Take a trip down memory lane with a Nanyuki safari. It is bound to be an eye-opening experience as you witness the influence of the British on one of Kenya’s market towns.
Nanyuki is a resort town in Laikipia County situated at 0° 01′ north of the equator on the foot of Mount Kenya.
It snuggles up between the Great Rift Valley in the west and Mount Kenya to the east, which provides soul-stirring views of the country.
Founded by British settlers in 1907, Nanyuki plays host to the airbase of the Kenya Air Force and the British Army which conducts annual desert and jungle training on the mountain and in arid areas of Kenya’s northern frontier.
As you can imagine, all these soldiers make insecurity in Nanyuki nonexistent.
In the early days, settlers recognized Nanyuki’s immense potential, so they constructed a railway line linking it to Nairobi.
Consequently, Nanyuki has become one of Kenya’s cosmopolitan towns with the British, Indians and Kenyans from diverse tribes calling it home.
Nanyuki, the gateway to the Laikipia Plateau, is famous for its ranches, most of them owned by the descendants of British settlers, game parks, farms and wildlife conservancies.
Adrenaline junkies pitch tent in this market town before they summit Mt. Kenya through the Sirimon and Burguet routes.
Luxury Nanyuki safari goers will find a fitting abode at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club as well as the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy.
Things to do on a Nanyuki safari
- Explore the nightlife
- Shop at Nanyuki Mall
- Go on a helicopter safari
- Quad bike on the rugged plains of Nanyuki
- Watch traditional Maasai dances and ceremonies at Twala Cultural Manyatta
- Enjoy finger-licking fish at Trout Tree Restaurant
- Visit the Nanyuki Civil Airfield which once sheltered the No. 1340 Flight RAF during the Mau Mau revolt
- Take photographs at the equator
- Learn how to clean and spin wool at Nanyuki Spinners & Weavers
- Watch the Coriolis Force at work as draining water swirls in a circular motion
- Visit Mount Kenya National Park
- Watch black rhinos at Ol Pejeta Conservancy
- Visit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
- Tour the neighboring Samburu and Shaba National Reserves
- Explore the nightlife
- Treat yourself to some nyama choma at one of the numerous restaurants
Things to see at a Nanyuki safari
- Equator Marker
- Nanyuki River
- Liki River
- Views of Mount Kenya
- Views of the Great Rift Valley
- Ngare Ndare Forest
- Mau Mau Caves
- Mackinder’s Camp at Point Lenana
- Teleki Valley
- The endangered bongo
- Grevy zebra
- Reticulated giraffe
Places to stay in Nanyuki
- Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club
- Mount Kenya Paradise Hotel
- Sportsman’s Arms Hotel
- Lion’s Court Hotel
- Porini Rhino Camp
- Kicheche Laikipia Camp
- Hillpark OlPejeta House
- Equatorial Hotel
- Joskaki Hotel
- Borana Lodge
- Solio Lodge
- Sere Enkang House
- Batian Guest House
How to get to Nanyuki
- By air: A flight from Nairobi to Nanyuki takes 20 minutes and lands at Nanyuki airstrip which is 6.5km from the town. It is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day, with flights linking Nanyuki to Masai Mara, Lewa, Laikipia, Samburu, Meru, and Nairobi. You can then get a taxi from the airstrip to your lodge in Nanyuki town.
- By road: Nanyuki can be accessed via the well tarmacked A2 road which stretches from Nairobi to Isiolo. This ride takes 2 and half hours. Most tourists combine a Nanyuki safari with a Samburu tour, Masai Mara safari, or Lake Nakuru safari.
What to pack for a Nanyuki safari
- Scarf/ kikoy (to keep away windburn)
- Moisturizer and lip balm (for windburn)
- Wet wipes
- Binoculars (if you’re visiting a game park)
- Crossbody day bag
- Insect repellant
- Antihistamines (For insect bites or if you have dust allergies)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Warm clothing (evenings are cold)
Best time to plan a Nanyuki safari
Nanyuki is on the leeward side of Mt. Kenya so it is mainly dry and features semi-arid vegetation. Cold leeward winds blow at night from Mt. Kenya to the Aberdares so protect yourself from wind burn.
Like most destinations in Kenya, Nanyuki experiences two rainfall seasons; long rains fall from April to June and short rains from November to December.
January is the driest month and is best for game viewing and mountain climbing. Visiting Nanyuki during the long rains is not highly recommended – roads are muddy, Mt. Kenya slopes are slippery and wildlife tend to hide in the bushes.
If the gateway to Kenya’s Northern Frontier is on your wishlist, check out the Nanyuki safari packages available or call an agent to customize your trip.
|Languages spoken||Swahili, English|
|Currency used||Kenya Shilling (KSh)|