Have you ever been to a place that instantly captivates you…in an enthralling, hard to explain, but no pressure kind of way?

There is a charm about Kinangop that is hard to put in words. You will instantly be blown away by its natural undisturbed beauty.

Kinangop, which is in Nyandarua County, is about 1 hour and 40 minutes’ drive from Nairobi, off the Nairobi-Naivasha Highway A104, and on Thika Gatura Road/C67, in Kenya.

One might easily write it off, because it is a rural area, consisting mainly of villages and farms. Yet, its most riveting qualities lie in the nature of its unblemished lands and features. These days you will hardly find such places, especially close to Nairobi.

My sister and I were utterly mesmerized, when we went down for a family function. Though it was not our first time to go, it might as well have been… We knew we had to go back!

So it was not a surprise when, on one funky Friday evening, five of us bundled into my friend’s car for a road trip!  The night crept upon us rather quickly, and Google Maps came in handy! Closer home, in Njabini town, my aunt directed us to her house via electricity poles. Yes, you read correct- electricity poles! We got a laugh out of it, but it turned out to be a very precise method. True to her word, her home is land-marked by the last electricity pole in her area.

The electricity project is still ongoing in the area, with some parts still plunged in darkness.

Like the typical ‘Nairobians’, we were awake by 6 am the next day, except not to dodge traffic…but to catch the sunrise! The folks warned us about the ‘Kinangop sun’, which is not to be relied upon. This is due to the characteristic cold temperatures which can go as low as 12 Degrees Celsius. Heavy, woollen sweaters and hot, steaming tea in kettles are common, to keep out the chills. It also happens to be one of the few places in Kenya where hail stones rain down, making it look like snow.

Still, feeling hopeful we set off towards the ‘dam’, on Sasumwa stream, hoping to get the best view. The sun barely came out to play though, disappearing swiftly after it came up. Fortunately, we got amazing shots of the sun-kissed horizon. It was simply breath-taking…even in its subtlety.

We spent some time along the dam enjoying the luxury of the cold, early morning air. For some reason, I was completely taken with the rickety fence structures. It reminded me of what living in the countryside is actually like, compared to the city. Rusty barbed wire joined with tree branches or sticks, to make a fence, displaying a level of trust that city life has robbed us off.

The children, playing freely on the road, looked like they had not a care in the world…purely savoring life and making memories.

Kinangop is excellent to go on a long drive and get a fresh perspective on life. It is the perfect place to visit if you are used to programs and to-do lists… the beautiful change of scenery will ease your mind and perhaps, help you learn how to let go.

The next time you are on your way to Naivasha, consider taking a detour to Kinangop, or as you head to the Aberdare National Park. A bonus is that the people are super friendly, and will make you feel right at home!

For us, the trip served as a reminder about the truly significant things in life. Not to mention, the time with friends and family was refreshing!