Machakos, or, as said in Kamba, Masaku, is the hub of the Eastern region of Kenya. About 40 minutes’ drive (on a clear highway), or 60Kms from Nairobi, the city was passed over as Kenya’s capital city. First established in 1887, it was the first administrative center for the British Colony. The town and county is named after the most famous Akamba chief, Masaku. I once managed to trace my bloodline to him, but that’s a story for another day, after I have another chat with my dad.
Machakos has eight (8) constituencies including Machakos Town, Mavoko, Masinga, Yatta, Kangundo, Kathiani, Matungulu, and Mwala. Machakos Town is the administrative capital of the county.
For now, let’s check out what you should do in Machakos, should you happen to visit:
- Visit T-Tot hotel
There’s no trip to Masaku that is complete without a visit to the T-Tot hotel. Made famous by the offering of scrumptious samosas and mandazi, it’s become a customary pit stop for travelers. However, the family split the business and now there are two T-Tots, right next to each other. They’ve all got great food!
— Mutheu Mutua (@AKenyanGirl) November 15, 2014
- Hike on Kiima Kimwe:
This hill is a great challenge for many hikers. I once climbed it, and it’s an experience I would wish to forget, due to the soreness of muscles experienced the day after. Standing at 6,087 ft. / 1,855 m, the hill is like a little mountain and offers a great view of the greater Machakos area, and Nairobi.
- Attend Masaku 7s:
With 7s rugby becoming popular in Kenya, every county seems keen to have its own rugby tournament. With Machakos being such a quick drive, it’s only inevitable that this is one of the most well attended 7s tournament. The 2014 tournament had its fair share of headaches, with massive traffic jams contributing to the debauchery and acts that were well documented on social media. This year though, the organizers are promising a better experience, so don’t miss this, starting Friday 3rd July – Sunday 5th July 2015.
To paraglide, you need a few hillsides to take off from, and an open field to land on (or else you’ll land in a tree!) I had the best experience jumping off a hillside in Machakos with Xtrym Adventures, cementing my thrill and adventurous spirit in the need to jump off high places (with a chute to my bag, of course). Want to jump? Talk to Xtrym adventures and look out for their next trip.
- Enjoy Machakos People’s Park:
Not many counties have a public spaces, and Machakos made the news with the style and design of its park. In between the junction to Machakos and the town itself, the park offers great space and ambience for a wide range of activities. The outdoors amphitheater offers the chance to showcase festivals, while the vast spaces offer lots of playgrounds. I hear it’s one of the places to go out and have a picnic, I must check it out soon!
- Defy Gravity in Kituluni:
If Isaac Newton were alive, he would really wonder what happened here, and would probably go berserk trying to work it out. Gravity is defied in Kituluni hill, where water flows ‘backwards’ and a car with its engine off will go up a hill, unaided. According to local legend, the area was once a sacred hill, where ancestors made offerings and sacrifices to the gods. When a road was constructed through the sacred spot, the strange phenomenon of defying gravity started happening as the gods were said to be angry. I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation to this, but I choose to believe the legend. J
Kamba artistes are known for their love of the guitar, and there’s nothing like a disco playing Kamba music. From the time of the famous Kakai Brothers, to the current ones like Ken wa Maria, you cannot help but jig to the tunes. Mlolongo, which lies about 5 Kms from the Jomo Kenyatta Airport is one of the most popular club spots. You’re guaranteed a great time, just make sure you wear the right dancing shoes!
Things to look out for:
Machawood, film festival: Promising to be a great film festival, Machawood is offering the MachakosFest, a film festival for producers and enthusiasts the chance to showcase their work. The films will be screened at the Machakos People’s Park Amphitheatre. Submit your entries before 15th November 2015!
So get out and enjoy Machakos, and let me know about your adventures!