Truly, the place to travel in order to satisfy an entire family is Kenya’s north, Laikipia. Why? The lodges are beautiful and the array of activities are endless. Soames Hotel is 7km outside of Nanyuki town, the gates to this beautiful, diverse, rugged and magnificent north.
For Kenyans, Soames does not have to be a ‘stop-‘off’ on the way to Laikipia though, it is most definitely good enough, ideal in fact, to be a family mini-break in itself. For those travelling here from overseas, it is indeed a wonderful part of a Kenyan safari. Soames is about the little hotel itself, is not on a private conservancy or wildlife-strewn ranch, so it is important to plan your daily activities before you travel.
Soames Hotel and Jacks Bar is a newly constructed out-of-town boutique hotel, overlooking Mt Kenya. The sitting room, dining room and bar area is ‘ranch-house’ in shape and style with six separate cottages (with two bedrooms in each) as the 12 bedrooms. The entire place is classic contemporary style with a clean cut modern look, simply and tastefully furnished … and yummy food!! Honestly, the food is delicious; my breakfast of poached egg, smoked salmon & hollondaise sauce on a crusty brown bread is still heavily on my mind!
A family friendly activity I can truly recommend whilst staying at Soames is a mornings visit to The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy otherwise known as the Animal Orphanage at Mt. Kenya Safari Club. Little people will struggle to forget their time cuddling a cheetah, an over affectionate Llama, feeding a Colobus monkey, being pecked by a Crested Crane or riding a huuuuuge tortoise. Ours keep asking to come back here …. all the time! Here are some wonderful ideas of what you can do when you next stay at Soames:
- Spend the day, and night on Mt. Kenya:
- Either at the NEW Ragati Conservancy Log Cabin. Ragati is simply perfect for family-time. The cabins themselves are beautiful, Soames provide the food … need I say more? The most popular activity is fishing. You can also walk & explore in the unspoilt forest or just chill and play games with the family.
- Or a night or two at Rutundu Log Cabins, yup this is where William and Kate got engaged.
- Wildlife, wildlife, wildlife:
- Spend the day on Ol Pejeta Conservancy – Just 1/2 an hours drive with over 10,000 large mammals, including the big 5, yup rhino and chimpanzees! An amazing wildlife experience indeed.
- Or how about Solio? A privately owned wildlife sanctuary, just an hours drive. The most successful private rhino breeding reserve in Kenya and visitors will find that sightings of up to 40 rhinos at a time are not uncommon, and most of the time you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
- Or a little further afield is the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust. An awesome array of activities from a Tree Canopy Walk (where you will probably see buffalo, eles etc.), camping, game drives, twitching, swimming in waterfalls, canyoning, ziplining etc.
- Or how about an ultimate activity … a Helicopter ride up and around the mountain?
Soames Hotel & Jack’s Bar – I love this new find! This is a really pretty little hotel overlooking Mt. Kenya, the food is exceptional and it’s super-affordable. The perfect place to base yourself as a family for some incredible activities.
Nanyuki, Kenya – I have listed all the activities I would recommend above .. loads of great things to do.
Weather – Clear mornings but quite chilly (in my view), take layers. The wettest month is usually April.
What to Pack? – Shorts for the day with a shirt, a jumper and jacket, trousers and jumpers for the evening. And a mossi-net for your room … the only negative fore this lovely place.
Price – For Non-residents the rate is about USD80 per person per night; for residents it is the same Kshs8,000 per person per night, B&B.
My advise – Stay here, with your kids. It’s a great weekend away for Kenyan residents or for those on safari, it’s a really lovely addition to an intrepid safari!