Coming from Nairobi, the great road north winds its way through the rich farmland once called the white highlands. “White,” of course referring to the settlers of the early last century that had made their homes here.
Before there was barely a road they made their way in ox wagons loaded with all their worldly possessions of which there were few. They all had dreams in their young heads strong enough to keep them pushing forward to an uncertain future.
When the rains struck suddenly the small caravans would get stuck in the mud, delayed for days on end. There were no doctors to tend to their fevers or assist the young mothers in childbirth. No guards against attacks by "natives" whose land they were trespassing on without permission. Not unlike the American "wild west" perhaps, but for the wild animals that also roamed the land.
The plains outside Nairobi were lined with Gazelles and Giraffe in the thorny outcrops. The mighty Aberdare and Mount Kenya forests hid Elephant and Buffalo in great numbers. Leopard sightings were not rare. Sudden charges by an enraged Rhino or a rogue Buffalo were all in the order of the day.
Today the traveler has dreams of a different kind. From the comfort of their radio equipped Safari Vehicle they travel a "civilized road" lined by bustling markets that have their own African charm. The once feared inhabitants of the land are every where, extending Kenyan hospitality way beyond their means should you brake down.
There is no longer danger from the wild animals that have retreated way into the interior of the forest often only revealing themselves at night.
After the provincial headquarters town of Nyeri, the land gradually flattens out onto a high plateau known as the Laikipia. Mount Kenya reveals itself to one side and the mighty Aberdare Range to the other. The land in-between is mostly arid high altitude Ranchland. The air is clean and fresh and the light intense as you near the Equator on the southern side.
Just as your mind warms to the idea of a cool drink and your stomach begins to grumble you will see an unusual sign, carved in the shape of a "naked" fish, announcing the…
The Trout Tree Restaurant
Down a stony pass, you find what you least expected on these dry plains, a green spot by the Burguret River. The "restaurant" is cleverly built into an old fig tree.
Once seated you are shaded by the tree enjoying a cool breeze and even cooler beer or wine. They keep it in crates in the icy waters of the river. Every time you order, the crate is hauled up with a rope.
The trout you eat couldn’t be more fresh. You can see them jumping in the ponds and the River below the tree…
The menu is simple offering several variations of Trout but also Lamb and Salads, all followed by fresh strawberries.
For a starter, try the Salmon Trout Sashimi. It is worth waiting for as they first catch the trout for this. I doubt you have ever eaten better.
For a main dish I highly recommend the barbequed whole trout, simply but expertly grilled over an open wood flame.
If you still have room for desert, there are always fresh strawberries from the home farm topped by fresh full rich Kenya cream.
A wonderful meal with no preservatives. All the ingredients are grown right on the Trout farm, where you sit.
While you indulge in the culinary delights you may witness a visit of some of our Orphanage graduates. A troupe of some 15 Colobus monkeys that we released in the forest have found their way to the Trout farm where they sometimes come for the juicy leaves, playing and watching the humans below.
The Trout Tree is the sort of Restaurant that has disappeared mostly in the civilized world,
Don’t miss it.
Further north, the famous Mount Kenya Safari Club is just a short drive away.