This past weekend we decided to do a little family getaway – Heidi’s first road trip! We packed up the car and headed up to Lake Naivasha for a night with both kids, and stayed at one of my favorite weekend spots: Dea’s Gardens. The drive up to the lake was gorgeous – one of those perfect crystal clear days with amazing views of the Great Rift Valley.
Remember when I wrote about how we stopped at Dea’s for lunch on our way home from Kampala / Eldoret? I told you that Dea’s deserved a post all its own, and I’m finally delivering. We’ve stayed with Dea several times now, and she never disappoints!
Dea lives in a beautiful, Swiss-style home that she built with her late husband, Hans. The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens full of cactus, bougainvillea, succulents and other flowering plants. Most mornings, Dea can be found hard at work in the garden, pruning, watering, and loving her plants.
What we love most about Dea’s gardens is how family-friendly it is. As I told you in my previous post, Dea has a sand box, a swimming pool, a play house, a swing set, an AWESOME sunken trampoline, bunny rabbits and tortoises for the kiddos to play with. (Claire loves them ALL.) She also has everything we need when traveling with little ones: tons of toys, a baby cot, a high chair, a baby bath, plastic cups, plates and bowls, and she even asks the kitchen staff to make Claire’s favorite foods.
We didn’t get out much with Heidi in tow, but on past visits we’ve gone from Dea’s on plenty of day trips. It’s an easy drive to Hell’s Gate National Park, where we’ve done game drives, and even rented bikes to cycle through the park. In the middle of the park, there’s an amazing gorge that we’ve hiked down (though this is admittedly not easy to accomplish with small children). We’ve also gone on boat rides on Lake Naivasha, visited local weavers and pottery makers, and taken long walks on Crescent Island amongst the resident giraffes.
My parents are coming for a visit (arriving tonight – yay!), and we’re thinking of going back to Dea’s again! I know my mom will love all the flowers and plants… We love staying at Dea’s – it’s such a great way to get out of Nairobi for a day or two!
PS – Dea’s daughter, Lisa, has opened up a second guesthouse in Karen! If you’ve got visitors who need a place to stay, or somewhere to transit en route to other safari destinations, you should check it out!