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Laikipia takes centre stage as favourite holiday destination



Laikipia takes centre stage as favourite holiday destination

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 01:30 | By

Daisy Chalet, the luxurious 4-bedroom cottage in the wilds of Laikipia county opened its doors to the public recently. PD/ george kebaso

TOURISM:  Kenya’s tourism industry is gradually pulling out of its deep Covid-19-induced slump as the number of visitors to various tourism destinations, especially local travellers, continues to increase. One of the regions in the queue to grab a bigger slice of the pie is Laikipia, known for its vast ranches, wildlife, sceneries and cultural diversity and is described as a tourist goldmine due to its rich wildlife heritage and proximity to Mt Kenya.

The county which attracts visitors from lands as far as Eastern Europe to mention but a few, has many hidden gems, one of them being Daisy Chalet, an attractive hideout on 50-acre farmland called Daisy Farm in Rumuruti, the capital of Laikipia County. It is strategically located to tap into the growing work-away culture and spill-over visitors from the ranches and conservancies.

A luxurious 4-bedroom cottage, Chalet opened its doors to the public recently and at Sh600 ($60) per room, it offers a home away from home kind of calm.

“We are targeting both local and foreign travellers who want to tour Laikipia’s many ranches and conservancies, Kerio Valley, national parks and other attractions, but can be hosted in a homely environment,” founder Francis Gitau told Business Hub.

His remarks demonstrate the fair share of attractions the Kenyan hinterland possesses since get-away trips usually focus on game parks and conservancies. Whether as a combination of families, or friends or chamas members, the Chalet offers an ideal destination for a simple vacation that doesn’t cut visitors from Nairobi. It’s 240km by road to Rumuruti. “I would emphasise the getaway for relaxation and leisure, which is if you are looking for a way to spend a weekend or a few days from Nairobi including with friends or as a group, the Chalet would be ideal,” Sally, a hostess at the Chalet advised.

Rural beauty

She said further that the tremendous tranquillity of the neighbouring Nyandarua County and the serene sunsets of the Laikipia Savana are undersold, underrated, and underappreciated, calling on the county governments to find a way of marketing these attractions. “If there was a case one could make for the two counties, their rural beauty should be cherished,” Sally told Business Hub, noting that the attractions offered here are ideal for Kenyans who want to spend a weekend or a few days out of the hustle and bustle of Nairobi.

A recent visit to the place brought out a picture of a hide-out that radiates a village vibe, but does not disconnect a visitor entirely from the world, unless they want to. At Chalet, all the food guests eat is produced at the farm. From vegetables, and spices, to honey and meat, all of it comes from the farm.

The farm draws its workers from the largely cosmopolitan Rumuruti, and part of the plan is to have a cultural exchange programme between guests and those who work on the farm.

“We are mainly targeting foreigners who may wish to spend time in the community learning about local culture and doing local projects,” said Gitau.