By Lillian Gaitho
Machakos People’s park
The rugby season is arguably one of the major sport tourism high seasons on the Kenyan calendar; with fans traversing the country’s pitches in search of adrenaline-laden action from our teams. Top of the season this July is Masaku 7s, which is scheduled to take place this 8-10 July, in Machakos Stadium. On top of cheering, feet thumping and making merry as is common with rugby weekends, leading online hotel site Travel.jumia.com lists a few attractions you can sample around and about this Eastern County.
Enjoy the scenery and the history
Machakos town made it to the country’s history as the first town to host white settlers and missionaries during the pre-colonial era; the British established their first administrative post here, in a town named after it’s finest warrior – Masaku. That was in 1887. First forward to date, Machakos is the administrative town of the county; marked by scenic, green, hilly and sometimes rocky borders. Among it’s fascinating musings is the mythical hill that’s said to change one’s gender if you go around it seven times – well, this would kill some trade.
Dubbed the ‘magic corner’, Kimwilu in Kamba and even ‘the anti gravity hill, this location – a 10 minute drive from Machakos town- here, objects are seen to defy Uncle Newton’s apple experience by moving upwards the hill as opposed to the naturally expected downward movement. Folklore and fables passed through generations, however seem more exciting and appealing; the whole phenomena is explained as the raging fight between two men involved in a love triangle with Kamba’s most beautiful daughter. Centuries after their departure, their spirits still soldier own, after the girl’s golden heart. How quintessentially romantic.
Maanzoni Sanctuary is home to herds of grazers, bounteous bird life and the all-time coveted sightings of the African Jumbo as well as lions. The sanctuary is well sheltered from the sometimes extremely hot sun by the scenic stretch of Lukenya hills; providing some sort of cooler during the hot seasons. Maanzoni Lodge serves as a popular destination while there, and you can also lodge at the 4 star Gelian Hotel as you explore the area.
A view of the hilly terrain from Gelian HotelMachako’s People’s Park
The People’s Park is Machako’s own Uhuru Park, but with the toppings of a modern park. The hills surrounding the park in all its horizons make a rare sunset in the evenings, while the open amphitheater –the continent’s first – adds a drop of grandness to any baraza or sport event held here.
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
Not exactly on the rugby trail; but worth tens of mentions. The park covers about 20 kilometer square and comes to live 70 kilometers from Nairobi. With a number of grazers peacefully co-existing in its mountain forest, this park, which also slopes down Mount Kilimambogo is ideal for hikers and campers. You definitely will not make it here on the same weekend as the Masaku 7s, but it’s a worth come back soon as you can. While here, make sometime to visit the epic 14 Falls and also pass by Lord Macmillan’s Fort.