Often described as the perfect location for an out-of-town kind of trip, Gilgil offers you just the ambience and serenity you need for a retreat.
The general aura is ideal for every kind of traveller, whether on a honeymoon, a family retreat, a friend’s outing or simply a solo date.
If you are on a budget, you need not worry since there are a number of places offering good experiences at cost-friendly prices.
You can get to Gilgil via railway using the Gilgil Railway Station, or air transport and connect from the airstrip in Naivasha.
But for the ultimate wild experience, use road transport and enjoy breathtaking views along the way, like the Great Rift Valley; the scenery is to die for.
Below is a list of places to visit and the respective activities to engage in while in Gilgil
1. Lake Elementaita
Beautifully lodged between Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru is this oasis of beauty.
Widely hailed as the pink lake, Lake Elementaita is located about 16 kilometres north of Gilgil town and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area.
Due to the presence of algae that invades the water, it turns pink, forming the most spectacular sight.
During the migration season, hundreds of bird species such as pelicans, marabou stocks and spoonbills flock to the waters, turning it into a bird haven.
You will definitely need a camera and your binoculars to engage in this thrilling bird-watching experience.
At any time of the year, you are bound to spot greater and lesser flamingos adding a pink hue to the water, although they are fast receding.
You should see the sun at dusk, casting its golden rays upon the pink waters, forming the classic phrase of ‘Sky meets the Sea.’
This is bound to entice you if you are a hopeless romantic, so be sure to have a sundowner with you and the most soothing music.
2. Malewa Bush Ventures
Looking to have an all-around experience, have that adrenaline pumping and bond with your family and friends? Then look no further.
The Malewa Bush Ventures offers you all this and more at cost-friendly prices.
The aura of the place is ideal for group activities, so tag a team with you, whether family or friends and get it going.
With the Malewa River a stone’s throw away, one of its popular features is water activities such as swimming and rafting.
There is no better way to wind down other than screaming your lungs out in the field, so engage in different sports and team-building activities such as tug of war and races.
After burning off your energy, indulge in your favourite local delicacy, all skilfully made with attention to detail, and you will be left craving for more.
When darkness sets in, enjoy the warmth of a lit bonfire as you exchange stories and dine some more.
Retreat to your cottage or camp for the night, with sheer silence and the occasional chirping of crickets filling your night.
Wake up to splendid views of the Malewa river, and have a detailed breakfast by the river banks, a sure way to spice up your morning.
3. Kariandusi Museum
For history junkies, this is the ideal spot for you to increase your knowledge in diverse fields.
This particular spot bears the remains of an early man dating back thousands of years ago.
Discovered by Dr Louis Leakey in the 1930s, the museum is considered a prehistoric site and is visited by tourists from all over who come to view this wonder.
Different kinds of fossils are preserved there, and other proofs of existence such as farming implements like hand axes and cooking tools are stored there.
Caves that acted as residential places for early man are also spots for sightseeing.
The museum is ideal for an educational tour, so feel free to tag someone with you and let them learn a new thing.
After the archaeological tour, go for a nature walk and experience the fresh cold air while sampling different plant species.
Camping is allowed at the site should you wish to make your experience wilder, all you need is a sleeping tent and a few essentials.
4. Kigio Wildlife Conservancy
Previously a ranch owned by white settlers, this wildlife sanctuary is a project of the local community, who saw it fit to turn the property into a natural habitat for flora and fauna.
This is where humanity meets wildlife, and over time the centre has become home to various animal species such as hyenas, zebras, antelopes, rhinos and buffaloes.
The endangered Rothschild giraffe is also found here and is well cared for to prevent extinction.
Go on a game drive to see the animals up close as the wardens give you details on the same.
The drive is best done in the morning, you have a better chance of seeing different animals that way.
The nearby Malewa river, teeming with water, adds to the scenic view.
Climax your day’s tour by going on an evening nature trek, feeling the cool air on your skin, getting fascinated by the different types of birds and insects and marvelling at the sheer green environment.
You can support this project by buying locally made crafts, if not just put up at their accommodation facilities or generously tip the staff for their good work.
5. Gilgil Stadium
Nothing quite brings people together than a good football match or a cultural event, and what better way to experience this other than in a stadium?
Recently revamped, this state-of-the-art facility has seen great matches take place over the years.
You will be in for a treat seeing a live match and get intrigued by how much passion drives people.
Occasionally, events such as cultural shows are held at the stadium. Attending one of these will give you insights into cultural diversity, you might learn a new thing, a new language or simply make new friends.
6. Kikopey Springs and Nyama Centre
Skinny-dipping in a naturally heated thermal pool is not only thrilling but a cheaper alternative. A few minutes into this will have you forgetting being in a sauna.
The naturally heated springs are found near Lake Elementaita and are among the top attraction sites in the area.
Kid-sized pools are available, so feel free to tag your young-ins with you.
After swimming to your fill and soaking in the rays of the sun, a good meal would do you justice, and the nyama choma centre at Kikopey will cater for that.
The centre has tens of meat stalls, mostly serving grilled meat; beef, chicken, pork or mutton.
You can have it specially made just how you like it, either fried or simply boiled.
Over time, the centre has become renowned for its prowess, so do not get surprised on finding the place fully flocked.
Indulge in different accompaniments such as ugali or fries. The stalls are also fully stocked with a wide assortment of drinks, so feel free to let loose as you enjoy the tranquillity and crisp air.
7. Epashikino Resort and Spa
Just a five-minute drive from Lake Elementaita and the Kariandusi Museum lies this exquisite resort that oozes grandeur from the moment you walk in.
The facility has top-tier amenities that ensure the guests are catered to the core.
With the searing temperatures, swimming will come in handy, and their outdoor and indoor pools take care of that. A kid’s pool is also available for your children to play in.
Bask in the sun while sipping an ice-cold drink as you stare at the scenic environment and the nearby pink lake.
After soaking in the sun’s rays, retreat to the onsite restaurant for a hearty meal, whether local delicacies or foreign cuisines, all made by the best hands.
A spa and fitness centre to give your body the glory it deserves is located within.
The well-versed trainers and masseuses will help you wind down and feel plumped up.
Accommodation facilities are also offered in deluxe, double and single rooms starting at 58 USD per person for a night.
The rooms are tastefully furnished and equipped with stable WiFi, not to mention the high cleanliness, instantly giving you a homely feeling.
The staff is very friendly so you can easily interact with them.
Parking facilities are ample and the security is tight, so be sure to enjoy your stay to the fullest.