From wildlife encounters to outdoor adventures, Nanyuki has something for every traveler, be it group of friends, couples or families. Discover our top picks for best things to do in Nanyuki in this travel guide.
Nanyuki is a market town in Laikipia County, central part of Kenya lying northwest of Nairobi. The name Nanyuki is derived from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nanyukie which means “River of Blood”. During the rainy season, Nanyuki River would turn a red colour as a result of red soil being washed down from the slopes of Mt Kenya, hence the name.
Nanyuki serves as a gateway to the Mt. Kenya and Laikipia, one of Africa’s most important wildlife conservation areas. The town is probably the most cosmopolitan city in the area north of Nairobi, with a large number of foreign settlers and also hosts the British Army Training Unit. This leads to Nanyuki receiving many international visitors. Arrow Adventures organizes tours around Nanyuki and we will be glad to help you plan a memorable adventure experience.
Best things to do in Nanyuki: Visit the Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Located in the Laikipia Plateau between the Aberdares and Mount Kenya, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is one of the best places to visit in Nanyuki. The 360-square-kilometre private game reserve is dedicated to protecting wild animals and is home to endangered black rhinos. It is globally recognized for hosting the last two remaining Northern White Rhinos in the world. Besides nature walks and game drives, visitors can enjoy horseback riding or visit the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya.
Best Things to do in Nanyuki: Visit Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy
Located at Mount Kenya’s base is the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy. The conservancy was established to protect some of the area’s pristine wilderness and wildlife, including the almost extinct mountain bongo, a species of antelope. Elephants, leopards, buffalo, giant forest hogs, and many other wildlife species can be found in the conservancy. The conservancy runs a breeding program for the rare white zebra and the bongo, as well as rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and abandoned wild animals.
Visitors to Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy are welcome to enjoy the animal orphanage, where they can get to know and learn about the local animals. The orphanage also houses cheetahs, leopards, pygmy hippos, and other native animals; it may be your only chance to see a mountain bongo in the wild.
Best Things To Do in Nanyuki: Swim at Ngare Ndare Forest
Located in Timau, Ngare Ndare Forest is one of the best places to hike in Kenya. The lush indigenous forest offers a lot of beautiful scenery. walking over the 450-meter canopy hanging bridge. After the walk from the bridge, you can hike for about 3 kilometres. Enjoy swimming in the cold water of the pool, birdwatching, and viewing the wonderful wildlife.
Best Things to do in Nanyuki: Stop at the Equator Marker
The Nanyuki equator marker is little more than a battered sign next to the road, but it is fun to jump out of the car and take a picture at the very centre of the world. There are local guides usually with a bucket system that shows you the Coriolis effect. Essentially, how water flows in different directions in the northern and southern hemispheres. There’s also a parking space and shops selling souvenirs.
Best Things to do in Nanyuki: Train at Mount Kenya Climbing Gym
The Mt Kenya Climbing Gym is located just 4 km east of Nanyuki town at the base of Mt. Kenya. The climbing tower is clearly visible from the Nairobi / Nanyuki Road and is a perfect place to get a workout, get fit for Mt Kenya, or have lunch and coffee. Stair masters and climbing machines at the gym will work if outdoor hiking isn’t an option. Mt Kenya Climbing Gym Is a great place to try climbing for the first time, get some exercise, improve technique or just have some fun. The gym has many routes set up for beginners as well as more experienced climbers.
Best Things to do in Nanyuki: Climb Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa and the first-highest in Kenya. The mountain is accessible from Nanyuki via Burguret or Sirimon gates. Travellers prefer the latter, as it’s considered the easiest and most scenic route. The mountain has three main peaks: Batian (5,199 m), Nelion (5,188 m), and Lenana (4,985 m). Of the three peaks, Point Lenana is the most popular. However, if you’re a more advanced and experienced climber, you may prefer attempting the more technical peak, Batian.
Check our 5 Days Mount Kenya Climbing Adventure
Things to do in Nanyuki: Visit Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy
This is a private conservancy located in Laikipia. Here, one will be able to experience explicitly awesome views of Mount Kenya. Ride horses in the evening, enjoy game drives and watch the most exotic birds on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River. The accommodations provided are very comfortable and serve as your home away from home. With delicious dishes offered and uniquely furnished rooms with bespoke furniture and sculptures
What to do in Nanyuki: Visit Solio Ranch
Solio Ranch, located 180km north of Nairobi is a privately owned wildlife Conservancy located between the slopes of Mt. Kenya and Aberdare ranges. The 45,000 Acres conservancy is home to a big number of wild animals among them being the black and white rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, bufallos, zebras, impalas, elands. The conservancy also has a rich variety of birdlife such flycatchers, eagle owls, long crested eagles, buzzards, cranes and storks.
Check our 6 Days Rhino Conservation Safari
Things to do in Nanyuki: Explore the Mau Mau Caves
The Mau Mau Caves are located near Nanyuki town at the foot of Mount Kenya. These epic caves used to be a hideout for the Mau Mau freedom fighters during the Kenya emergency period from 1952 to 1960. Mau Mau warriors would hide in these caves which are sheltered behind a waterfall, during the Mau Mau wars.
The caves offer a great opportunity to explore nature and are located inside an indigenous forest that opens up to a beautiful waterfall. You’ll need a guide to reach the Mau Mau caves, which are accessible via an 8km walk from Bantu lodge. The caves are an interesting geographical exploration at the end of a picturesque walk.
Things to do in Nanyuki: Dine at the Trout Tree Restaurant
Trout Tree Restaurant prides itself as a farm-to-table restaurant. It’s famous among travellers for its delicious fresh trout and natural setting. Their trout is taken straight from the pond and vegetables are sourced directly from the garden. The restaurant is built around a huge mugumo tree on the banks of the Burguret river. Besides the vegetarian dishes, they also serve beef, pizzas (on weekends only), and cocktails.