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ADVENTURE

Rustic charm on the edge of Nairobi National Park

A change of scenery without breaking the bank

In Summary

• Nyati Hills offers a holiday in Nairobi that feels like it's miles away

Nyati Hills
Nyati Hills
Image: SIMON MARSH

With the travel restrictions renewed for the Nairobi Metropolitan district in June, it has become more of a challenge than usual to find a change of scenery without breaking the bank. But the Nyati Hills offered just that and is definitely the find of the lockdown.

Located overlooking the national park near the Silole sanctuary, which is a buffer zone on the open side of the park, it is made up of six individual rooms that vary in size. It has a central kitchen area, which opens up onto a terrace with stairs descending down to the pool area.

There is something rather special about having breakfast while watching three rhinoceros casually stroll along in front of us, or while speculating what the herds of impala were gazing at so intently.

While it is also tempting to sit by the heated pool all day, inhaling the sights and sounds of the park, there are great opportunities to walk or cycle along the road a couple of kilometres to the sanctuary. You have the option to pop to the Masia Lodge for a cold drink, or to cross the infamous wire bridge of Kitengela Glass and survey their remarkable products, or take lunch at the café.

 

Nyati Hills is a self-catering facility, whereby you bring your own food and drink, although it is possible to procure the services of a chef in advance or from nearby venues, who will prepare dinner and deliver it directly to you.

The staff are very adept at not invading your privacy, but they will happily wash up after you and ensure everything is left clean and shipshape. They are also happy to help you move your possessions to and from your vehicle and assist you to get familarised with the specifics of the place.

The standout feature of Nyati Hills is the large pool, which is heated by a solar-powered heater and has internal lighting for the evening time. Next to the pool is a large area protected by the shade of a grass thatch umbrella, where you can escape the full glare of the sun and where a cool box can be placed strategically with plenty of the tipple of choice.

As the sun sets, so the music of the bush begins. The shrill screams of the hyrax, the alarm call of the baboons, and we were lucky enough to be serenaded by the lions proclaiming their sovereignty over their domain. This is the time to fire up the barbecue and prepare a leisurely dinner and enjoy that unique privilege of bush life: good food, good wine and good conversation, as we speculate how far away the noisy lion actually is.

The rooms are well equipped, with the beds all having mosquito nets put in place by the staff as the sun sets, and showers with plenty of hot water. You can have extra beds added for children and two have their own small kitchen areas, if you are staying as part of a mixed group and wanted to do your own thing.

It only remains to pack a bag, bring a hat, some sunscreen, plenty of delectable cuisine and something to sip on, and you’re ready for the holiday in Nairobi that feels like it's miles away and all for a very reasonable price.

Nyati Hills is available through Langata Link Holidays: www.langatalinkholidays.com 

The cottages
The cottages
Image: SIMON MARSH