Nanyuki, Laikipia - Kenya
Deep in the heart of Laikipia, Kenya's most pristine and privileged tourism arena, stands historic Mukima House, its twin gables and cedar-framed windows gazing across rolling lawns towards the glittering spires of Mount Kenya. Set on velvet lawns dotted with pepper trees, skirted by broad stone terraces, fringed with lavender beds and embellished with a shaded tennis court and an oval swimming pool, this half-timbered mansion in the old English style could just as easily stand outside London as at the heart of Laikipia. Except for the fact that in front of it rise the jagged peaks of Africa's only Equatorial volcano, Mount Kenya; and that should you take an evening drive on to one of the neighbouring wildlife conservancies, you can be surrounded by elephants within thirty minutes.
Serene, impeccably maintained and beautifully presented as your own house for the period of your stay, the Mukima experience is sublime. Eight ensuite bedrooms, a gracious drawing room, dining room, study, pool terrace, garden terraces, upper gallery and baronial entrance hall are yours to enjoy, as is the 360-acre wilderness in which the house stands. Meanwhile the staff have been trained to offer the finest cuisine and the most meticulous, yet unobtrusive, service.
The house is 10 minutes drive out of Nanyuki, Laikipia, 200 km from Nairobi (four hour drive). Nanyuki has its own airport linked to Nairobi and the world.
Essentially unchanged in style since it was built by Colonel ‘Chippy' Chippendale-Lewin in 1930, this gracious old colonial mansion stands at the centre of what was once the Colonel's rambling cattle ranch. A family home until 1954, when it was sold as part of a parcel more valued for its land than its buildings, over the next fifty years the house fell silently into ruins. In 2003 a portion of the original estate was bought for a horticultural project.
There are 8 double bedrooms (all ensuite), study/library (with DSTV, DVD and WiFi), drawing room (with music system, log fire and terrace), dining room (with log fire, breakfast and supper terrace and double guest washroom), entrance hall with double staircase, upper gallery and cocktail terrace, separate courtyard wing with central Persian Garden, kitchen and laundry.
The fully-staffed house offers: Swimming pool, pool terrace, enclosed pool dining/sitting room (with fireplace and private bathroom and kitchen), Sauna and massage room). Games room with table tennis and darts. Tennis courts (hard), badminton court (soft), boating lake (two rowing boats / fishing). Two nature trails, donkey paddock / rides, horse-riding. WiFi and internet connection.
Guests may make use of the 4WD safari vehicle and driver for sundowners, bush lunches/dinners or excursions to the surrounding reserves and national parks.
In the vicinity
Mount Kenya National Park, Aberdares National Park, Samburu National Reserve, Ol Pejeta Game Conservancy and Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Solio Conservancy. Two 9-hole golf courses, white water rafting, polo, trout fishing, bird-shooting.
Dining and bars
The house is provided fully catered (inclusive of locally-available wines and spirits). We pride ourselves on the quality of our cuisine. All our dishes are home-cooked and many of our salad items, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables are grown in our own kitchen garden, using only organic methods. In the event that you have particular dietary choices or requirements, please let us know so that we can plan our menus to suit you. Meals can be served in the baronial dining room, on the breakfast/lunch terrace, on the front terrace, on the lawns, by the pool or in the pool dining room. Typical meals will include: early morning tea and homemade biscuits, full English Breakfast, morning coffee or tea with homemade biscuits, lunch, afternoon tea, cocktails and homemade bitings, dinner.
Children: we would appreciate it if you would supervise children at all times around the house.
Babysitting: babysitters can be provided. Please let us know your requirements.
Children's meals: children's meals can be provided early evening should this be required. Please let us know.
Child-friendly pursuits: the house has its own children's paddling pool, there is also a games room (ping pong and darts) numerous board games, tennis courts, extensive grounds, two colour-coded nature trails, rowing boats on the lake and a donkey paddock offering donkey rides.
Weddings and corporate events
Mukima is the perfect venue for a wedding or family celebration. Easily adapted to conference layout with plentiful parking, back-up generator and easy access to Nairobi and Nanyuki, it also offers a uniquely different corporate venue. The house can host fully catered weddings and events (corporate and social) up to 200 guests (16 in residence).
What to see and do
At the heart of Laikipia, Mukima is within easy reach of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares, Solio, Lewa, and Ol Pejeta national parks and reserves. Guests also enjoy exclusive access to the private Loldaiga Ranch. Activities include: swimming, sauna, massage, tennis, badminton, boating, fishing and nature trails at the house; and golf, climbing, trekking, flying, white-water rafting, polo and mountaineering nearby.