The Best Weekend Getaway Destinations in Kenya
With international travel currently limited, this is the best time to explore your country or city. Local travel is also a lot cheaper and more convenient. With that being said, below are the best weekend getaway destinations in Kenya. The holiday season is drawing nearer and you should take advantage of the weekends and holidays to travel. Grab your squad, go on a road trip, and make unforgettable memories.
Weekend getaway ideas:
Less than two hours away from Nairobi, Naivasha is most often the first choice for a weekend getaway. With a variety of activities available, it caters to every type of traveller be it solo, luxury, budget, family, adventure, outdoor, vacation, or a group of friends looking to party.
On the road:
- Stop by the viewpoint and enjoy some mahindi choma (roasted maize) as you marvel at the wonder that is the Great Rift Valley. Did you even go on a road trip if you don’t stop at the viewpoint and take pics? The view NEVER gets old.
- If you are using the Mai Mahiu route, visit the Mai Mahiu Catholic Church (the smallest church in the country) and for the petrol heads, make your way to TGRV Circuit for go-karting.
- Camp on the shores of Lake Elementaita
- Pass by Kikopey for some delicious nyama choma.
Shopping: Buffalo Mall Naivasha
Where to stay in Naivasha:
Naivasha has a variety of accommodation options depending on one’s budget, styles, and preferences.
- Camping Picks- Camp Carnellys, Crayfish Camp, Oloiden Camp Site
- Budget Picks- The Symphony Hotel, Rocky Eco Lodge
- Hotels- Enashipai Resort and Spa, The Great Rift Valley Lodge, Kiboko Luxury Camp, Chui Lodge, Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort, Naivasha Kongoni Lodge,
- If you are looking for more intimate stays for groups, check out these enchanting properties.
Things to do in Naivasha:
- Visit a flower farm- Naivasha is the home of flower growing and you can book a tour around a greenhouse to see learn more about the process. Buy a bouquet or two of your favourite flowers.
- Go on a boat ride on Lake Naivasha or Lake Oloiden.
- Visit Crescent Island Game Sanctuary and walk amongst the wildlife.
- Visit Crater Lake Game Sanctuary and see the beautiful crater lake.
- Hike up Mt. Longonot and if you are adventurous, go round the crater
- Visit Hell’s Gate, walk in the gorges, cycle, or try your hand at rock climbing.
- Swim at the naturally heated pool at Ol Karia Geothermal Spa.
- Go on a wine tour at Leleshwa, Kenya’s first winery (note that tours are seasonal).
Nanyuki is another fan favourite, with good reason. The town is conveniently located on the Central and Northern Kenya tourist circuits. It can be accessed from Nyeri, the rift valley via Nyahururu, Meru, Isiolo and Nairobi. Nanyuki is the gateway to Laikipia and the greater Northern frontier.
On the road:
- Pass by Trout Tree Restaurant for a quick lunch of fresh trout from the farm.
- Obligatory stop at the Equator stop for a picture or two.
Shopping: Cedar Mall or Nanyuki Mall
Where to Stay in Nanyuki:
- Budget Picks: Loldaiga Edge Lodge, Peaks Hotel, Anka Resort, Falcon Heights hotel.
- Hotels: Soames, Maiyan Resort, Fairmont Mt.Kenya Safari Club, Serena Sweetwaters Camp, Le Rustique, Sportman’s Arms, Mutara Camp
- If you are looking for more intimate stays and budget-friendly options for groups, check out Olepangi Farm, Laikipia Place and these properties.
Things to do in Nanyuki:
- Visit the Mau Mau caves and Burguret Falls- via Bantu Lodge which is 15 kilometres before reaching Nanyuki town
- Go on a game drive at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, meet the rehabilitated chimpanzees at the Chimpanzee sanctuary and see Baraka, the blind black rhino.
- Learn more about the adopted animals and endangered species at the Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage.
- Hike Mt.Kenya.
- Visit the Ol Jogi Conservancy’s Wildlife Rescue Centre and see the adopted animals that call the zoo their home. See the continent’s only grizzly bear Potap, a jaguar, exotic birds, and an elephant that can play the harmonica.
- Hike to the waterfalls, jump off cliffs, swim in the ice-cold azure pools, and walk on the tallest and highest canopy walk in East Africa at Ngare Ndare forest.
Enjoy spectacular views of the Rift Valley, sunny days and starry nights, expansive landscapes and view wildlife at Kajiado.
Where to stay in Kajiado:
Hotels: Lerruat Log Resort
For more budget-friendly options for groups, check out these stunning properties.
Things to do in Kajiado:
- See remains of the early man at the Olorgesailie Prehistoric site and hike up Olorgesailie mountain.
- Hike up Ngong Hills and enjoy views of Nairobi and Kajiado. Entry fees to Ngong Hills is Kshs 200 for citizens.
- Conquer your fears and Zipline and go Quad Biking at the Kompass in Ngong Hills for Kshs 1,000 for each activity.
- Go on a game drive to the Land of the Giants, Amboseli.
- Enjoy delicious nyama choma at Olepolos Country Club.
- Learn more about glassmaking at Kitengela Glass and if you are daring, walk on the shaky 100 m high bridge.
- Visit Lake Magadi, view flamingos, and dip in the hot springs. Find more information about visiting Lake Magadi here.
Less than two hours away from Nairobi, Limuru offers a lush country side escape from the busy hustle and bustle of the city.
Places to stay in Limuru:
- Brackenhurst Conference Centre
- Jumuia Conference Centre
Things to do in Limuru:
- Drive through the tea farms and catch the beautiful sunsets
- Cycling at Brackenhurst Conference Centre
- Tea Farm tours and lunch at Kiambethu Tea Farm.
- Cheese Tasting at Brown’s Cheese farm
- Horse Riding at Kawamwaki Farm
- For the adventurous, The Forest is about 20 minutes away from Limuru. Head there for zip lining, cycling, archery, and camping.
Find more information about Limuru here.
Adventure awaits in Sagana less than two hours away from Nairobi. Get your adrenaline fix and camp by the river shores.
Where to stay in Sagana:
Budget Picks: Savage Wilderness Camp, Havila Resort, Jangwani Camp, Rapids Camp
Hotels: Nokras Riverine Hotel and Spa, Sagana Getaway Resort
Things to do in Sagana:
- White Water Rafting. It is offered by most camps in the area. Read about my experience here.
- Stand Up Paddling.
- Cliff Diving.
- Bungee Jumping. It is offered by Bungeewalla, and can be accessed through Savage Wilderness Camp or Rapids Camp. Read about my experience here.
- Ziplining at Savage Wilderness Camp.
- Wall Climbing, offered by Savage Wilderness Camp.
- Archery, offered by Savage Wilderness Camp.
Bonus weekend getaway ideas:
- Athi River- try go-karting, quad biking, and stay at Small World Country Club.
- Thika- marvel at Fourteen falls and the nearby Chania falls, visit Ol Donyo Sapuk National Park, visit McMillan house, hike Mt.Kilimambogo. Grab a bite at Fourteen Falls lodge and rent quad bikes.
- Nyeri- visit the Aberdare national park, hike to Zaina falls, visit the Baden Powell house and grave, check out the Italian memorial church. Go on a game drive to Solio Ranch. Stay here.
- Kericho- drive out to tea country for a change of pace and scenery
- Nakuru-hike the Menengai Crater, visit the Lake Nakuru National Park
- Voi-Hike the Kasigau, Taita, and Sagalla Hills visit Tsavo East and West National Parks, Lumo & Taita Hills Sanctuaries, and venture out to Lake Chala and Lake Jipe. Stay here.
I hope this list encourages you to visit someplace new.
Which place would you love to visit? Let me know in the comments below
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Until next time, Bye!