Machakos People’s Park was opened in February this year. I had heard a lot about it and been planning to visit to see what the fuss was all about.
Some of the best trips are unplanned. We had spent the Saturday morning lazing around when my sister suggested we head to Machakos to check out the park.
We were soon on our way, although we got stuck in a bit of traffic after Mlolongo. We arrived at the park around 5pm. This was much later than we had anticipated, we had taken a detour on the way so that I could pick up a camera. Entry into the park is free of charge.
I have come to expect the worst when it comes to public toilets but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the toilets were very clean. There was running water in the taps and tissue in each stall and also a hand dryer.
There is a man-made lake right at the parks outer boundary. I had heard one can take a boat ride but on the day we visited there were no boats in sight and the water levels looked rather low.
The weather was overcast but the sunset was beautiful.
I saw a sign for the swimming pool but didn’t actually see the pool so I can’t say anything about it. If anyone has seen/ used the pool, please leave a comment about your experience.
The most disappointing part was the food. Specifically the food from Restaurant 1, it was horrible. We were served cold food and it looked a hot mess and to make it worse, it was overpriced. The staff seemed reluctant to help and when I complained about how the meat was mostly fat and bone, they simply shrugged. Lesson learnt, do not go to Restaurant one.
One plate cost around Kshs400-500 ($4.5 – $5.8)
There is another restaurant and a bar too but we didn’t go in. I would say order food from there at your own risk and if you can, carry your own food. As far as I know there are no restrictions of bringing your own food into the park.
If you’re with young children, you need not worry about entertainment, there is a well-equipped playground for kids within the park. In comparison to other places I have been to the prices are very cheap. I paid Kshs 50 ($0.6) for my niece to go on the trampoline and there was no time limit. I suppose this is because she was the only one who wanted a go.
The last part we visited was the amphitheater. There was some sort of event going on and we found a dance off competition going on stage.
We had gotten there at the tail end of the event and soon almost everyone was gone.
When it comes to security, there is a police post inside the park. You can’t miss it, there is an aquarium outside.
I generally felt safe inside the park. I was able to leave my bag on a bench while taking photos of my sister and her children. That said, do keep in mind that the park was rather empty .
Though not yet complete, the landscaping is beautiful. There is even a ‘dancing fountain’ but we were not able to see it in action.
As it got darker and we were getting ready to leave, the floodlights were switched on. The park is well lit and you need not worry about staying in the park once night falls.
We weren’t able to spend too much time in the park as we had arrived late and we wanted to get back home as soon as possible. That said we did enjoy the short time we spent inside the park. It makes for a lovely destination for an out of town picnic and if it were not for the distance, I would visit more regularly.
How to get there: drive along Mombasa road until the Makutano junction. Turn left and drive along the Makutano-Kitui road and just before you get to Machakos town, take a right turn onto the road that leads to the park. You will drive approximately 5km and at the end of the road you will find the park. There are signs on the route, so it is unlikely that you wiill get lost. There is ample parking outside the park.
Without traffic, it is about a 1hr drive from Nairobi’s CBD.
If you are using public transport, you can get a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) once you get to Machakos town.
If anyone has any information about the opening and closing times (I was unable to find any information online), please leave a comment so that I can include the information in the post
This week Safari 254 links up with;
1. Reflections enroute #wkendtravelinspiration
2. Adelina’s Pack Me To in #SundayTraveler
Please visit the sites for more wonderful photos and posts.