PARADISE LOST, KIAMBU
Paradise Lost, Kiambu presents a decent outdoor experience, for those looking to have a one-on-one with mother nature, right in the depth of Kiambu County. Attractions include spots for picnics and barbecues, a huge man-made lake with boats to ride, a scenery of some waterfalls and old caves, a nature trail, fishing, birdwatching, archery, camel and horse riding.
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It was a bright and sunny afternoon in March, a convenient time to visit Paradise Lost in Kiambu and cross it off my bucket list. Having schooled in Kiambu area, I often passed the signboard along Kiambu road but I was barely interested in the place and what it holds, well until I decided to start this blog anyway.
Paradise Lost is located in Kiambu County, off Kiambu road approximately 15 Km from the Nairobi CBD.
It was a 1km bumpy journey through a coffee farm and finally to the gate. At this point we got the rider’s contacts. (It’d be wise to advise that you get bodaboda contacts so that you can get a ride back). It’s also safe to say that for convenience I wish we’d have used a cab instead.
So we went ahead to pay the entrance fees.
‘Kes. 400 for Adults.’
That’s a bit high for a ‘park’ entrance especially when you have no idea of the activities inside. Anyway they had an MPESA till number and we paid, received our tickets and got in. (It’s good to note that kids pay half price and non-Kenyans pay $10. Vehicles getting in incur a Kes. 200 charge per vehicle)
From the entrance, we were ironically ‘lost in Paradise Lost’. No signage, no guide, just us, walking … and walking. Straight ahead was a target archery zone but again no attendant. We hovered for a bit and a guy ran up to me and told me that it was fairly new and their introductory price was Kes. 1000 for around 1-2 hours. Since we’d not yet explored the site, we promised to check that out later. A couple of pictures later, I saw some grazing horses on one side and a car parking on another. Where were all the people?
I could hear some cheering noises from behind some trees and we decided to head on down there. We also saw some swings and some slides but no one was on them yet.
There were a few picnic huts where some ladies were placing dishes of food and some drinks on the table, chattering about and listening to music. They seemed comfortable and it didn’t seem like their first visit. There was an area with a big trampoline and a bouncing castle and a few adults and kids were having a good time. By the number of parked vehicles and the surrounding noise, we’d started to see why people liked coming here; outdoor fun and bonding with friends and nature. There was this large signboard, showing directions to ‘stone age’ caves and waterfalls and a restaurant right next to it.
This area was surprisingly full of life. We saw various groups people; laughing, eating and drinking, playing games, listening to music and bonding. There were barbecue grills around and the cooks were being pummelled by smoke, telling their funny tales in ‘kiss the cook’ aprons. I also noted some campers lying on the grass next to their small tents reading books and telling stories. Interesting.
We walked on and saw the huge lake; next to a small bar that was playing music and serving drinks to some revellers. There were people already in the lake, small dots of orange, rowing away happily. We honestly couldn’t wait to get on one. An attendant quickly came to us and gave us the small brief. We paid Kes. 200 per person (No MPESA Till here, cash only) and we were handed us two life jackets. The rules are to keep them on at all times. We had to wait our turn for around 10 minutes for our small boat to come round.
The ride was quite a thrill. More so since you take control of the entire boat and choose your own navigation, watching the sunset as it reflects its hue on the calm waters. This was awesome. We were taking in the evening fresh air as we rowed, rowed, rowed our boat.
The boat ride is a lot of fun when you are a couple too, of course make sure you don’t fight and get a paddle to the head or walk the plank before you get ashore 😊
Maybe I’ll check them out next time.