Kembu is a super chilled spot just north of Nakuru – all the better for the dearth of decent accommodation in this part of Kenya. The accommodation is situated on a horse breeding farm, and is an eclectic mix of wooden cottages, wagons and newer pied-à-terres.
Little has changed in the years we have visited Kembu. We visited last year when Kenya’s government limited travel for Nairobi-ites to just five counties at the height of the pandemic and so our plans – along with many others’ – to head to the coast at Easter fell through. Kembu was a lovely alternative – we headed up with some friends, and ended up not minding at all about that missed beach holiday.
Perhaps the loveliest of all of the cottages is Beryl’s Cottage, named after intrepid aviator and racehorse trainer Beryl Markham, who spent much of her childhood on the Njoro farm. It’s spacious with bags of charm, and an open-plan kitchen and seating area. Meals invariably take place on the long verandah overlooking its own private lawn.
The other cottages are also charming – although I haven’t seen in all of them – and are of varying sizes to suit their guests’ needs. Not all are as well set up as Beryl’s Cottage though in terms of cooking facilities, so it’s always worth checking that out beforehand. If you decide not to self cater, there is a convivial restaurant and bar area with its own pizza oven where campers and cottage dwellers alike can meet, or meals can be brought to where you are staying.
We had feared that our kids might find it difficult to stay on a horse farm when they couldn’t ride the horses, but just being around them seemed reward enough, and they would spend hours grooming and chatting to them at the nearby stables. We, meanwhile, took ourselves off on walks around the farm, or tried a spot of archery with the kids. There is not a huge number of things to do, but it’s a decent base for day trips, and if you’re just up there for peace and quiet, then it’s really quite perfect.
Prices (without meals included) start at $65 a night for the smaller accommodations, such as Cobb’s Carriage and the Treehouse, going up to around $165 a night for the larger cottages, sleeping four (although extra mattresses can be added).
www.kembucottages.com or Tel: +254 722 361 102
About the Author
I'm a former travel magazine editor, focused on Kenya, before which I covered news in Africa and beyond. These days, I travel with my kids.