NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – Aberdare Safari Hotels is set to invest about Sh500 million in the expansion of its Outspan Hotel in Nyeri as it seeks to diversify its portfolio.
Aberdare Safari Hotel Operations Manager Wallace Chege told Capital FM Business that the investment is aimed at increasing capacity to about 100 from the current 45 rooms and new facilities that include 450 capacity conference rooms and new restaurants among others.
“We are currently selling conferencing but target to increase capacity. We have four conference rooms operational with a capacity of 180 pax, targeting to increase this to about 450 pax,” he noted.
The historic hotel that was built 90 years ago by Major Eric Sherbrooke Walker and his wife Lady Bettie has been concentrating on selling its iconic leisure brand that includes the place where Lord Baden-Powell, the Scouts Movement founder, spent the last years of his life at the Paxtu Cottage within the Outspan compound.
The firm currently serves over 50,000 people per year on its 20-acre gardens and expects the investment to will double the number to 100,000.
Outspan is also famed for its expansive grounds, beautiful gardens and over 300 bird species with River Chania banks on its premises.
The hotel is also 17 Kilometres away from the Aberdare National Park that is home to more than 2,000 elephants and is the last remaining habitat of the elusive bongo antelope and the giant forest hog. Other animals to be seen include black rhinos, buffaloes and spotted hyenas among others.
“We are not planning to change the brands’ authenticity, the country theme will still remain, but however, expansion is key for us owing to the growing demand of the facility,” he noted.
“The Mt Kenya tourism circuit has so much to offer tourists than the famous beach at the coast. A while back we saw Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala climbing Mt Kenya to promote tourism in this region, the ministry together with the tourism board should continue with these activities and grow the sector for both domestic and foreign tourists,” he stressed.