Nanyuki, located in the very heart of Kenya, may seem a cagey town at first, but you’ll be amply rewarded for persevering with this conservative and ultimately sensational town. I’ve always felt an intense desire to visit Nanyuki. It has for too long been one of those places I’ve passed through en route to other destinations, but never had a chance to explore.
Just like other holiday destinations that we’re used to, I was fascinated by the town’s culture and enduring popularity, in as much as I knew little about it. Which is why when I got an invite to an engagement party in Nanyuki, I took it as an opportunity for an adventure.
I got a pair of friends, packed the most basic travel necessities seemingly more fitting for a lad’s trip, and set off on the three-hour drive from Nairobi. Alternatively, a flight from the Wilson airport takes about 40 minutes. The town pulsates with a bounding energy that makes you feel like you’re on a non-stop adventure from the moment you get there.
The Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club is a 15 minute drive from Nanyuki town. I was awed by the grandeur of the place when I got to the hotel. Clusters of well arranged flowers bloomed all over on my way to the reception. I knew that this was the place that would blow my socks off.
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club is located on the slopes of the Mount Kenya National park. It’s not in the middle of the wilderness or as vast as the Masai Mara, but it boasts of a 1,216 acre animal orphanage started in 1964 by actor Bill Holden and TV Personality Don Hun and offers game drives. The décor is modern with a subtle African tinge to it. The execution of the ambience was, in a word, amazing!
We were taken for a short walk from the hotel where the unmistakable fragrance of fresh garden flowers wafted filling the air, as a cool breeze brushed against my skin. Apparently the equator crosses through the centre of the hotel.
We had to make the best use of every moment as we were only there for a day. We decided to start with the animal orphanage. It was initially set up to assist injured or animals that couldn’t survive in the wild. I even saw what seemed like a baby camel, but turned out to be a llama. Yes they have them! There are all types of wildlife including baby hippos and cheetahs that you can feed under supervision.
In the afternoon, we decided to have our à la carte’ lunch at the Zebur Lounge as we enjoyed a couple of drinks. They have a wide range of options from seafood to western cuisine and I decided to conquer my fear and try out some sea-food. I was told you could never go wrong with the oyster curry with fried rice and I, especially loved how they kept the authentic tastes in their dishes including the spices. I do love spicy food. I washed down the meal with a glass of wine.
Our last activity towards the evening was going for the game drive. When I say game drive, picture something significantly more modest than the typical game drive. After all, the conservancy is located on private land. Nonetheless you still get the authentic Safari experience and it was absolutely gorgeous.
I have been disappointed before on game drives, where you get to see nothing for hours. If you have a decent camera, you can capture wonderful photos of zebras, buffalos and elephants as you enjoy the the beautiful safari sunset above Mount Kenya.
The hotel offers luxurious accommodation at different rates. There is also a spa, an outdoor heated pool and a golf course. The Millennium maze is one of the scariest yet cool places and was my highlight of the trip. You can literally get completely lost in it. Considering I have a strong fear of confined spaces, this made me want to scream out for help. For a first timer, this place blew my mind away.