By Joseph Maina
Nakuru County offers an intriguing and vast array of attractions. For starters, we have the town of Nakuru itself, a sprawling metropolis that attracts both local and domestic tourists. It is home to Afraha Stadium, the base stadium for Ulinzi Stars. Numerous sporting activities take place in Nakuru, including golf and rugby.
Just about four kilometres from the town centre lies the Lake Nakuru National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the country. The park is home to the big five, as well as a dazzling collection of birdlife, which includes flamingoes. The more adventurous spirits can take a hike, literally, from the town centre to the Menengai Crater, located just 10 kilometres away. Take the hike, with friends or family, and experience this thrill up the hill.
Within close proximity of town is the Hyrax Hill, another remarkable getaway in Nakuru. One can also take a road trip to Naivasha, the county’s second largest urban centre, and savor the delights offered by this scenic paradise.
It is a modest town with tremendous offerings in hospitality, as evidenced by the giant malls sprouting up along the highway to Nairobi. Yonder, at Lake Naivasha, the reveler can entreat herself to memorable views of the resident fauna, and regale themselves by taking a boat ride in the tranquil waters of the lake.
So irresistible is the lake’s repertoire of attractions that even Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg took a memorable boat ride in the lake. Educational institutions abound in Nakuru County, making it a one-stop shop for those in pursuit of educational excellence.
Academic giants and prestigious institutions, such as St Andrews Turi, Egerton University, Moi High School Kabarak are a few of the names that soar among the nation’s crème-de-la-crème. The Catholic Church, through the Franciscan movement, manages the now world-famous Subukia Shrine, located nearly 40 kilometres from Nakuru town just off the road to Nyahururu.
Here, Catholic and other Christian faithful go for pilgrimages in some of the greatest religious gatherings in the land. At the shrine, pilgrims fetch water from a special brook said to possess divine powers, which is reportedly used to sanctify their homes and bring blessings and good health.
Lake Elementaita is an excellent getaway, offering opportunities for leisure and conference tourism. One can also travel to the Hells Gate. Here, you can enjoy walking safaris, hire a bike, or camp. It’s a fun environment for the whole family.
This list is by no means exhaustive: We still have the electrifying climbs up Mount Longonot, trips to the Kariandusi Archaeological Site, visits to the fascinating Lord Egerton Castle, Bomas of Nakuru, and many other attractions. A visitor to Nakuru County is certainly spoilt for choice.