Nyeri is located in Central Kenya which is in the highlands. It is thus generally cool all year round which provides good weather for farming of both livestock and crops. Coffee and tea are a common cash crop in the area even in small farms. The grade from this area is regarded highly as generally, the quality and grade of tea and coffee from Kenya is world renown. It is also home to the second highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kenya as well as the Aberdares National Park. It is dominated by the Agikuyu tribe who are famous for their love of farming and business expertise. Below are some activities I would highly recommend to make you “cool” in Nyeri.
The tea farms normally look like lush green grass from a distance and it is only when one gets close, that you see the tea leaves. The work of picking tea is done by both men and women and is truly a very taxing job. When picking tea, the three top most leaves are what are picked i.e. two leaves and a bud. It is a sight to behold watching people picking tea as they are so meticulous as they do it. The tea farms are also fun to take time and take photo shoots with friends.
From my grandparents home, one can see the snow capped Mount Kenya from a distance especially on days with clear skies. It is enticing especially during sunrise as the snow seems to glimmer. This planted a seed in me at an early age to want to hike the mountain and come face to face with snow, something that we only saw on Tv. Years later, I had the privilege of successfully hiking Mt.Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa up to Lenana peak which stands at 4895m. The hike is one that was filled with adventure and you can read all about it here: http://wangechigitahi.co.ke/conquering-mt-kenya/
3) Eat the delicacies :
The staple food of this area is “Githeri” which is basically maize and beans cooked together and you can add anything else to it. This meal is loved by all and sundry in the region and thus highly unlikely not to find the two crops also growing in their farms.
The place has great scenery filled with lots of green in the farms and landscape, to the mountains, hills, valleys, numerous rivers and waterfalls.
5: Baden Powel Scouts Information Center-Nyeri
Lord Baden Powell, a British, is the founding father of the Scout movement. Upon visiting Kenya, he opted to make it his home saying, ”Nearer to Nyeri, nearer to bliss”. He even asked for his remains to be buried in Kenya, an undertaking his family followed. The area thus has an area dedicated to the Scout Movement and it is found in Nyeri Town. To this day, Scouts from across the globe visit this area to commemorate him as well as the Scout movement.
6) Visit the farms
Farming in all forms from growing crops to keeping livestock is the main activity carried out in this area. Most farmers are engaged in farming mainly for subsistence use with only the surplus being sold in the markets. The farmers with larger tracts of land are involved in growing the cash crops, tea and/or coffee as well as selling milk as a business. Visiting the farms will enable you to understand their lifestyle as well as learn a lesson or two on farming. Take time to learn how to farm, everything from animal husbandry to tilling the land.
Nyeri has accommodation to suit all pockets, thus feel free to sample what is on offer. It is famous for having even hosted royalty like Queen Elizabeth at Tree Top hotel where she entered as a princess and left as a queen upon the demise of her father.
It is located 150km from Nairobi and would take about three hours by private means and or about four hours by public means. The public mini vans are picked at Tea room in down town Nairobi.
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