Slowly but surely, Mark and I are making our way around Nairobi. This past weekend, we decided to go picnicking somewhere in or around the city. After looking up a few picnic spots in Nairobi, we narrowed down to two locations – Paradise Lost Kiambu and the Nairobi Arboretum.
Having being to the Nairobi Arboretum earlier and seeing how busy it could get (and how difficult it was for me to pronounce ‘Arboretum’ correctly 🙂 ), we chose to visit Paradise Lost in Kiambu County, hoping to get away from the crowd and enjoy a quiet park afternoon together.
We set out to Paradise Lost at about 10 am on a very beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. Since we got to Nairobi, it’s rained quite often. So, I was very pleased that the weather condition favoured a picnic. After a 30-minute Uber ride with a little traffic, we arrived at the location.
Because Paradise Lost is situated a few kilometres off the main road, I was worried about the possibility of getting a Uber back but our driver assured us that it wouldn’t be a problem and he was right. Getting out was just as easy as getting in.
After paying the entrance fee of Ksh400 each (about ₦1,400 or $4), we headed into the property looking for a nice spot to lay claim of. There were no signs to show where the picnic area or any other attractions were, so we just kept walking straight ahead.
We were heading towards the waterfall when a man approached us to ask for payment. I thought he meant ‘proof of payment’ so I showed him our tickets but he insisted that there was a different charge to go see the waterfall and the caves. I found this very strange but as it turns out, Paradise Lost charges for every single activity (apart from picnicking) once you get into the property.
I can understand the extra charges for specific activities but charging to go see the waterfall felt absurd. While I contemplated whether or not I was eventually going to check it out (Mark wasn’t interested in doing so), we found a nice enough spot for our picnic and set up there.
Since we were one of the first sets of people in, we managed to enjoy a relatively quiet picnic together before more people trooped in later in the day. At the peak of the day, there were several parties going on around us, children running around, families barbequing and people ziplining, fishing and boat riding in the lake.
After we had stayed for a few hours, I thought I’d check out the waterfall and caves before we left. I had to pay an extra Ksh300 (about ₦1,060 or $3) just to enter the area. It is quite disappointing that Paradise Lost charges an extra fee for this and they offer no additional value.
When I saw the ‘Old Stone Age Cave Tour’ sign, I thought they’d be an actual tour and someone would give visitors a brief about this place. There was none but supposedly, the caves date back 2.5million years and were significant during Kenya’s fight for independence.
I ended up not going into the caves because I refused to contribute to the idea of capitali…- I was scared. Yep, I wish Mark had come with me, but then again, I don’t think we would have been too happy spending an extra Ksh300.
Anyway, after checking out the caves and waterfall area, it was time to head back home. We ordered our Uber and 20 minutes later, we arrived at our apartment.
Paradise Lost Charges & Activities
At the time of this writing, Paradise Lost charges an entrance fee of Ksh400 and Ksh300 for adults and children respectively who are citizens and residents. For non-residents, the entrance fee for adults is Ksh1000. Apart from this fee, you would be required to pay for other activities and sights you are interested in.
Some of the costs listed on the tickets include camel riding, horse riding and boat rides at Ksh300 each, ziplining and quad biking at Ksh1,500 each and archery at Ksh1,200. They also offer guests opportunities for fishing, camping, going on a coffee tour and a play area for kids.
Overall, I think we had a good outing to Paradise Lost. There are many areas to be improved upon but I would recommend a visit if you live in Nairobi. Also, if you are visiting, not on a budget and have enough time to spend in the city, it might be worth checking out.
Been to Paradise Lost? What was your experience like? And also, if you live in Nairobi, please share your favourite spots and picnic locations with me.