When Murang’a County in central Kenya is mentioned in a conversation, negative comments invariably follow, mostly to do with notorious criminals of days gone by, such as Rasta, Wanugu and Wacucu.
But you easily forget these sentiments when you visit Murang’a, formerly known as Fort Hall.
The county falls under the popular Mt Kenya Tourism Circuit and its most outstanding tourist attraction is the revered Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine, historically believed to be the home of the Kikuyu ancestors.
The shrine is perceived as the mythical Garden of Eden of the Agikuyu community.
Elders conduct sacrifices and prayers at the shrine for curious residents wishing to know their history as well as for tourists and researchers wishing to learn more about the community.
Murang’a’s hospitality sector is poorly developed despite the numerous local and international tourists who flock to the county to see the famous place and other attractions like the Tuthu Catholic shrine in Kangema, the Aberdare Forest and many more.
Despite the smooth roads, investors have for a long time failed to provide suitable accommodation for the multitude of visitors to the county.
But in the past two years, the county has started to see a stirring in the hospitality sector, with the opening of several establishments.
The latest entrant is Stanley’s Haven, which opened its doors recently.
With its fine architectural style and décor, beautiful lawns, quiet rooms, hall and beautiful landscaping, the place has become a magnet for people seeking serenity.
Alcohol is not sold on the premises but visitors are allowed to bring their own.
Stanley’s Haven, on the Kenol-Murang’a highway, is strategically located 500 metres off the main road at Mukuyu, about an hour’s drive from both Nairobi and Nyeri.
Nature lovers can watch the sun set slowly on the horizon as they unwind from their balcony or on the new breathtaking bridge constructed to connect the houses.
A museum will also be opened in 2017 to help preserve artefacts.