As the festive season kicks in, holidaymakers have started to figure out how they would spend the season away from the home. Why not visit these little-known resorts spread across North Rift.
Tumbili Cliff Lodge
It is located on the shores of Lake Baringo and sits on a nine-acre parcel of land. The lodge with an old era vibe has a bathroom that is hoisted by a cut tree with its branches intact.
Three islands, Samatian, Olkokwa and Parmolok located in Lake Baringo, are visible from this cliff lodge.
For stargazers, it is a perfect spot to watch patterns or the solar system. There is a tower next to the lodge which is mounted with a telescope named Nyota Observatory that uses a GPRS system and is powered by electricity. Visitors come here to study the solar system as well as star patterns.
At night, some of the noticeable planets are Saturn, Jupiter and Mars while the star patterns like Milky Way and Southern Cross can be captured through the powerful lenses.
“You can spend the entire night looking into space. We charge Sh1,000 for adults while children pay Sh500. The Nyota Observatory is switched off during the day to reduce the risk of making people blind, especially those who would dare look at the sun using the machine,’’ said Titus Kangor, a tour guide at the lodge.
Beside boat rides, visitors can water ski or tour the Kampi Samaki Centre and enjoy cat fish or Nile Perch from Lake Baringo.
Lake Bogoria Spa Resort
Visitors frequent this Marigat resort to swim in the “healing water.” Lydia Dentwo, the general manager at the spa says that the water that oozes from the ground is rich in minerals, such as Sulphur which treats rashes and other skin ailments.
“It also slows down ageing as it softens the skin tissues,’’ she says. Apart from its “healing’’ pool, this resort has a presidential suite. Its also a birds sanctuary.
It sits on a cliff, overlooking the Elgeyo-Marakwet escarpment. And to get up, you leave your car and climb hundreds of wooden stairs as if walking to heaven. Going up Samich is an exhilarating adventure.
If you are a hiker, Samich is a small paradise because visitors trek for about three kilometres up the steep terrain to get to the lodge. To some, it can be a challenge, but unforgettable fun. Once you’re at the lodge, temperature can fall drastically and it becomes misty.
“Due to the chilly weather, we have bed warmers,” says Abraham Koech, the sales and marketing officer at the resort.
From the lodge, visitors can view the breathtaking scenery of the valley below and Tugen Hills. There is also a mini-bar at the resort.
Naiberi River Campsite
Some few kilometres along the Eldoret-Eldama Ravine road, there is a resort made from gunny bags and wood. Besides chirping birds, this resort offers absolute tranquillity for Sh750 per camping person.
It is one of the most popular camping spots for both domestic and international tourists in the North Rift. American billionaire Bill Gates has spent his night at the resort.
“Camping is now popular and about half of our visitors are domestic tourists,” says Aashish Shah, director of the campsite.
For those who are not interested in camping, there are cottages. Inside Naiberi Camp, a long path leads to a structure with a glass roof.
Standing at one corner of this 1950s resorts, feels like you are standing on a walkway to paradise. The landscaping and the many trees and flowers soothe the soul.
Kapsimotwa is located in the middle of lush tea plantations in Nandi. The resort also has a grass-thatched structure where visitors can prepare their own food or roast meat.
“Last year, a group of Canadian tourists camped at the gardens. We are now looking at building a modern hotel to accommodate more visitors,” says David Bor, a manager at the resort.