions both in words and pictures in his book Sketches in Mafeking and East Africa, published in 1907. He did not come here again until late in 1935 when he carried out inspections of Scouts at rallies organised throughout the country. He then visited his old friend, Major E. Sherbrooke Walker, M.C., who had been B-P's first private secretary after the founding of the Boy Scout Movement and who still has in his possession the first Scouter's Warrant ever issued. After numerous adventures Erie Walker had built the Outspan Hotel in Nyeri and the still more famous Treetops. B-P once again fell in love with the "wonderful views over the plains to the bold snowpeak of Mount Kenya", described after his visit in 1906, and so when ordered by his doctor to rest in the winter of 1937 it was to Nyeri that he came. `When he left us', wrote Erie Walker in his book Treetops Hotel describing B-P's departure from Kenya in 1938, `Lord Baden-Powell was getting on in years. (He was, in fact, 81). "The nearer to Nyeri, the nearer to bliss", he said, "I am coming to spend the rest of my life at the Outspan." 'And he asked us to build him a cottage before he came back for what he said was to be the third and last time. He picked a site in the garden. "What", he said, "will it cost to build a little house with a sitting-room, large veranda, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and two fireplaces?" `I made a rapid calculation. "Twelve hundred square feet at ten shillings per square foot", I replied, "comes to six hundred pounds". (Would that we could build for that cost now!) `He accordingly took up shares in our little company to that value, for which we built the house, furnished it, and made him a private garden, gay with flowers, and with a fountain and bird-bath in front of the veranda. He had a discussion as to what he would call the cottage and thought of a number of names. Finally he said: "I named my home at Bentley `Pax' because we bought it on Armistice Day after the First War. I think I will call my cottage here `Pax', too." `After that it was always known as "Paxtoo", or "Paxtu".' B-P. and Lady B-P had celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of their wedding in 1937 and Scouts and Guides all over the world had subscribed for a present for them. `We have utilised part of the Silver Wedding gift from Scouts and Guides', wrote B-P in The Scouter for May, 1938, `in building for ourselves a cottage at Nyeri. We have named it "Paxtu", since it will be a second "Pax" to us, and a permanent reminder of the generous goodwill of the Movement.' In October, 1937, he came back to Nyeri to live in Paxtu, and never left East Africa again. The cottage remains very much as it was when he first had it built, though the old makuti roof has been replaced by an iron one, and the garden which in recent years had got out-of-hand was rather drastically tidied up in 1964, but the fountain and bird-bath remain. The cottage is now joined to the main block of the hotel with a series of apartments. A description of the house was given by B-P in a letter to the actor, Cyril Maude, in 1939:- `We sit here in incessant sunshine (with showers to water our garden) and never since we came, four months ago, have we failed to have brilliant sunshine for a breakfast on the veranda. I enclose a photo of the shack we had built for us and we find it in every way excellent. Sitting-room in the centre with the whole front open, with folding glass doors. On each side of it a bedroom with dressing-room, bath, cloak-room, etc., and servants' pantry at the back, with a covered way to the hotel 200 yards away, whence come all our meals. We have hot and cold water laid on, with electric light and heating, a delightful garden (much grown up since the photo) and a glorious view across the forest and plain up to Mount Kenya with its snowy top.' For the last twenty years, until Miss Corbett's death in 1963, the house has been lived in by B-P's old friend Jim Corbett, author of Man-eaters of Kumaon and other well-known books, and his sister Maggie. In 1964 Kenya Scouts and Guides subscribed for a seat which has been placed in the garden in front of the house, and which bears the inscription "This seat was given by Kenya Scouts and Guides in memory of Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, their Founder, who lived here from October 1938 until his death on 8th January, 1941." At the same time the signpost on the entrance drive and the carved cedar plaque (illustrated on this page) on the house itself were given by the Kenya Boy Scouts Association to keep the Founder's memory green, and to direct the countless visitors who come from every part of the globe to visit the Founder's last home and his grave in the near-by cemetery.

Outspan Hotel Accommodation

Set in manicured tropical gardens containing a massive 500—year~0ld Mugumo tree oelieyed to be sacred by the Kikuyu people, the Outspan has spectacular views of Mt Kenya. Tlhere are 45 en—suite rooms, made up of8 stylish Chania rooms, 3 spacious Fhania cottages and 34 standard rooms, l9 of which have fireplaces. Sherry Restaurant serves breakfast and lunch on the veranda overlooking the garden. Dinner is served inside or under the stars. Sherry Bar has an extensive drinks list, including wines and liqueurs, and Kirinyaga pub is an old English tavern. The Sherbrooke-Walker Room seats 60 pax, the Kirinyaga Room seats 60 and the Chania Boardroom seats 10; all contain up-to-date conference facilities. As Well as game drives in the Aberdare National Park and Solio Ranch Rhino Sanctuary, the Outspan offers guided tours around the 70-year old Kihuri Arabica Coffee Estate and full use of Nyeri Golf Club. Guests for treetops check in and have lunch before departing for Treetops In the heart of Kenya’s tea and coffee growing highlands is located the Outspan Hotel with beautiful manicured lawns, the ideal Place for a safari excursion to Arberdare and Kenya. Outspan hotel is set in a well-tended tropical garden and rolling lawns with views of Mount Kenya to the East and a short distance from the Aberdare National Park,while the famous Solio Ranch is just 25 kms away. Outspan hotel is the base hotel for Treetops, built in 1920 by Sherbrooke Walker and his wife Lady Bettie, Its fascinating setting has the view of Mount Kenya. Outspan Hotel in Nyeri Kenya stands elegant in rolling lawns accented with palms and its lush tropical gardens laid out in English style. Cool and misty weather in Nyeri complement well the settings of this unique hotel, guest have lunch in the open verandah restaurant, by the Kirinyaga tavern at Outspan Hotel, you can met the resident peacocks who add glamour to the green pastures, and as usual your cameras are out, one gives a pose opening its tail feathers like a fan to display bright iridescent colours and intricate patterns. Nyeri Treetops Lodge that is 17 km away from Outspan Hotel nestled deep in the forest of Aberdare National Park. Tree tops Hotel in Kenya being an overnight destination, only overnight luggage is allowed and visitors are driven for the night in a Toyota Land Cruiser from Outspan schedule. Aberdate National Park covers altitudes from about 7,000 feet to 14,000 feet above sea level that gives year round cool climate. Park covers an area of 766 square kilometers and forms part of Aberdare Mountain Range. This world-renowned rustic treehouse is dedicated to game viewing, built in 1932 by Eric Sherbrooke Walker (founder of Outspan Hotel). Originally the lodge was a modest two room tree house that has now grown to 50 rooms. It has 4 decks and a rooftop-viewing platform. The original structure was burned down by African guerrillas during 1954. The Treetops was rebuilt in 1957 on a nearby chestnut tree overlooking the same waterhole and salt lick near the elephant migration pathway to Mount Kenya. New lodge has been built more fashionably and added new exotic features which made the hotel more rich and famous. The lodge boasts two photographic hides at ground level - a great way to get close up shots of rhinos, elephants, waterbucks or lions. Treetops resort is famous as the place where the then-Princess Elizabeth learned of her father's death and ascended to the British Throne in 1952. The Queen has returned to Treetops in 1983 and spent the night in the Queen Elizabeth suite, one of the two self contained suites facing the waterhole with its private balcony. The lodge rises straight out of the ground on stilts and has four decks and a rooftop viewing platform. Treetops is legendry for its royal connection and the animals it attracts like Rhinos, Elephants, Buffalos, Bushbucks, Waterbucks and many other species. This Treetops Safari Lodge on stilts is as space efficient on the inside as it is unassuming on the outside. Trees grow right through the building. Treetops simple cot-like rooms, designed like cabins on board a ship, with open balconies for viewing and photography. The dining area is set up with refectory tables and bench seating. Elephant tusks at the entrance of dining area is charming, the portrait gallery here contemplate the great and famous who had slept at Treetops; Edward VIII, Churchill and his omnipresent cigar, presidents, movie stars!!.. Dinner is served at 7:30 pm, all guests at one sitting. Coffee and liquor are served in the comfortable lounge, which features picture windows and trees growing through the building. Die-hard animal lovers need not worry about missed sightings, even into the early hours of the morning, an optional buzzer in the rooms alerts the guests when a spectacle is unfolding at the waterhole, for example a leopard may warrant three rings, while a hyena might only get one ring. True complicity between man and nature, the list of adventures becomes our pride and joy at the end of the stay! Room has either front or rear water hole view. We offer you serenity in our tropical themed gardens beautifully maintained gardens where your children can play while you sit and enjoy delicious meals as you marvel at the beautiful view of Mt. Kenya from our restaurant. We pride ourselves in offering you a relaxed and stress free atmosphere for relaxation as we take care of you,

Outspan Hotel Standard Rooms

Reminiscent of the 1920’s, our standard rooms are spacious with wooden floor and 19 rooms with a fire place. The standard room bed type is either double bed or twin bed and extra bed can be provided on request. The standard room bathrooms are fitted with bathtub though some rooms have both tub and a shower. All standard rooms have satellite TV, tea making facilities, telephone and overlook the gardens. A Place Where you can enjoy some time with your family, engage each other with a list of our activities from The Snooker room to our swimming pool. You can also take brisk river walks beside river Chania as you enjoy our tropical themed gardens. In the evening retire to our comfy country, urban themed rooms for a peaceful rest.

Outspan Hotel Deluxe Rooms

These deluxe guest rooms offer relaxing space, have a fire place and private balcony. Each deluxe room bathroom comprises of a bathtub and walk in shower. All deluxe rooms have satellite TV, tea making facilities and telephone. Outspan team building is your company organizing a team building soon? Our grounds are perfect for team building activities with 45 acres of well tended gardens that gives you ample space, our activity roaster that can play a major role in the team building process and to top it all of the hotel’s strategic placement offers breathtaking sights and sounds including a fantastic view of Mt.Kenya. Contact us now and make your reservations by contacting

Outspan Hotel Cottages

The cottages are suitable for a family or group of friends. Main bedroom is fitted with a double bed while the separate room has a single bed. The sitting room is furnished with seats, satellite TV, tea making facilities and has a glass door that opens to a balcony with a garden view. Take some time off to revitalize and re energize? Enjoy our activities including from Swimming, Snooker and Nature Walks To top it all, enjoy delicious meals and beverages at the Terrace/Garden Restaurant with a fantastic view of Mount Kenya. Weekend Getaway Offer with discounts

Sherry Restaurant

Sherry restaurant is situated in the serene Mt. Kenya region. It has a parquet floor and opens to a wide verandah from where one can view the peaks of Mt. Kenya. We offer you serenity in our tropical themed gardens beautifully maintained gardens where your children can play while you sit and enjoy delicious meals as you marvel at the beautiful view of Mt. Kenya from our restaurant. We pride ourselves in offering you a relaxed and stress free atmosphere for relaxation as we take care of you

Sherry Bar

Adjacent to the Sherry restaurant is the sherry bar, cosy with a fire place and perfect for pre dinner aperitif. If we were to define a meeting or conference at Outspan, we would call it a fully indulgent meeting, We offer you a diverse range of meeting and conferencing facilities including our NEW Malkia conferencing room that offers you the very best in conferencing facilities, including a dedicated Cloak room and storage facilities. :
Kahawa Bar
Kenya is known to produce some of the best Coffee in the world some of which is grown in Mt Kenya region. Guests can now sample quality Coffee served in different flavours to suit customers varying taste and accompanied with pastries and cakes. And while at it Connect with family and friends using free wifi connection.
Tavern Pub
The Tavern pub has new A La Carte menu offering Signature dishes. A Kiddies menu and an Ice cream parlour are also available to cater for all our guest needs. We have a wide range of wines from South Africa, Chile and Spain served by glass or bottle to cater for each individual palate. Beer fans can now enjoy their favorite brand not forgetting an array of shooters for non beer fans. To keep you entertained, every weekend the pub has special themed nights with live shows every weekend. The Tavern Pub entertainment features Cabaret,Karaoke, Cultural and Comedy night. Sports fans can watch their favourite match on 42″ plasma screen.
Sherbrooke Walker Room
40 person’s classroom style - 60-80 persons theatre style - Day conference, If we were to define a meeting or conference at Outspan, we would call it a fully indulgent meeting… We offer you a diverse range of meeting and conferencing facilities including our NEW Malkia conferencing room that offers you the very best in conferencing facilities, including a dedicated Cloak room and storage facilities
Kirinyaga Room
50 persons classroom style - 60-80 persons theatre style - Day conferences, A Place Where you can enjoy some time with your family, engage each other with a list of our activities from The Snooker room to our swimming pool. You can also take brisk river walks beside river Chania as you enjoy our tropical themed gardens. In the evening retire to our comfy country, urban themed rooms for a peaceful rest.
Chania Board Room
10 person’s classroom style - 15 persons theatre style - Day conference, “Paxtu” Museum is the last home of the Scouts Founder Lord Baden Powell and a protected monument. This world famous Museum continues to attract scouts from all over the world. Paxtu was built especially for the Chief Scout by Eric Sherbrooke Walker. Lord Baden Powell lived in the Paxtu cottage from October 1938 until his death in 1941. Come learn and about our rich heritage
Business Centre
Service offered, Computer use – Internet & e-mail, Photocopying, Fax transmission, telephone calls local & international, Wifi connectivity, Free wireless connectivity is available in designated public areas, around Lobby, Sherry bar and restaurant and The Tavern Terrace, A sumptuous lunch at the legendary Treetops, consisting of an extensive 6 course menu, coupled with our exemplary service. Treetops is only 17 km from Nyeri Town and 30 mins Drive from Outspan. This is followed by a 1hr Game Drive within the Salient Central area of the Aberdare National Park in an open roof 4WD.
Aberdare National Park Game drives
Enjoy a 2 hour game drive in the Aberdare National Park situated only 17km from Outspan Hotel Nyeri. The park is home to 2000 elephants that roam the clouded hills and is the last remaining habitat of the elusive Bongo antelope and the giant forest hog. Other animals to be seen include black rhinos also roam the wild buffaloes, serval cats, leopards, African wild cat, spotted hyena, African Civet and the rare golden cat.
Guided Nature Walks
Outspan Hotel Nyeri is famed for it expansive grounds, beautiful gardens and over 300 bird species. On your guided nature walk along river Chania, our naturalist will identify the flora & fauna, and a waterfall gorge where the river squeezes between black rocks. The highlight is the massive five hundred year old Mugumo tree, sacred to the Kikuyu people. Other facilities within Outspan hotel Nyeri grounds include adult and baby pool, kids play ground and area that can accommodate a bouncing castle. For the sporty we have a squash court, tennis court, table tennis, snooker room and one can jog round the compound.

Aberdare National Park Safaris

Aberdare National Park was established to protect the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya’s Central Highlands and It is Kenya most elevated national park and encompasses a rare combination of soaring peaks, a high altitude plateau with alpine moorland, and dense rainforest at the lower altitudes. Aberdare National Park established in 1950, encompasses an area of around 715 sq km and is one of Kenya's only virgin forest reserves. The Aberdares are the third highest massif in the country, with dramatic peaks, deep valleys, enormous spectacular waterfalls cascading down the rock face, volcanic outcrops of bizarre proportions and undulating moorlands. The park is 10 km from Nyeri and 165 km from Nairobi. From Nyeri you can enter the park through three gates: Ruhuruini Gate, Wandare Gate and Kiandongoro Gate. Outspan Hotel is the base hotel for Treetops and visitors usually come here first. From Nyeri there is a road to Mweiga, the town close to the Aberdare Country Club, the base for The Ark. Also in Mweiga is the KWS headquarters, where you can obtain or reload your Smartcard. The Aberdare lodges and Aberdare hotels organize transfers and game drives, and there are hiking trails, as a packaged safari although a ranger guide is compulsory, The Aberdares is a range of mountains to the west of Mount Kenya, running in a north- south direction between Nairobi and Nyahururu (Thomson's Falls). The Aberdares come to a peak at about 4000 m and the middle and upper reaches are densely forested with thickets of bamboo, giant heath and tussock grass. The eastern and western slopes in particular are covered with dense forest and tree ferns in places. The Kikuyu call these mountains Nyandarua (drying hide) and they were the home to Mau Mau guerrilla fighters during the struggle for Independence. Nowadays the mountains are home to bongo (elusive forest antelope), buffalo, elephant, giant forest hog, red duiker, and Syke's and colobus monkeys. The rare, handsome bongo is most likely to be spotted near The Ark, which is sited close to a swampy glade, waterhole and salt-lick, or up in the bamboo zone. Dawn and the following hour is the optimum time to see these elusive forest antelopes. At about 3500 m, where the landscape opens up, is the terrain of lion, leopard and serval cat, but these are rarely seen and most of the lion from the park have been removed to protect the bongo. Birdlife is prolific here; most obvious are the four species of sunbirds. Among the birds of prey are the crowned hawk eagles, mountain buzzard and the African goshawk. Wildlife is comparatively scarce, but the views in the park are spectacular. Particularly good walks include trekking up the three peaks, Satima, 3998 m, Kinangop, 3906 m, and Kipipiri, 3348 m. You can hire a guide if you wish, but, if walking, an armed guard is obligatory to protect you from the wildlife. Trout fishing is very popular, especially high up in the moors. A fishing license is required, obtainable from the park headquarters. The park is split into two sections, the beautiful high moorland and peaks with sub-alpine vegetation, and the lower Salient, which is dense rainforest and where much of the wildlife lives. The Aberdare Salient is closed to the public and the animals can only be viewed from Treetops or The Ark. Access to these lodges is prohibited to private vehicles; visitors are obliged to use the hotels' buses. There are a number of spectacular waterfalls in the park including the Chania Falls and the Karuru Falls, which have a total drop of 273 m in three steps. The more remote and inaccessible Gura Giant Falls, to the south, have a higher single drop of over 300 m. There are a few roads traversing the centre of the national park from Nyeri to Naivasha, giving access to most of the waterfalls. A major project in recent years has been the building of the rhino sanctuary, funded by the Kenya Wildlife Services, the Overseas Aid Agency and conservation organizations including Rhino Ark, Other wildlife also live within the fence including elephant and various members of the cat family. The electricity for the fence is generated locally using waterwheels to harness water from within the forest, a project that also provides power for local people living in the surrounding villages. The local villages support and raised money for this project, which also protects their livestock and crops from the animals. Various fund-raising activities in support of the project include the 'Rhino Charge' motor rally. The entire park is just perfect to explore on foot and attracts many adventurous hikers and trekkers each year.The less energetic have several other options including game drives and even excellent game viewing from the deck of one of the two forest lodges that have been strategically built around water holes and salt licks, to ensure an ever-present passing parade of wildlife. One of the most popular pursuits in the Aberdare NP is hiking through the Salient Forest, which is bisected by deep ravines and features some really spectacular waterfalls. This area has one of the densest concentrations of wildlife in Kenya ensuring an exciting and rewarding excursion. As you continue to climb through the forest you will reach a belt of bamboo woodland, which is the favourite haunt of the Bongo, a very rare type of forest antelope. Continuing your ascent you will soon reach the alpine moorland, which is criss-crossed by beautiful clear trout streams – the perfect place to stop for a picnic or to try your hand at some fly-fishing – fishing licenses are available at the Lodges or at the KWS for US$20-30. One of the best hiking routes takes you to Kimanthi Hideout, also known as the Queens Cave, where you can stop for a picnic lunch. Since you will be hiking inside a National Park that is home to potentially dangerous animals, you will need to be accompanied by an armed ranger. It will cost you US$40 to hire a KWS (Kenya Wildlife Services) ranger for a half-day hike, while a full day will cost US$70. The rangers are very knowledgeable about the park and will share a wealth of knowledge with you during the hike. If you want a unique opportunity to see large mammals like elephants, lions, hyenas and rhinos really close-up, then stay in one of the two forest lodges in the park, built right next to the waterholes and saltlicks. Queen Elizabeth II was staying in one of these lodges in 1952 when she was informed of her accession to the throne. There are also huts and camp sites, both self-catering and “special”. Outside the park, there is a country club and some comfortable lodges in Mweiga and Nyeri. You can enjoy all the splendour of the park without having to walk or hike, and many visitors prefer to enjoy all the scenery and wildlife from the comfort of their safari vehicle. The lodges offer full day game drives to the moorlands, and half-day game drives in the game-rich Salient Forest region. There is also a traditional Sundowner Game Drive on offer, which allows you to watch the dramatic African sunset from a scenic view point while enjoying a refreshing drink. If time permits you can also choose a game drive to the near-by Solio Ranch, to get up close and personal with some of their Rhino. Two of the most popular lodges in the Aberdare NP have been specially built to enable game viewing without even leaving your lodge! The large viewing decks overlook a flood-lit water hole and salt lick, which are frequented by many animals just about around the clock! You can even request a wake-up call should there be a really good sighting during the night! With over 250 recorded species of birds to look out for, bird watchers will have a busy time here. Spend a relaxing morning on the viewing deck with binoculars at hand, or get active and go on a bird-watching walk. Keen mountaineers can arrange to scale Lesatima or Kinangop, the two highest mountain peaks, on a guided expedition. We understand that the Perfect Visit to Aberdare National Park will mean different things to different people! Depending on your interests you may want to stay in this beautiful little corner of paradise for a couple of days, to go hiking, trekking or even climbing the peaks. Other visitors may just want a quick look! Aberdare National Park is very centrally situated, which makes it easy to include in your personalized Kenya safaris itinerary to Masai Mara or Lake Nakuru. The scenery in Aberdare National Park is very different from what visitors to some of Kenya’s other parks may be used to. For example, the Maasai Mara is famous for vast expanses of fairly flat open savannah, while Aberdare National Park is very mountainous and covered in dense forest. Some of the highlights of this park are: The scenery in Aberdare National Park is very different from what visitors to some of Kenya’s other parks may be used to. For example, the Maasai Mara is famous for vast expanses of fairly flat open savannah, while Aberdare National Park is very mountainous and covered in dense forest. Some of the highlights of this park are: Many visitors to Aberdare NP come here purely for the spectacular scenery. This is wild Africa as you imagine it existed centuries ago – a mystical and magical volcanic landscape featuring many tall cascading waterfalls, of which Chania, Karuru and Maragua are the most arresting. Karuru is especially dramatic, as it drops a total of 273mt in a series of 3 steps. Aberdare is home to all of the Big Five, although finding them in the dense vegetation of the forest is a little more challenging than the open savannahs of some of the other Big Five parks. These are some of the animals you can expect to see, (providing that you give yourself enough time to seek them out, Many territorial Elephants and Buffalo visit the permanent water holes and salt-licks adjacent to the two main lodges and can very easily be viewed from the deck, or the hides at both lodges. The Aberdare Treetops Lodge is quite unique! It first opened in 1932 and was literally built into the tops of the huge trees in the park, resembling a giant tree-house. The original modest two room tree house has grown into a 50 room lodge, still occupying the original site overlooking a water hole. It is built on stilts and has four observation decks and a rooftop viewing platform from where you can enjoy sweeping views over the park. There is also a ground level hide, reached via a tunnel, where you can get really up close to the animals visiting the water hole – a great place to get some amazing close-up photos. Aberdare NP is situated about 170 kms from Nairobi, and it takes about 3 to 3.5 hours to drive to the parks headquarters via Nyeri. If you are staying at one of the forest lodges you will be transported there by shuttle bus. It is possible to self-drive in the park, but you will need a 4X4. You can also choose to fly into one of the two airstrips at Mweiga and Nyeri and transfer by shuttle. Aberdare is generally viewed as a year-round destination, but since hiking and walking are far pleasanter during the dry months, we suggest you come between June and September or January and February.

Nyeri Town

Nyeri, town, south-central Kenya. Nyeri lies at an elevation of about 5,750 feet (1,750 metres) in the heart of the Kikuyu people’s homeland, and it was a hub of Mau Mau rebel activity in the 1950s. Nyeri is a pleasingly arranged town in the Aberdare foothills, with extensive green meadows and gardens. The foothills are covered by a dense eucalyptus forest and afford a magnificent view of Mount Kenya to the northeast. Much of the surrounding area is utilized for farming, and coffee and tea are important cash crops. The town’s major industries include production of leather goods, soap, wood and furniture, processed food, soft drinks, cord, rope, twine, clay and concrete products, agricultural implements, and fabrics. Nyeri serves as the gateway to Aberdare National Park. The town is linked by road and rail with Nanyuki, about 36 miles (58 km) to the northeast, and Nairobi, about 60 miles (96 km) to the southwest. There is an airfield nearby. The history of Nyeri Town goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. At the turn of the century, the area where the built-up area of Nyeri town stands, was in fact the large part of an uninhabited forested area; although there were agricultural holdings to the West (Tetu), to the Northwest (Kihuyo and Ihururu) and Gatitu to the South. The area towards Kiganjo (Northwards) was used for grazing by the Masai pastoralists. The Nyeri Town began from military activity. A trading caravan had been ambushed, as a result of which one military expedition was sent from Naivasha, through the Nyandarua Mountains, commanded by Colonel Meinertzhagen, and another by M/S Barlow, Hinde and Hested came up from Fort Hall (now Muranga). Meinerzhagen reached the base of Nyeri Hill on 4th December 1902 and found Hinde camped there. On 6 th December they moved to the present location of the district and provincial administration offices, where they built a fort. The location was considered better placed for defense and easy to obtain provisions. The fort was surrounded by a deep defensive ditch (“Mukaro” in Kikuyu) leading to the present name of the central area of Nyeri Town. The principal military function lasted up to 1905, but the interim, Asian traders had been attracted to set up business within the area of relative safety i.e. near the fort, and missionaries also moved in at the request of the military officials. On 15th May, 1911, Nyeri was gazetted as a Township, comprising an area of one mile (1.6km) radius from the flag post of what is now the District Commissioner’s office. The year after, the Town became the administrative capital of Nyeri District and also the Headquarters of the Kenya Province of the East Africa Protectorate. The “Kenya Province” constituted only a small part of what is today the Republic of Kenya. It was in 1913 that the old “Town” borders were established, remaining Nyeri Town’s borders for the next sixty years. In 1927, the railway reached Kiganjo, which had been chosen as the Nyeri railroad station, both due to its topographical advantages and its closer proximity to the settlers’ farmlands which had developed to the North, after the 1912 relocation of the original Masai inhabitants to areas around Narok. After boundary changes in the Kenya colony, Nyeri Town became the capital of the Kikuyu Province in 1924. Some more changes occurred, so that in 1933, Nyeri was the capital of the then Central province, which included Nanyuki, Meru to the North, Nairobi to the south, and the Machakos/Kitui areas to the east. This remained the case until the boundary revisions in 1961 to 1965, where Nyeri remained the administrative capital of much smaller central region and then central Province. For all its formative years, the District Commissioner administered Nyeri Town. In June 1954, the Nyeri urban District Council was created. It was a structure whose function was to assist the District Commissioner, and exercised its functions in Nyeri, Kiganjo and Mweiga. In 1963 however, the Urban Council assumed a representative nature with election of councilors. Nyeri Town fully became a Municipality in May 1971, when the first Mayor was elected. The elevation was accompanied by a ten-fold increase in the Town area, from the area defined by 1913 survey and distribution of plots. As seen from the above brief history, the “birth” of Nyeri was from a military function, but this was quickly replaced by an administrative role. Commercial development started with trading stores located in the shadow of the fort, but this was gradually transformed into the only center of commerce for northern farmlands (until Nanyuki took some of the business) as well as a market center for nearby small scale farming. Nyeri was elevated to Municipal Council in 1971 (vide Gazette Notice No. 61, 1971) covering an area of about Before this time, it used to exist as an Urban Council covering only, which included areas surrounding the town center (the present Central Business District (C.B.D) area). Today, Nyeri Municipality covers an area of 200 its bounders coincide with Nyeri Town constituency boundaries. Nyeri can be defined as an urban/rural town, as about 50 per cent of its present area, is rural in nature, with rich agricultural hinterland owned and managed by small scale farmers growing mainly tea and coffee as cash crops. There are vast coffee plantations less than a Kilometer from the Town center around Kingongo and Muringato. The colonial town of Nyeri, to the east of the range, was the centre of the Happy Valley settlers, a group of British aristocrats and adventurers who became infamous for their decadent lifestyles and exploits during the 1930’s and 40’s. The town still has the atmosphere of a sleepy English village, an impression bolstered by the cool air and morning mists. Just outside of town is the Outspan Hotel, a colonial landmark that has become a place of pilgrimage for the world’s scouts. A small cottage in the hotel grounds was the last home of Lord Baden Powell, founder of the scouting movement, and he is now buried outside Nyeri. His home now has a small museum dedicated to his life and memory. The Outspan is also the base for visitors to Treetops, the safari lodge which also played its own role in British history. Queen Elizabeth was staying here on the night of February 6th 1952 when her father King George IV died. As a result this forest lodge, surrounded by herds of elephant and buffalo, became the place where she officially marked her passage from Princess to Queen. Nyeri has a well-maintained tarmac road network within town which also connects to neighboring towns. It also has railway, Nyeri Airport, an airstrip at Mweiga and an airstrip at Nyaribo. Minibuses and saloon car taxis are the common mode of public transport within and out of Nyeri.

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