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Nyeri homestays where tourists actually get to help milk cows

Friday December 11 2015

Kahiga Homestay in Nyeri County. This is a form of tourism that allows visitors to live with local families and experience their way of life. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kahiga Homestay in Nyeri County. This is a form of tourism that allows visitors to live with local families and experience their way of life. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MARY WAMBUI
By MARY WAMBUI
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Are you the kind of tourist looking for an authentic African feel?

Where you can milk a cow in the morning, sample the African way of life during the day and watch wildlife in the evening?

Nyeri County is just the perfect place for that, with Kahiga Homestay offering a novel concept in tourism.

Located about three kilometres off the Nairobi-Nanyuki highway, Kahiga Homestay sits on a four-acre piece of land nestled between Mt Kenya and the Aberdares Mountain ranges, which have an abundance of wildlife.

The exotic resort provides a home away from home feeling in close proximity to the famous Laikipia ranches and major tourism attraction sites in the Mount Kenya region.

The Ministry of Tourism describes homestays as a unique system where a tourist stays with a host family to learn their way of life.

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For visitors willing to explore Kahiga Village, a car and bicycles are provided for transport.

The fully furnished home has four en suite bedrooms that can accommodate eight adults.

BEATIFICATION

Demand for homestays rose steadily in Nyeri when the world celebrated the beatification of Sister Irene Stefani ‘Nyaatha’ in May this year.

Due to the huge demand for accommodation at the time, the concept of homestays blossomed.

It is during this time that one couple’s long time desire to transform their rural home into a homestay was re-ignited and Kahiga Homestay was born.

The facility, which is licensed by the Tourism Regulatory Authority, gives local and international visitors a feel of what life in a village is like.

The coffee, tea, maize and dairy farms are a major attraction for international tourists, where they can milk cows for fun.

“Our biggest concern is clients’ privacy. To ensure that, we only accommodate a family at a time or those who come as a group and know each other,” said Mr Mathew Wambugu, the owner.

He said a tented conference facility will soon be set up on the farm.

House staff are provided on demand.

Kenya Community-Based Tourism Network executive director Taiko Lemayian said there could be about 3,500 homestays in Kenya, a figure that may change once the Tourism ministry gets round to registering them all.