List Of Best Places To Visit In Nyandarua County

Here is a list of the best places to visit in Nyandarua County. Nyandarua County takes pride in being the best investment hub during the second devolution period, with policies in place to inform the county’s welcoming attitude towards entrepreneurs who express an interest in investing in the county.

Since devolution, Nyandarua has been working to establish some tourist attractions that will help put the county on the map alongside the other counties. Such attraction sites would help to increase revenue collection while also providing job opportunities for tourism stakeholders. Below is a list of the top things to do and see in Nyandarua County.

Best Places To Visit In Nyandarua County

1. Karuru Falls

It is the tallest waterfall in Kenya, plunging 273 metres below. It is divided into three tiers: the first tier (117 metres), the second tier (26 metres), and the third tier (130 metres). The waterfall is located deep within the Aberdare National Park. At an elevation of 2,971 metres, the falls are surrounded by tall green indigenous trees, making it one of the most unique in the country for providing an incredible safari. The first tier is visible from the top, while the rest can be seen from above or across a wide valley.

2. Thomson’s Falls

Thomson’s Falls, also referred to as Thomson Falls or Nyahururu Falls, is a 74-metre waterfall on the Ewaso Ngiro River i, a few kilometres from Lake Ol Bolossat, which drains from the Aberdare Ranges. It is situated 3 kilometres from Nyahururu town and is 4 hour’s drive from Nairobi.

Enclosed in riparian vegetation on the slopes of the ranges, the breathtaking falls and the vapour created are a wonder. Tourists can view the falls from above, and there is a trail down the bottom of the ravine. Hiking down to the river provides the best views of the waterfall. As you hike down, be cautious of the walkway because it is quite steep. Always bring comfortable hiking shoes and a warm sweater with you because it gets cold as you hike down. Upstream from the falls is one of the highest hippo pools in Kenya. The falls appeared in the TV movie, The Man in The Brown Suit, the movie was in theatres around 1988.

The falls draw visitors from all over the world. Among the activities available here are the colourful birds, the nature trail to the base of the falls, and the traditional dancers by the falls. The traditional dancers at the entrance will happily pose for photographs with visitors for a fee. They also provide information and keep visitors entertained. Visitors include school children, environmental and history enthusiasts, and artists who come to film videos of the scenic view.

3. Gura Falls

Gura Falls is also part of the Aberdare National Park. The waterfall is hidden deep in the forest, but it can be seen from the Karuru Falls observation point. Gura Falls are 2,707 metres above sea level. The falls have a drop of 302 metres and are located 1.12 kilometres from Karuru Falls. The falls are surrounded by the lush Aberdare forest. Gura, like Karuru Falls, has three vertical leaps before the water reaches the pool below. Gura Falls is located near Gatheru and Kiambogo-ini hills and is formed by the Tana River, Kenya’s longest river. Hikers can extend their adventure by trekking along the Gura River to the waterfall’s base and experiencing the breathtaking natural attraction.

4. Lake Ol Bolossat

It is the only natural lake in the central region of Kenya. It is a small freshwater lake that is approximately 43.3 square kilometres. The lake is situated in the valley between the northwestern slopes of the Aberdares Mountains and Dundori Ridge, which are the main catchments. The water from the Lake drains into the Ewaso Narok tributary, down the famous Thomson Falls, and then connects to the legendary Ewaso Ng’iro.

The Lake Ol Bolossat basin is home to lots of wild animals, like hippopotamus and spotted hyenas. In addition, 185 species of birds have been recorded; thousands of Palearctic and African waders and waterfowl inhabit the lake. Catfish is the most common fish species in the lake.

5. Mount Kipipiri

It is an isolated volcano located on the northwestern side of the Aberdares. It stands at an elevation of 3,349m. It is one of the best hiking and camping destinations in Nyandarua County. The hike to the summit and back takes about 8 hours and will take you through a scenic walk across the Wanjohi Valley. The mountain is home to sykes and colobus monkeys, buffalos, and elephants, making it necessary to have a tour guide while hiking.

6. Kinangop Plateau

It lies between the Great Rift Valley to the west and the Aberdare Range to the east. The Kinangop Plateau is a peneplain (low-relief plain formed by protracted erosion) plateau that lies between the Great Rift Valley and the Aberdare Ranges. The plateau is seen as a gradual upward slope towards the foothills of the Aberdares. The edges of the plateau rise to approximately 2,400 metres above sea level. The view from these points is nothing short of majestic.

7. Ndaragwa Waterfall

It is located in Ndaragwa Forest Station which is situated at the northern end of the expansive Aberdare Forest, approximately 26km from Nyahururu and 77km from Nyeri. Hidden in plain sight, this hiking spot offers a lot more than the conventional bush trail. An unspoiled hiking path surrounded by lush green vegetation leads you to the hidden treasure below: a sightly waterfall, a view bridge, and incredible natural scenery. Surrounding the Nature Trail are restaurants and curio shops where one can refresh themselves and soak in the wonder of Ndaragwa’s landscape.

8. Ndaragwa Nature Trail

It is located along the Nyeri-Nyahururu Highway, about 230 kilometres from Nairobi. It is situated in Ndaragwa Forest Station and is managed by the Kenya Forest Service. The trail offers a tranquil nature walk with viewpoints of the lush Ndaragwa Forest and Ndaragwa town. The trail also leads to the scenic Ndaragwa waterfall, which can be seen from the footbridge at the bottom of the nature trail.

9. Mau Mau Caves

You can also explore the numerous mau-mau caves located in the Aberdares forest. The caves were used as hideouts by freedom fighters during the Mau-Mau uprising. The hike to the caves will take you through scenic views of rivers, waterfalls, and dense forests.

10. Elephant Hill

It is located on the southern end of the Aberdare Range. It’s part of Aberdare Simbara, which is a series of hills that form the mountainous part of the Aberdares. When compared to Ol Donyo Satima, Elephant Hill presents a more challenging hiking trail. This makes it a favourite for those looking for a more challenging experience.

11. Rurimueria Hill

The hill can be accessed through the Ndunyu Njeru gate in Kinangop. It is part of the Aberdares National Park. It’s a hill with a rich history, and it was often mentioned in Dedan Kimathi’s (Mau Mau Hero) stories. The hill’s forests, bamboo thickets, and birdlife make it a great destination for hiking and bird watching.

12. Aberdare Range

It is a 160-kilometre-long mountain range with an average elevation of 3,500 metres. The Aberdare mountain range is home to 52 of Kenya’s 67 highland species of birds. Some of these birds can be found at Karuru Falls. They include threatened species such as Sharpe’s Long Claw, Aberdare Cisticola, Abbott’s Starling, Jackson’s Widowbird, the African Green Ibis, and Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, among others.

For mountain climbers, the falls is surrounded by several peaks, among the most popular being Ol Donyo Lesatima (4,001m), Kinangop (3,906m), Elephant Hill (3,906m), Chebuswa Hill (3,364m), and Twin Hills (3,300m). The hills and peaks are popular with mountain climbers and provide a wonderful opportunity for those who crave some solitude.

To get there, visitors can either use the road or the air. Those driving from Nairobi will take about three hours to cover the 172-km stretch, passing through Sasumua Dam and Ndunyu Njeru. Air travellers can land inside the Aberdares National Park, which has an airstrip near the Queen’s Cave picnic site. In addition to the magnificent waterfall, visitors to Nyandarua County can also watch wildlife like elephants, antelopes, waterbucks, monkeys, and numerous other species.

13. Olkalou Arboretum

Kenya’s second and largest arboretum is a unique green space preserved and maintained as an urban forest that sits on 79 acres of land. It provides an ideal space for events of up to 1,000 people, such as picnics, jogging, walking, or unwinding. It is under continuous construction, aiming to offer solar-heated swimming pool services. The county government uses the vast land to hold athletics and other social events.

14. Happy Valley Homes

Happy Valley Homes are mansions where British aristocrats lived a glamorous yet scandalous lifestyle between the 1920s and 1930s. Their architectural designs, the stories of their occupants, and the colonial legacy make for unforgettable experiences for enthusiasts of history and lovers of nature.

They are ideal investments for homestays, museums, and unique hotels. One of the homes in the area is Kipipiri House on the Kipipiri Golf Course. This 18-hole golf course comprises a floriculture farm offering diverse experiences to travellers and tourists.

15. Sasumua Dam

Sasumua Dam is found on the Sasumua stream (a tributary of the Chania River), near Njabini Township, south of the Aberdare Ranges. It’s one of the most scenic locations in Nyandarua, with the backdrop of the Aberdares. It’s the perfect destination for picnics and nature walks. The dam is surrounded by Sasumua Forest and the trails through the forest are an additional adventure you can indulge in while there.

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