PLACES IN KENYA
05-09-2021 by Leni Frau
There is a small place to immerse yourself in nature, between Mount Kenya and Aberdare Forest, about 160 kilometres from the capital.
Wajee Nature Park is a nature park and birdwatching reserve located in Mukuruweini, in the middle of a spectacular landscape about 40 kilometres from the town of Nyeri.
The park, which covers 10 hectares of pristine natural forest, was created by the late Reverend Wajee and was dedicated to the conservation of rare species of animals by conservationist Jagi Gakunju.
It is still home to two species that are difficult to see elsewhere: the striped jackal and the two-coloured Hinde's warbler, a bird of the Babbler family, also known as the Sudan chatterbox, which is endemic to Mount Kenya and on the list of those most threatened by deforestation on its slopes. For bird lovers, the park is also home to golden weavers, different types of hawks and African owls, silver-cheeked hornbills, as well as migratory birds such as Eurasian bee-eaters, black cuckoos, shrikes and pygmy kingfishers.
Within the Wajee Nature Park there are several walking trails through the pristine wilderness and a tented camp to spend the night, as well as areas to stop for banquets and contemplation with bonfires at sunset, with scenic areas from which to observe the beauty of a place that was once the forest of a coffee farm. In addition to a camera, it is advisable to carry binoculars and a torch.
During these hikes you may also spot wildlife resident in the park such as genets, white-throated samango monkeys, African civets, galagos, banded mongooses and indeed the rare side-striped jackals.
A guide will take you around the pristine forest, inviting you to observe and photograph. The original house built in 1941, inside the park, has been turned into a small museum where you can learn about the history of the land and see photographs of all the specimens that can be seen in the park, for which days and days of hiking would not be enough.
Within the park there is every comfort to spend at least a weekend there: an open-air restaurant, games and activities for children and lawns for relaxing or playing. The prices of cottages or 'bandas' range from Kes. 1500 to 2000 per person per night. It is also possible to bring your own tent and camp.
For a day visit only, the entrance fee is Kes. 200.
The Government of Kenya has decided to plant 20 million new trees to combat deforestation.
The forest resources of the country has suffered serious damage, especially from 1970 to 1990, mainly due to the production of wood and charcoal.
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