Of the 10,000 climbers who visit Mount Kenya, especially to climb the peaks of Lenana and Batian, 10% may soon do so via Embu if a new proposed route, passing through the town, is approved. Meanwhile Embu county leaders are busy identifying potential tourist attractions as the town gears up to be a major tourist haven.
The new route will go through Embu town and Kianjokoma on the western side to the mountain. There is even a KES 10 million information centre at Irangi forest that has been set up to help tourists find their way to the mountain.
Some of the additional key attractions besides mountain climbing will include a trip to the Mau Mau caves where Kenya’s freedom fighters hid from the colonial pursuers. Visitors will also be able to engage in sport fishing and take nature walks including watching the many species of birds found here.
There are other sites in the region like Mwenendega, where the Embu trace their origin. Embu mythology claims that the Embu people originated from Mbui Njeru in the interior of Embu, close to Runyenjes town. In the mythology God (Ngai) created Mwenendega and gave him a beautiful wife (Ciurunji) by the famous Mbui Njeru waterfalls.
The couple was blessed with wealth and their descendants populated the rest of Embu. A nicely packaged trip to Mwenendega and the Mbui Njeru Waterfalls can be an exciting experience for any visitor to Embu. Nthenge Njeru waterfalls, also in Runyenjes, should not miss on your itinerary.
The National Museums of Kenya is further planning to build a KES 52 million planetarium at Kianjiru hills in Mbeere South where tourists, including amateur astronomers, would be able to observe the planets and the stars. The planetarium will be the first on the Equator and is expected to be a huge crowd puller.
The planetarium will come complete with a cultural museum where locals will get an opportunity to showcase their traditional song, dance, story-telling, housing and dress. At the foot of the hill, there are plans to plant a botanical garden with different species of indigenous and exotic plants. This facility will have a 32-bed lounge where tourists will stay and locals will have an opportunity to put up curio shops.
The site will give the little-known Mwea National Reserve some much needed visibility. The 42 KM2 reserve is a major attraction site for wild game viewing, boat rides at Kamburu dam, hippo point, rare birds watching and a walking circuit.
Animals that can be seen in the reserve include dik dik, cape hare, warthog, tortoise, slender mongoose, dwarf mongoose, duiker, black backed jackal, striped ground squirrel, crested porcupine, and genet cat.