Hike, Bike and Spa in Nairobi, Kenya
If you’re looking for something different, active and relaxing all at the same time then a trip to Nairobi is a must! We took a few days in Nairobi before our beach stay in Mombasa. It was the perfect kickstart to an amazing holiday.
On arrival in Nairobi our transfer was arranged to take us to the Emara by Ole Sereni Hotel which is just a few minutes’ drive from the Airport. This is a beautiful 4* +, big busy hotel, a little impersonal but the location is unique - right on the edge of Nairobi National Park. Rooms are either City View or Park View. Both room types have stunning views but certainly our experience staying in the Park View room was amazing. Views across the park in the morning are out of this world and you will be sure to see some buffalo grazing and making their way to the watering hole.
We had an early start from our hotel and were on the road by 6:30am to beat the traffic in and around the city. The escarpment road from Nairobi has amazing views out over the rift valley. There are lots of heavy trucks on this road, many blind spots and it’s a bit chaotic – not recommended for the faint hearted! Within two hours we had reached Mount Longonot National Park and could start our climb.
The first stretch of 3km from the park entrance to the Volcano rim was challenging but took no more than 50 minutes. The views were spectacular. Our guide suggested an anti-clockwise direction to trek the 7km rim which peaks at 2,776m. This proved to be the best route for the 2 hour hike as you reach the peak of the rim within one hour and are making your way slowly downward by the time the legs are giving in! We had plenty of breaks but kept up a good pace and completed the trek in just under 5 hours.
From Mt. Longonot National Park to our Campsite at Lake Oloiden was just over one hours drive. We took a stop at Lake Naivasha for lunch to admire the views. Zebras, Giraffes, Warthogs and Monkeys were plentiful along the roadway. It was amazing to see these animals roaming freely.
Oloiden Camp site is right on the lakeside and is well set up with a great restaurant and bar on site. There was plenty of activity but also a quiet area suited for families. Vervet Monkeys, Baboons and Pelicans were plentiful. The campsite is spotlessly clean and really well managed.
Another early start the following day to make our way to Hells Gate National Park, south of Lake Naivasha.
We rented bikes at the park entrance and cycled 10km through the Park. This was such a fantastic experience.
Scenery in the park is dramatic and setting is truly amazing. To be so close to the animals in their natural environment was a real thrill!
The terrain is flat and we took a leisurely pace, stopping to watch the wildlife all around. The more energetic of our group took a turn rock climbing – this sport is not for everyone!
Our bike ride ended at Hells Gate Gorge which was another short hike for some more stunning views across Lake Naivasha and the Rift Valley.
Olkaria Geothermal Spa is located in Hells Gate National Park and is a perfect end to the day!
For sure I will return to Nairobi and take in the Grand Nairobi Bike Race or maybe a bike ride across the Tea fields in Limuru but I don’t think it will top my bike safari!
Written by Rose Kane
If you’d like a holiday like the one you’ve just read about, please get in touch with us and we will work with our Kenyan partners, Wanderlust Outdoors, in putting together something special for you!