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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Splendor of the Central of Kenya

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Tafaria Castle - One of the hotels near Nyeri
Nyeri (officially known as Nyeri Municipality) is a town situated in the Central Highlands of Kenya, which was the administrative headquarters of the country's former Central Province following the dissolution of the former provinces by Kenya's new constitution in 26 August 2010, Nyeri is now the largest town in the newly created Nyeri County.
The town is situated about 150 km (a two-hour drive) north of Kenya's capital Nairobi, in the country's densely populated and fertile Central Highlands, lying between the eastern base of the Aberdare (Nyandarua) Range, which forms part of the eastern end of the Great Rift Valley, and the western slopes of Mount Kenya
The most imposing landmark around Nyeri is Mount Kenya, and starting from about twenty kilometers out
of town is the Mount Kenya National Park. Mount Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano lying strategically straddling the Equator. The mountain has two main peaks – Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m). It is the highest mountain in the country and the second, after Kilimanjaro, in Africa. It has two main snow covered peaks, Batian and Nelion.

Nyeri County is mostly known for its two main cash crops, i.e. Coffee and Tea but apart from these, it’s also known for dairy industry and tourism as part of its economic activities. For a long time, coffee and tea boosted the local economy. Generally, the county is well covered with vegetation. Land ownership is largely smallholder and the drier part of it covered with ranches and large scale irrigations.

Lord Baden Powell’s Grave
If you thought that was all about Nyeri you are yet to be amazed by the numerous Tourist attractions which include the Lord Baden Powell’s Grave , He was a writer, founder of the Scout Movement, Chief Scout and Lieutenant- General in the British army. He is buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery and his grave is one of the Kenya’s National Monuments .His gravestone bears a circle with a dot in the center "ʘ" which is the trail sign for "going home", or "I have gone home". When his wife Olava died, her ashes were sent to Kenya and interred beside her husband.

Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park with an area of 767 Km2  covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges of Central Kenya.  The topography is quite diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes. Animals easily observed in the park include; the Black Rhino, leopard, baboon, black and white Columbus monkey and Sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of lions, the golden cat and the bongo- an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland antelopes and spotted and melanistic serve cats can be found higher up in the aberdare there is this spec tacular fall the Karuru falls

Visitors can also indulge in picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sperry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
Other activities include;
•    Game viewing
•    Camping
•    Trekking
•    Bird watching
•    Photography
•    Horse riding   

Where did Kenya Safari come from? Mt. Keny?
 Mt Kenya the jewel in the crown of the central Kenya circuit with gleaming snow-white peaks, it is the only massif to straddle the Equator, which runs 17 Kms from the highest peak.  The mountain has a broad cone-shape of 5199 meters. Mt Kenya has three main peaks namely Nelion, Batian and Lenana.There are other four secondary peaks. The three main peaks are encircled by glistering necklaces of glaciers. Batian the highest peak rises to an imposing height of 17, 058 ft above sea level. The equator cuts across the mountain on the northern slopes at 11,500 feet and 17km from the highest peak.
 It is characterized  by two rainy seasons i.e. March-June and October-November.

Nyeri hosts world-class hotels like The Treetops, The Ark, Outspan, Aberdare Country, Mt Kenya Safari Club and Naromoru River Lodge. Mt Kenya Lodge, Mt Kenya Leisure Lodge, Green Hills Hotel, Tafaria Castle and Naromoru River Lodge are among other notable holiday destinations.

Zaina Forest
A non observant visitor may let pass the richness of the Gakanga Valley in Zaina.  Nyeri district. This is only discovered after one takes the initiative to trek down the steep slope which would qualify to be one of the best natural gyms for those struggling with excess weight. The slope stands at over 60% and by mere climbing up and down the hill, one is sure of losing at least a kilo for every two trips they make on the trail.
After climbing down for about 200 meters’, one is met with a stunning sight of a water fall which appears from the bushes. This is clearly a tourist attraction. The valleys themselves are exquisite scenery. At the floor of the valley one is met with some clean water springs whose water is as sweet as honey having been filtered by the dense vegetation upstream. A few meters’ away one comes across the Zaina River whose water though not very clean, it would pass for mineral water for urban centre inhabitants. This marks the end of the easier part of the trail.
 The steep ascent starts and the only interesting thing with it is only by looking back to where you came from across the ridge. The beauty of the valley is astounding. Another few meters get you to the Chania River whose beauty is bewildering. This is breath-taking scenery which reminds you of how flawlessly nature can arrange and design things. The banks of Chania River give a natural set up of a picnic site or if possible camping site.

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