Monkeys, and Maasai and Waterfalls.. Oh MY!
Nanyuki is a tiny town you could easily drive through without stopping, but it's worth stopping if you know what to look for. Located just 2-3 miles past the big Catholic Cathedral is Thompson's Falls, a thundering and tall waterfall located in a lush tropical forest. For those who like a good workout (and it's A WORKOUT) you can hike the narrow path down to the base of the falls,stopping along the way to photograph the rare black and white striped Colubus monkeys that live in the trees or the many birds that fly by. Bring water and a snack for the energy back up the hill.. you'll need it! For those who don't like steep climbs, you can browse the many curio shops or avoid the hawkers and squeeze onto the small wooden viewing platform for a breathtaking view of the falls.
While the place is somewhat overun with white tourists, it's worth the time.
- Hiking and Walking
- Jungle and Rain Forest
You have to stop to the equator sign (you can't miss it, just look at the dozens of shop nearby). If you pay Ksh 200 they'll show you how the water runs right on the equator, 20m to the north and 20m to the south.
Yes, I know, very touristy...
- Budget Travel
The Chimp Sanctuary
Chimpanzees are not native to Kenya. Their home is Central Africa where numbers of wild chimpanzees are steadily decreasing. As Kenya has the advantage of being more easily accessible and being visited by more tourists, the sanctuary was set up here with the help of Jane Goodall in order to attract greater attention from visitors. Most of the chimps here have been rescued from private homes, come from zoos or are orphans, and will not be able to go back to the wild.
First you can climb up into an elevated look-out from where you can watch the chimps below and read about the horrible histories of some of them. When you are standing at the fence below make sure you stay outside the chimps' reach. Apparently once an American tourist got too close with his video camera, a chimp got hold of it and then meticulously took it apart. His deprived victim did not seem too bothered, though, as his friend had a video camera as well and had filmed the whole incident, and they reckoned it was a great story to tell when they got home. Well, I think I would have preferred to keep the camera...
The visit also includes a 30-min boat trip along the river through the sanctuary, and you can visit the very interesting information centre. At Sweetwaters Tented Camp you can get forms to adopt a chimpanzee if you feel you would like to support the sanctuary, which I am sure you will after your visit.
Morani is a tame rhino that lives in Sweetwaters Rhino Reserve. Go to the visitor centre in the reserve and the trackers there will take you out to see him. He is very friendly and will let people touch him. You can read more about him in the travelogue.