I wasn’t born in Nyeri – a bustling farming region nestled in the Central Kenyan highlands, but I’ve lived there almost all my life.
Before I became a photographer I didn’t have a knack for the outdoors, I preferred hanging indoors and watching TV. That changed when I picked up a camera and decided to discover what Nyeri had to offer besides the Aberdares and Mt Kenya National parks.
My first and favorite spot is Chania falls just outside our home. I frequently use the bridge when going to town from home. The falls have always fascinated me. Taking photos could however pose a problem if you’re not from here because right next to the falls is an informal settlement called Wiitemere an extension of Majengo.
You would expect the waters beside it to be filthy and murky à la the overly polluted rivers crisscrossing Nairobi’s slums, but as you can see, the river looks relatively clean and the residents even grow bananas beside its banks.
My second most favorite place has to be Chinga Dam. I cannot describe how beautiful the sunsets are here. As photographers, we are always in a hurry to click when we see a beautiful sunset so as to capture the moment before it quickly disappears. But this instance, I put down the camera and just watched the sun set. 5 minutes of pure bliss!!! From then, I have been frequenting the Dam to capture the sunsets because trust me you can never have enough of them.
Additionally, there are waterfalls on the other side of the dam, you won’t know this at first but if you ask around the locals will readily show you.
One last place I always make sure to visit is an unmarked view point on your way to Nyeri hill, just past Mathari Hospital. It’s right off the road railings and if you want to witness a sunrise with the backdrop of Mt Kenya this is the perfect spot. Standing at 5200 m ASL, the breathtaking view of Mt Kenya dominates the horizon, no vegetation, no buildings or any other distractions to hinder your view and the landscape stretches for days!!! This is undoubtedly the best spot in Nyeri to watch a sunrise on Mt Kenya.
As an extra I will include Zaina falls which I didn’t know of and was pleasantly surprised to see guys travelling all the way from Nairobi and paying 3000/= ($30) for a day’s hike in the falls.
Located just past Ihururu town there is no clear road leading to the site, but if you ask around the locals will gladly direct you. And during the weekends you won’t miss a hiking team doing their rounds.