This is a two nights, three days safari to the central Kenya. The safari begins and ends in Nairobi. For this safari, the accommodation is not in hotels but in homes. You are accommodated in the village homes where you see and learn what the local people do. You interact with them and take part in their daily activities like going to the firm, fetching water from the river, taking care of cattle, milking among other activities.
The home is approximately 180km from Nairobi.
Day 1 Nairobi- Wanjohi Happy Valley Home.
08:00hrs pick up from your city hotel for your drive to the most authentic experience in the safari country yet. Drive north of Nairobi towards Naivasha. Just after Kijabe, turn right towards Kinangop. A brief stop to mesmerize the Rift valley at the view point with a toilet stop is always a good start. Driving along the Aberdare ranges, Mt. Kipipiri the green farms and the ongoing construction of Kipipiri Golf course are among the scenaries that will keep be you glued to the window throughout the ride.
On arrival at Rironi shopping centre, turn right and take a 5 minutes’ drive towards the majestic Aberdares where the home is neatly tucked.
Welcome drink will be served on arrival. Get to know your hosts and spend the afternoon with the women, learning about their traditional chores, cooking and day-to-day responsibilities. Visit a neighborhood homestead for traditional greetings (Saying hi) and dropping some gifts especially story books to the young kids. This creates a harmonious and jovial reception in the village.
A brief history of Wanjohi Valley.
The Wanjohi Valley lies on the slopes of Aberdare ranges, near Aberdare National Park, east of the Great Rift Valley. The area around Wanjohi is Bushi, Miharati, Ndemi, kariamu and Olkalou. The area around Naivasha was one of the first to be settled by white people and one of the hunting grounds of the hedonistic Happy Valley set. The area also includes Thomson’s Falls. Geoffrey Buxton, the first colonial farmer in the area, had moved up from the dry arid Rift Valley with its meagre rivers and a relentless dusty wind that gave Gilgil its name. And so, after finding his ideal farming country, he called this new haven ‘Happy Valley’.
Happy Valley was the name given to the Wanjohi Valley in the Kenya Highlands, where a small community of affluent, hedonistic white expatriates settled between the wars. While Kenya’s early colonial days have been immortalized by farming pioneers like Lord Delamere and Karen Blixen, and the pioneering aviator Beryl Markham, Happy Valley became infamous under the influence of troubled socialite, Lady Idina Sackville, whose life was told in Frances Osborne’s bestselling The Bolter. The era culminated with the notorious murder of the Earl of Erroll in 1941, the investigation of which laid bare the Happy Valley set’s decadence and irresponsibility, chronicled in another bestseller, James Fox’s White Mischief.
But what is left now? In a remarkable and indefatigable archaeological quest Juliet Barnes, who has lived in Kenya all her life and whose grandparents knew some of the Happy Valley characters, has set out to explore Happy Valley to find the former homes and haunts of this extraordinary and transient set of people. With the help of a remarkable African guide and further assisted by the memories of elderly former settlers, she finds the remains of grand residences tucked away beneath the mountains and speaks to local elders who share first-hand memories of these bygone times.
Nowadays these old homes, she discovers, have become tumbledown dwellings for many African families, school buildings, or their ruins have almost disappeared without trace – a revelation of the state of modern Africa that makes the gilded era of the Happy Valley set even more fantastic. A book to set alongside such singular evocations of Africa’s strange colonial history as The Africa House, The Ghosts of Happy Valley is a mesmerizing blend of travel narrative, social history and personal quest.
Dinner and overnight at Happy Valley Home.
Day 2 Homestay & Cultural fusion
After breakfast, engage with the host family in day to day chores of the day, which are spelt out during breakfast.
Depending on the season, you may participate in milking, planting, and weeding, harvesting or land preparation. Grazing and cooking are part of the shared responsibilities.
Spend afternoons doing village walks and visiting nearby shopping centers/ market.
Enjoy evening at the fire place with a talk from the old village men narrating the good old days of Happy Valley, how the Wall Street recession of 1920’s led to decline of agri-tourism in this area and other mesmerizing village stories.
Dinner and overnight at the home.
Day 3 Aberdare National Park – Depart for your next Destination
Share the last breakfast with the host family. At around 08:00hrs drive off from the homestay towards Aberdare National Park. The drive takes roughly 45 minutes to Shamata gate. Game animals easily seen in the park during game viewing include; African Elephant, black rhino, leopard, spotted hyena, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, sykes monkey, cape buffalo, warthog, common zebra (North Aberdare), bushbuck, reedbuck. Rare sightings include those of Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat, blue duiker. Enjoy very beautiful sceneries of Aberdare include magnificent waterfalls. Adding to the beauty of Aberdare are many ridges and river valleys which attract mountain scenery photographers. Visitors can also indulge in picnics, trout fishing (in the past the rivers were stocked with brown rainbow trout) in the rivers and camping in the Moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding with about 290 recorded bird species, including the Aberdare Cisticola that is critically endangered and the Jackson’s francolin, which is regionally endemic, Sparrow hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
Enjoy your picnic lunch en-route.
At around 14:30 hrs, depart for Nairobi where you are expected to arrive in good time to check in to your hotel.
Starting from USD 350 per person in a team of 6 people.
Pick up Nairobi
Drop off either, Nairobi, Nyahururu, Nakuru or Nyeri.