Mama Africa

Travel and Photography Blog

A few days in Nakuru

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Panoramic view of Nakuru, Kenya

After spending many wonderful days by the shore of Lake Naivasha, the time came to continue our way west, each day closer and closer to Uganda. When we planned our time in Kenya (which, by the way, I have fallen deeply in love with) we thought that the only “touristy” things we wanted to do in this country were going to the Maasai Mara and enjoying the beauty of Lake Naivasha. But now we realized that we still have 350 kilometers to go before reaching Uganda, so there must be a couple of things to do from here to there.

After some research we found that the next big city on our way was Nakuru, Kenya’s fourth largest city and the gateway to the famous Lake Nakuru National Park. There are several matatus and cars that leave every day to Nakuru from Naivasha, and they charge approximately 200 shillings. We took an 8-passenger minivan, which dropped us off at the matatu stage next to downtown Nakuru.

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Amoody’s Lodge, cheap hotel in Nakuru

The day before, we had tried to locate a decent hotel in town but since Nakuru is considered a prime tourist destination in Kenya, most hotels are very expensive. Consequently, we ended up staying in the worst hotel ever! I mean, what can you expect for 500 shillings per night? We stayed at the Amoodi’s hotel near the mosque, right on Nehru Street. The staff is really nice, but the rooms are very small, they haven’t been swept since the beginning of time, the roof is falling apart and the shared toilets are an absolute nightmare. The good things: super cheap, great location, safe, good food right across the street, and a mosquito net over the bed (don’t forget about malaria!).

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Roof of our room at Amoody’s Lodge

Even with Nakuru’s credentials, we decided not to do anything fancy and just take a few days off from exorbitant entrance fees and save some money. Why did we decide this? Well, because the national park next to town charges a ridiculous amount of 90 USD for the entrance and we felt that we had already visited Kenya’s best national park: the Maasai Mara. We did visit a nearby attraction though: Hyrax Hill.

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Sign on the road that leads to Hyrax Hill

Hyrax Hill is one of Kenya’s most important prehistoric sites, dating back 3,000 years. The hill has several Neolithic settlements, a museum with artifacts from the region, and a tortoise enclosure. Don’t forget to climb all the way to the top of the hill; the views of the city and Lake Nakuru are incredible, and if you are lucky you may see the hyraxes (small mouse-like animals).

More information on Hyrax Hill:

  • The entrance fee is 500 shillings.
  • To get there from the town of Nakuru, go to the matatu stage and hop onto one going towards Gilgil. You shouldn’t pay more than 40 shillings each way. On the way to the hill we were charged 40 shillings, and on our way back we paid only 20 shillings each. Ask the guy charging the fees to drop you off at Hyrax.
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Hyrax Hill on-site museum

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Tortoise eating some lettuce in Hyrax Hill

Written by Daniel

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