There are many top places to visit in Nanyuki.
But first … some history!
This town dates as far back as 1907, established by settlers, whose descendants by the way, still run some of the most expansive ranches in this country.
It is a rich town, in Laikipia County! I mean, when you have a top shilling to spend away from the prying eyes of Kanairo (Nairobi), Nanyuki is the place to be.
This small town, known by its nickname – Mwisho wa Reli – Swahili for end of the rail line, is unofficially the millionaire’s playground of Kenya’s rich.
Located about 147KM from the Nairobi CBD, it is easy to get there. The drive to Nanyuki is quite scenic, passing through lush green farms in the Central Region of Kenya.
Besides, there is a working airstrip, so you can charter a small plane and cut your travel time a great deal.
A railway line snakes from Nairobi Railway Station to Nanyuki, where it ends. Don’t trust it! It is on and off most of the time, and slow.
Although Nanyuki is a small town in the larger so-called Mt. Kenya area, it is a hub for the best safari activities in Kenya.
Here, you are going to see the top places to visit in Nanyuki and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.
Top Places to visit in Nanyuki
From Nanyuki, you can launch expeditions to Isiolo, Marsabit, Mandela, Moyale and other awesome places in North Eastern Kenya. But first, start with the places in, or surrounding Nanyuki:
1. Ol Pejeta Conservancy
It is located on the equator west of Nanyuki. Ol Pejeta was established in 1988 as a cattle farm. Today, it has the largest rhino population in Kenya. It is also home to the last two remaining northern white rhinos in the world.
Ol Pejeta is one of the most organized safari parks in Africa and a family-friendly safari destination too.
There are different kinds of animals that are common in Ol Pejeta too like elephant, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, white rhinos, and black rhinos. Animals like Hippos and wildebeest are seen there occasionally.
There are also unique activities that you can only experience at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Take part in lion tracking, Junior Ranger Programme and running with the Rangers.
The best time to visit Ol Pejeta is June through September. During the high seasons like June to October and December to March, some lodges get busy.
2. Mount Kenya
Do you love hiking? Mount Kenya is going to give you the ultimate challenge in Nanyuki.
It is located in the former Eastern and Central provinces of Kenya. This is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa.
It takes 4 to 5 days to climb the mountain although snow and ice levels on the mountain have been accelerating in recent years. This makes climbing difficult and risky.
You require a guide with experience for you to climb the mountain to the highest peak (Point Lenana – rarely climbed) or Nelion and Batian Peaks.
Mount Kenya is also a forest reserve for elephant, tree hyrax, rhino, buffalo, leopard, and others.
The best time to visit is the sunniest month like December through March. Visit Mount Kenya and enjoy activities like hiking through Chogoria Route, Naro Moru Route, Timau Route or any of the others.
3. Ngare Ndare Forest
It is located beyond Nanyuki, past Timau. Ngare Ndare Forest is one of the most thrilling attractions around Mount Kenya. The entry fee to the forest is KSH1000 for the Citizens and KSH4000 for the foreigners.
It is home to several wild animals like elephants, black rhino, buffalo, bushbuck, and a rich variety of birds. This forest is famous for its beautiful waterfalls.
It is the best place to enjoy activities like the Canopy Walk, Bird watching, zip lining, game drives and do not forget to swim in the clear waters of their small pool.
4. Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy
It’s located on a private ranch in south Laikipia, approximately 50 Km northeast of Nanyuki. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy is the only place that hosts a grizzly bear in Kenya and reportedly, in Africa.
You will also find large herds of elephants, antelope giraffes, zebra, leopard, and cheetah.
Different types of bird species are found in that place. They include the cockatoo parrot, which welcomes visitors with its colorful crest.
How can you not miss to see the big, trained elephant that plays his drum under careful instructions from his instructor! Also, you will have the opportunity to see the white scientific lab rats!
It is recommendable to make your booking before visiting to secure your spot. Unique experiences like bush walks and game drives make it more enjoyable.
5. An excursion with Odyssey Safaris
This company is located in Nanyuki town. They will arrange incredible safaris into the African Savannah for you. An odyssey into the African wilderness is the most unforgettable experience ever.
If you would love to see cape buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and many different species of birds, this company knows where to find them in Kenya.
They will give you a good bang for the buck, good family packages that will leave lasting memories.
6. Equator Marker
Nothing too interesting here, but just knowing that you are standing on the equator is monumental.
To feel one with Mother Nature, stop here and take a picture. People ask: does the equator pass through Nanyuki?
It does. In fact, Nanyuki is one of the three places in Kenya where the Equator passes. The other two are Timboroa and Maseno.
If you have the time, you can also let the guys hanging around trick you with the Coriolis Effect, using water. It’s nothing really, but if it makes them and you happy … go for it.
7. Mount Kenya Climbing Gym
Right at the base of Mount Kenya, about 4 KM to the east of the town of Nanyuki, there is the Mt Kenya Climbing Gym.
It is aptly named because it is going to teach you some climbing skills to help you get to one peak or another on Mount Kenya.
Because of the change in climate, this Gym is a good place to acclimatize your body with the climate of the mountain.
The fee is affordable too, it should not dent your wallet.
8. Mau Mau Caves
If these caves would speak, they would have a lot to say about the Mau Mau Uprising against the white colonial masters staged between 1952 and 1960.
They cannot speak, but the sense of nostalgia is quite overwhelming. You can feel it! Something great happened here.
The Mau Mau Caves entrance fee is KSH600. Is it worth it? Many people love the excursion into the caves. I guess it makes them feel more aware of the fight-for-freedom movement that swept through central Kenya preempting independence from colonialists.
9. Sample the Nanyuki nightlife
You did not drive all the distance from Nairobi just to see the wilderness. If you are a nocturnal creature (who isn’t in Kenya?), you will love this vibrant little town.
Try Nyama Choma Village, Painted Dog (fancy name, huh?), Pyramid, the Sportsman’s Arms Restaurant and The Mohegan Lounge. These are just a few places to catch a drink. This one-street town packs many more joints, some frequented by expats and some for everyone.
There are many places in Nanyuki where you can visit with your family, friends or even your workmates. These are just a few of the top places you can visit in Nanyuki. There are many more. You just have to choose the right place to enjoy you tour.