Bit The Other Path These Holidays, Go Wild.
By Ndugu Abisai
You have loved the beach for the holidays. How about you go against tradition this festive season? Travel up north, or down south or cruise to the west of the country. East is not the only option when it comes to end year holidays. This year, you could experience the wilderness, a desert, or a different kind of a beach. A lake beach. What this promises, is a quiet, less crowded holiday for you and your loved ones. Here are some of our top five alternative picks for this season.
Elewana Elsa’s Kopje -Meru
At the heart of the Mount Kenya East forest in the Meru National Park sits the Elewana Collection. Set upon a plateau overlooking the vastness of the Meru plains and the glorious Mt. Kenya. This is a boutique lodge consisting of cottages, a private house and honeymoon suites. The honeymoon suites come with an outside bath for a complete romantic feel. You could do a game drive as you stay here along the elephant corridors and if you are lucky you could chance upon a heard. The mornings and late evenings are great times to view the Batian peak of Mt. Kenya. The lodge has a well-stocked bar a continental style restaurant and dedicated tour guide at your services. If you are into water sports, you can go fishing at the source of the Tana River or swim at their heated pools. You can access Elewana via Wilson Airport, there is a once daily scheduled Air Kenya flight departing from Nairobi Wilson to Kinna airstrip that is a minute away from the lodge. This is a place you want to sample. Accommodation here goes from Ksh. 47,600-112,600 per night on a per person sharing basis.
Eco-farmhouse -Makuyu, Murang’a.
A holiday in Murang’a? What about the weather? You don’t have to worry about bad weather as the December 30 day forecast is working to favor you if you holiday here. It is in Makuyu, Muranga about 80 KM from Nairobi along the Thika-Nyeri highway. The Eco-farm consists of two properties, one is a three-bedroom restored 1960 farmhouse while the other one is an exclusive tree house nested on a mango tree with breathtaking views of the Aberdare ranges and the Mt. Kenya Forest. The treehouse goes for Ksh.30,000 a night and can accommodate six adults while the farmhouse can accommodate six adults and two children.
Maili Saba Camp Nakuru
This is a thatched camp situated off Nakuru-Nyahururu highway at one end of the Menengai Crater. It is a sanctuary of peace and tranquility that erases the rigid nature of modern life even for just a short time while enjoying the luxury of fresh air and beautiful scenes. If mountain climbing is something that floats your boat, then your stay here will be experiential asa you can scale down the crater and back up with the help of an onsite guide. Of interest for science heads is the geothermal power plant that is planted at the cradle of the crater. The Lake Nakuru National Park is about 45 minutes away while the Lake Banringo and Bogoria are easily accessible for day excursions. It is a great destination for a family gate-away as it is highly unexploited. Season’s prices start from 18,053 for citizens per person sharing on a full board basis.
Palm Shade Camp Loyangalani-Marsabit
Or travel up North and experience the sun and sand of the world’s largest permanent desert lake. Lake Turkana on the eastern side that is Marsabit. This resort is set on the shores of the lake and depicts a traditional Samburu homestead. Would you fancy a boat ride to the central island? A forty minute to 1 hour ride across the lake that leads you to a virgin island in the middle of the lake.
If you are travelling by road from, say, Nairobi, you may as well say you have been to half the country. The Isiolo-Marsabit- Moyale Highway(A2) is one of the best in the country right now and provides for good terrain for road trips whether you are traveling on a two- or four-wheel drive vehicle. While here, you can visit the Chalbi desert and scale the sand dunes atop a Carmel hump that is commonplace for tourist in the region. Or you could visit the Marsabit National Park that is home to all the big five. For a long day trip cross over to the western side and visit archeological sites that have artifacts dating from as far back as 1.5 million years.
Mfangano Island Resort
The gentle breeze from the lake, the amazing sunset views and the quietude of a lifetime are all promises the lake holds from you. Mfangano is one of the many islands on the Kenya side of Lake Victoria. How else would you want to crown your year? It is a picturesque luxury six double-bedded resort among old fig trees. What’s good is that you can catch your fish and eat it. Okay, maybe that is not exactly the saying goes but you get it. Right? Accommodation at the resort start from Ksh20,000/- Per person sharing. To access Mfangano, you could use the airport in the city and transfer via taxi to the Island that is in the neighboring Homabay County.
There you have it. We are sampling increasing your choice bases if you want to do an alternative holiday destination. Enjoy your stay in these amazing places. Happy Holidays.