This year, Easter comes with an additional gift for families on school-term break; if you have some days saved up from your annual leave, then you can easily extend the holiday to catch up with Labor Day! Not possible? Then don’t fret, four days is long-enough a weekend to drive away and explore some of the treasures that we tend to ignore when we think ‘vacations”. It’s the perfect break to take a drive out of town, catch some fresh, unpolluted country-side air, and still come back home with no blues or lags to nurse.
If you are currently panicking over what to do during the Easter Holidays, while considering the ever-rising cost of fuel, then, consider one of these short trips for fulfilling family time.
Mount Kenya climb or hike
If you lead a pack of fit, energetic and adventurous family team, then it’s time to start practicing for a mighty Easter hike up the slopes of Mount Kenya. You do not necessarily have to scale the peaks, but with a good guide, right attitude, a little practice, you will more than enjoy your break. You can combine this with other activities around the area such as a refreshing bush breakfast, horse riding the plains or slopes, or even visit rare treasures such as Mau Mau caves along the Mount Kenya circuit.
Drive down the rift
Before you even bade farewell to the frills of the capital heading for the Rift Valley, the topography mophs from inanimate skyscrapers and storeyed, to stretches of thick canopies, lush greenery and welcoming breeze. The drive is therapeutic. You can choose to camp in any of the Naivasha/Nakuru lake front sites, or chose any of the other attractions such as Hell’s Gate for hiking, rock climbing and wildlife sightings.
Or branch off and break waves at Rapids Camp
Feeling a little adventurous? Then you can decide to lay down the usual, and try something more adrenaline pumping! This could be water rafting on River Sagana, just about 90 minutes’ drive from the city center. If rumbling wild waters stir storms in your heart, then try bungee jumping or just chose to relax and take in the cooling effects of the waterfalls from the banks. Rapids camp is also a great place to hold group camping activities, as well as family picnics.
Scenery, springs, and salt at Lake Magadi
A simple diversion from popular city streets could be just what your soul craves this Easter. Once you are done with the monkeys and baboons down Rongai and past Kiserian towns, take great photos of the Ngong’ hills, and rolling windmills high up the hilly range. Three hours on a four-wheeler will open up to the scenic shores of Lake Magadi, thousands of flamingoes and pelicans and simply picturesque sunset. This is also a pretty great learning opportunity for both parents and their little ones; drop by the Olorgesailie pre-historic site museum to view age-old biological and cultural displays marking the first records of human existence. Magadi road is generally not very drive-friendly, but a good four-wheeler will do. This is also the time to make use of your cooler box by stocking drinking water and any energizers as the heat can be unbearable.
Indulge in ancient royalty
Tafaria Castle Country Lodge is perhaps what we have in close imitation to the ancient tales of knights and swords, ladies and lords and swan princess who always found love from the other side of the social divide! Set in Nyeri, again benefitting from the coolness of Kenya’s highest mountain, the castle offers a journey down memory lane, to medieval times woven in charm, adventure and imagination.
At one with nature; Swara plains Athi River
A little secret, set in the shadows of Lukenya Hill, and stretching across 20 000 acres of wildlife sanctuary is this camp that’s barely an hour’s drive from the capital. If you are looking for a calm, reflective weekend set in a rustic and un-spoilt environment, then this is the place to be. Praised for well thought out meals, warm staff, airy and spacious bandas, Swara Acacia Camp also offers game drives for its guests, fishing expeditions and cycling trails for the children and basically a homely environment for the entire family.