Things to do in Nanyuki
Updated: Mar 27
Nanyuki is approximately 180km from Nairobi.
You can get there by flight or road and either private or public transport.
A flight to Nanyuki is about 1 hour and the most common airline that flies there is AirKenya with flights leaving everyday between 8:30am-9:15am. With a private car, it would take you about 2 hours 30 minutes to get to Nanyuki and with public transport maybe the same or 3 hours.
Nanyuki is generally a cold town. It shines most of the day except at 2:00pm and 6:00pm when it rains. The nights are chilly.
Located in Nanyuki town, Cedar Mall is where it's at. It's not fancy or anything but it has all, if not most essentials. They have a well stocked Chandarana should you need to shop. Other stores there are Healthy U, a bookshop, Goodlife Pharmacy, a liquor store and Bata. The restaurant there is Mister Wok and fast food joint, KFC. Should you want to do something fun in the mall, a casino and club - Mohegan, are available.
Of all the places I visited in Nanyuki, this was by far the prettiest. From the decor to the serenity to their art pieces... it was beautiful.
I was here twice. Once for sun-downers (even though it was raining) and for breakfast.
Ben the bartender at Jacks Bar makes the best cocktails. Having worked in various hotels in Mombasa, he had quite the expertise. Cocktails go for about Ksh500-1000. The bitings we had to go with our drinks were full of flavor and had we not eaten prior to going there, we'd have had full on meals.
The breakfast, oh my. To be very very honest, those were the best scrambled eggs I've ever had. No bias. They serve breakfast from 7:00am-11:00am. Their breakfast menu is mainly comprised of eggs and select accompaniments. I had the full breakfast worth Ksh 1200 and it included; fruit, muesli, juice, eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, toast and either tea or coffee. Definitely worth it !
On both occasions, their service was surprisingly fast considering the place was fully booked.
Accommodation here goes for Ksh8000 for a single room and Ksh13000 for a double room between Sunday and Thursday. However, for Friday and Saturday, it's Ksh11000 for a single room and Ksh17600 for a double room. The cost caters for bed & breakfast. Bookings can me made via their website or Booking.com.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
I'm a sucker for game drives so this was definitely my best part about Nanyuki. The entrance fee for East African citizens is Ksh1100 for adults, Ksh550 for children and Ksh400 for a car with less than 6 seats. The rest of the entrance fees can be found here.
There is the option of driving in the park with a tour guide but a map of the park is given for easy navigation.
On sight are the big five; elephants, rhinos, lions, cheetahs and buffaloes. We were lucky enough to see most of them, minus the cats. There are plenty of gazelles, antelopes and the other one that looks like them but I can't remember the name; zebras, baboons, giraffes, waterbucks, warthogs, etc.
Within the Conservancy, there is Baraka, a male black rhino who lost his eyesight in a dominance fight with other rhinos. Because of his blindness, Baraka is kept in his own enclosed area in the park with ample space for him to roam but also where visitors can feed and pet him.
Aside from that, black rhinos being the most endangered animals in the area, are kept in wired enclosures so as to keep them safe.
Did you know we had a Rhino Cemetery in Kenya? Yes, within the Conservancy is a rhino cemetery where all rhinos found lifeless are laid to rest. Among them is Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino. Ol Pejeta is also home to the last two female northern white rhinos in the world.
There is also a Chimpanzee Sanctuary within the conservancy. I always had this craze about chimpanzees because I thought they were fascinating in some way and when I learnt that they are endangered because people keep them as pets and later slaughter + eat when they grow up as they can no longer be tamed, it broke my heart. Why? What is wrong with us? There's an option to adopt a chimp or multiple chimps with the price ranging from Ksh1000-25000.
You can find some photos from Ol Pejeta here.
Fancy dining with a view of planes? Then you have to pass by Barney's.
Located within the Nanyuki Airstrip, it is an outdoorsy restaurant.
They open everyday from 7:30am -6:00pm but close the kitchen at 5:00pm.
The service is pretty decent and they have great food !
I've never been to a cemetery all my life but I always thought that war cemeteries were aesthetically pleasing (yeah, I talk about aesthetics too much. I know). From how they are well taken care of, to the creamy/white headstones, the lush gardens... oh wow. I actually didn't know there was one in Nanyuki but when I saw the sign board, I knew I had to go see it. It definitely fit my imagination having never been to the one in Nairobi.
The soldiers laid to rest there were in war between 1939-1945. There is no entrance fee and on sight, is the caretaker who tells you all there is to know from how they keep it neat to the memorials had there and everything in between. He's worked there for 16 years !
I don't want to seem creepy or anything but is weird that I felt oddly at peace here. Like I could spend a day there reading a book, listening to podcasts, writing... Idk. Weird? OK.
Are you looking for thin crust oven pizza? Painted Dog is the place. After having their pizza, I wished there was one of these in Nairobi.
It's a rustic restaurant and bar that mostly plays country music, with most of their furniture wooden minus the outdoor area which has both metallic seats and tables. They had just one/two waitresses so their service wasn't anything to write home about. The food didn't take an annoying amount of time but I think that's because we opted to have starters first. Had we not, it would be a whole other story.
Something else, their cocktails are ridiculously cheap ! Ksh400-600 and they're actually good.