Inspired by vintage British horse-drawn caravans of yesteryear, these huts in Nanyuki are certainly one of a kind.
PHOTOGRAPHS: BRIAN SIAMBI
Finally, the Nomad team arrives in Nanyuki after a couple of days up in the mountains. To electricity and hot showers and KFC, which is actually our first stop in town. Nothing short of fast food will suffice! For supper later that evening, we swing by Little Barney’s at One Stop for some takeaway pizza before being shown to our cottages, Bramble and Oak, which are actually only a stone’s throw away.
Similar in design, these stylish and quirky huts are traditional shepherd’s wagons that were used during lambing season in the UK from the 15th to the 20th century. Raised and with extended wooden front porches, they actually even have the standard wheels at the bottom and would therefore be mobile should they ever need to be moved. Nestled in a garden, an outdoor lounging area leads to the main door which opens to an intimate space with one double bed, a single bed and kitchen area where you’re more likely to easily whip up coffee with toast than cook a full meal for dinner. It includes a fridge, kettle, tea bags, instant coffee and enough glasses to invite a handful of friends over for a quick sundowner, possibly out on the verandah while taking in the views of Mt Kenya on a clear day.
My hut could comfortably sleep three. The space looks bigger than it actually is thanks to the spotless all-white coat of paint within as well as the large glass windows and doors which let in maximum light. The eco-friendly toilet and bathrooms are private, solar-heated, set right outside the room and intentionally designed to create a rustic African “mabati chic” feel.
Unique in the country thanks to being inspired by vintage British traveller horse-drawn caravans of yesteryear, Shepherd’s Hut is set opposite the Nanyuki airstrip and thanks to its location at One Stop Nanyuki, you can find an array of facilities and services ranging from a farm shop and hair salon to a vet’s office right within the premises. Accommodation starts at Ksh 5,000 per person.
A safari tent with one king size bed and two singles is available, and if you have tents, you can camp here for only Ksh 500. A swimming pool is currently under construction, and there is also a wooden three-bedroomed house said to be over 100 years old that was recently transported to Nanyuki from its previous location in Nairobi. For its age, it is surprisingly still very intact, and is being restored exactly as it was with very little reinforcements, and it will likely be ready for bookings by the beginning of August. Once the decor is completed, likely in a similar simple, stylish, airy and tasteful manner as the huts, it will certainly be one of the most charming places to stay in town.