Kimakia Tea Cottages, Thika
Set deep in a valley and overlooking the Aberdare Forest Reserve and Chania River, these two cottages are built in pact with nature. The farm features different accommodation options; A large cottage and a small cottage, both nested on a peaceful and secluded tea farm of 5 acres with extensive river frontage. Guests will find many spots for exploration along the river. The location is ideal for both relaxation and outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, birding, cultural trips and forest exploration.
The large cottage sleeps 6 people and provides functionality and privacy. Equipped with a fully fitted kitchen and 2 bathrooms, the architectural design is made to host 2 families sharing the living room, the 2 porches and garden areas. There is an indoor fireplace and space for barbecue and bond fire outside the cottage.
The small cottage sleeps 2 people and a child. The cottage features a bedroom with a double bed and fireplace, a bathroom with hot shower and a large covered porch with dining facilities and an inbuilt covered kitchen.
Both cottages feature extensive and private river frontage views and access.
The house is manned with a cleaner and a caretaker who can help with orientation and supply firewood, washing, cleaning, doing the dishes and other basic tasks. A cook can be booked for an additional fee and shopping can be arranged with the cook, prior to guests arrival. Guests can access all 5 acres of the farm and the river.
There are several hikes that are possible in the area. You can enter the National Forest Reserve by car from the cottages (2km to the gate) and choose different trails via a guide. Steep trails lead down to Chania River or to Kimakia River and gives a great sense of the forest eco system. Easier trails are also available around the forest. Please discuss options with John who is our guide. He charges Ksh 1000 for a trip. Please note that a small fee official fee is payable to Kenya Forest Service for entrance via MPESA. Details are found in the cottage.
You can also hike at Elephant Hill, (3630m) which is 1hr 15 mins drive from the cottages. Guides are normally to be found locally in the area, but kindly make your own arrangements for that if you want to go.
Finally you can walk directly from the cottages into the reserve via the river, if you are not afraid to cross several times. There is no particular trail and progress is challenging although beautiful. DISCLAIMER:
The National Forest Reserve is a designated wildlife reserve and area. Forest Elephant and other large wildlife is present in the area and Kimakia Tea Cottages does not accept responsibility for injury, death or loss of property on behalf of guest’s movement in the reserve. Guests must accept full responsibility for their actions and movement in the area.
There are several options for trout fishing in the area. Kindly note that a fishing licence from Muranga County is needed. You can fish Chania River directly at the farm, downstream from the cottages or choose beats inside the forest. Kimakia River on the other side of the ridge is smaller and normally a bit clearer and can also be accessed inside the forest and from the farms downstream from the forest boundary. If you want to fish, kindly contact the host Peter Martinsen 0714224050 for more and detailed information about beats, fly fishing, best time to go, guides and more.
Aberdare National Forest Reserve is a vast highland rain forest reserve and connects to Aberdare National Park. The National Forest Reserve boundary is walking distance from the house along the river. Animals like forest elephant, bongo antelope, giant otter, colobus monkey and hundreds of bird species are present in the reserve. Deeper into the forest and closer to the border with the Aberdare National Park itself, you can find buffalo, rhino, leopard, giant bush hog, lions and antelope among others. Trips to the National Reserve can be arranged both on foot and by car. A guide is highly recommended and we can help with contacts. All safety measures are the responsibility of the guests and it is advisable to seek local knowledge of the forest before entering.
The National Reserve lies as a protected buffer zone around the National Park. It is defined by the long stretched Rhino Ark wildlife fence and has gates manned by Kenya Forest Service. The vast areas covered constitute the lower slopes of the Aberdare Ranges and are mostly covered in Montane Rain Forest, but has the occasional state owned plantations. Here you will find a great deal of wildlife like forest elephant, bongo antelope, giant otters, hyena, various species of monkeys and an incredible bird life among others. The area is open for hiking, birding and fishing and the forest is vast and beautiful, has many rivers and non-accessible valleys and indigenous forest. We help to arrange hikes of different length and level of difficulty. Roads to the National Reserve are close to the cottages. The C66 and C67 lead through sections of the reserve but do not extend into the National Park itself. Please arrange entry through the National Reserve via the cottage caretaker. There is a small fee payable via MPESA for access to the forest through the Kimakia Forest Station Gate. Details are in the cottage and attached below as well. The cottages themselves are located next to the National Reserve fence and you can actually walk directly into the dense forest right from the cottages along the river. A gate 1,5 km from the cottages lead via the C67 across the forested reserve and connect to Njambini and further on to Naivasha. A 4×4 is needed. The rainy season can sometimes close this road.
The Aberdare National Park is located closer to the peaks of the Aberdare. The closest gate is either Mutubio gate via Engineer, a 2 hour drive from the cottages or – Treetops and other gates accessible via the town of Nyeri. The National Park requires passports and has different rates for tourists, residents and Kenyans. Here you will find buffalo, rhino, leopard and the landscape is more open. The park is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service and has designated opening hours. Many areas are accessible in car only but has picnic sites. Maps are available at the main gates.
Main Cottage – sleeps 6
1-3 pax KSH 14,000 per night
1-4 pax KSH 16,000 per night
1-5 pax KSH 18,000 per night
1-6 pax KSH 20,000 per night
Small Cottage – sleeps 2
1-2 pax KSH 9,500
1 pax KSH 3000 per night if booking as part of the main cottage
2 pax KSH 6000 per night if booking as part of the main cottage