Historic Aberdare Country Club
(ACC), a lodge and chalets set in a 1,300-acre wildlife sanctuary 2-1/2 hours northeast of Nairobi, has added horseback riding to its abundant range of activities that comprise day and night game drives, nature walks, gym exercise, swimming, golfing, tennis, yoga and rhino trekking. The ACC’s main structure was formerly a mansion called “Steep” owned by one of the Happy Valley set, the British ex-pats who settled in and around the capital city, and were notorious for their wild and wooly lifestyles (check out the film “White Mischief”).
Like some of the famous Kenyan settlers – Karen Blixen (of Out of Africa
fame), Beryl Markham (author of West with the Night) and Denys Finch-Hatton (lover to both) – guests can ride on the forested slopes and moors mingling with a dazzle of zebras, a herd of Thompson’s gazelles, a sounder of warthogs, and a tower of Rothschild giraffes, the tallest creature on earth. The Rothschild giraffe, identified by its light coloring and white knee socks (no patterning below the knee) is a rare and highly endangered species: ACC is one of the few places in the world to see them in the wild.
“Five horses are available and guests can ride solo or be accompanied by a syce. There are no predatory animals in this wildlife-teeming sanctuary,” says
, general manager. What a perfect adventure for romantics, nature lovers or those who want to channel colonial Kenya of the ‘20’s and ‘30’s! All levels of riders are welcome.
The Aberdare Country Club (booking automatically enrolls one in the club) is located in the Aberdare Highlands, part of the Great Rift Valley. It has retained the charm of a private home with the simple comforts of a country inn as highlighted in Monty Brown's book, Haven Under the Hill
: "Today, despite the fast-changing tempo of the outside world, the old home still retains that comfortable, solid feeling based on traditions from a time when life proceeded at a far more leisurely and gentle pace." ACC, now owned by the Marasa Group, was previously a Fairmont Hotel. For more information contact: