From Nakuru to Nairobi and back

It is approximately 160 Kms from Nakuru to Nairobi. Interestingly, it is almost a similar distance from Nakuru to Nyeri, Kericho, Kisumu and Eldoret.

The road from Nakuru to Nairobi is in pretty good condition. Someone driving between the two towns has a choice to use either the Nakuru-Naivasha-Flyover-Nairobi road or they can drive via Maai Mahiu.

Both routes offer interesting views to riders along the route. On a normal day, a drive from Nakuru to Nairobi will take about three hours.

Using the Flyover route, the eyes get to feast on the great views offered by the Rift Valley. The Longonot crater and Lake Naivasha are visible for several KMs along the route. There are several viewpoints where travellers can take a break to enjoy the breathtaking views and buy mementoes.

One also gets to enjoy different climates. At Ihindu which is a few Kms past Naivasha as you head to Nairobi is one of the chilliest places in Nakuru. Even when the sun is shining, Ihindu’s temperatures remain at an all-time low.

The people who live around Ihindu are farmers and the small shopping centre is always a beehive of activities as farmers prepare their farm produce for sale and for dispatch to Nairobi.

Past Kimende which happens to be in Kiambu County the road gets foggy. Two out of three times, a heavy fog will have fallen along this stretch. This reduces the driving speed and several accidents have been reported here owing to this.

Just past Gilgil up to Naivasha, the land on either side of the land is almost entirely owned by the Delamare family. This is a weighbridge between these two times and once in a while, nasty traffic snarl-ups will form here. Traffic jams spreading to over five miles and lasting for a night and a day have been reported here.

While driving along the Naivasha Gilgil road, drivers are advised to be extra careful. This not only to avoid the heave trucks coming from Maai Mahiu but to avoid running into wild animals. Baboons roam freely along and across the road. Zebras will be seen grazing lazily on the roadsides and once in a while, reports of a zebra being hit by a speeding vehicle will be received. Warthogs and gazelles can also be seen occasionally grazing near the road.

The Delamare stopover point offers an awesome stopover to stretch, use the washrooms and grab a drink or snacks. Meals are also served.

Should you want some sumptuous roast meat while using the Nairobi Nakuru route, the Nyama Choma at Kikopey never disappoints. The other name for this place is actually Nyama Choma.

Kikopey is also popular with truck drivers. Every evening, long stretches of trucks form along both sides of the road as trucks make their nightly stopovers. Lodgings are cheap and twilight girls are also in plenty to serve the long-distance drivers and their turnboys. Maai Mahiu and Salgaa centres offer similar services but their nyam chom is not as popular.

Maai Mahiu has the added allure of the smallest church in Kenya. The small catholic church can hold only six worshippers at a go. It was built by the Italians during World War.