July in Nairobi is what we consider our ‘winter’ (temperatures occasionally drop to the low teens or single digits). We had intended to go for a picnic in Machakos but the weather was not very picnic friendly so the plan had to change. Plan B turned out to be a trip to Kajiado, a small town on the outskirts of Nairobi.
We headed to Rolf’s place a hotel situated on the South east border of Nairobi National Park, built like a medieval fortress on the edge of a cliff. A slightly rickety suspension bridge leads to the large mansion situated on the side of the cliff.
The view at Rolf’s Place is out of this world – a swinging bridge over a deep gorge separating the hotel from the National Park, with amazing views over the Gorge and out over the Nairobi National Game Park. In fact (the view) is pretty much what had brought us there.
When we got to the restaurant we were asked if we had a reservation (we didn’t). I was a bit pissed, since there’s no mention of making a reservation on their website.
The hotel itself has such a interesting design with a unique decor and lot’s of beautiful artwork.
We were let in and directed to a table by the poolside. The plan was to have a meat platter but we couldn’t since we would have been required to order different types of meat separately. This was not going to be cost friendly so my sister suggested we try the Masai lodge, a different hotel within the vicinity.
Masai Lodge is situated in Silole Sanctuary next to the Nairobi National Park, and is less than 5 min drive from Rolf’s place. We were there in no time at all.
The guard at the gate was very welcoming and the staff we encountered were friendly too.
We sat by the terrace and apart from one other table, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The restaurant also offers a great view of the gorge.
By this time of the day the sun was out and it just made you feel like you wanted to bask out in the open.
We ordered the food (yes, they served a meat platter) and while we waited I took a short walk, down to the pool.
Further down was the river.
Walking back up I came across a family of rock hyraxes. They are quite common in this area, interestingly their closest living relatives are modern-day elephants
I got back to find that the food had finally arrived.
The food was delicious and well worth the wait. We ordered 2 meat platters ; each platter comes with 2 sides , you can choose to have fries, fried potatoes or ugali (a dish of maize flour cooked with water to a dough-like consistency). You could choose to have this with either a salad or some veggies.
The platter contained pork, chicken, beef, sausages and liver. I cannot remember how much each cost individually but the bill including drinks, came to about kshs4,800 ($53). We ended up taking a whole platter home as one was more than enough.
My experience was really enjoyable and we all had a good time too. The service, though a bit slow was good, the ambience too was great but the best thing overall was the view.
On our way back we spotted a herd of Zebras.
Maasai Lodge and Rolf’s Place offer ideal gateways for a day out with friends or family, the surroundings are quite wild and lush and you wouldn’t think you’re so close to the city.
How to get there:
Maasai Lodge is situated 19km from the city centre in Kajiado at the outskirts of Nairobi, If using public means, take matatu or bus number 125 from the city centre, and alight at the junction of Magadi Road and Maasai Lodge road. You should be able to get a bodaboda (motorbike taxi) from here up to Masai Lodge.
If driving, take Uhuru Highway till Nyayo Stadium, then turn right onto Langata Road once you reach the junction at the Bomas of Kenya, turn into Magadi road then turn left into Maasai Lodge road. The turn is about 1.4km past Multimedia University of Kenya. Drive straight ahead for 5.9km, Maasai Lodge will be to your left.
This week I am linking up with;
1. Pack Me To in #SundayTraveler
2. Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Mondays
3. Budget Travelers Sandbox’s Travel Photo Thursdays
4. Walking on Travels Friday Postcards