This book was first published privately in 2001, has 127 pages, 82 beautiful colour pictures, 40 B/W photos, but no maps. MONTY BROWN (17.7.1929-15.2.2012) arrived in NYERI, Kenya in 1930 and has lived there between Mt Kenya and the Aberdare range.
This is heart of Kikuyu country and the place where early settlers lived. This book is about them and the Aberdare Country Club and its sattelite lodge - THE ARK. The Club faces east towards MT KENYA (Kima-Ja-Kegnia or Kirinyaga or Ol Dionyo-Keri or Kirimara). On 3.12.1849, Krapf was first European to see Mt Kenia. On 18.12.1902, Nyeri was settled near Nyeri Hill (Na-ayier in Maasai means 'the cook'- in old Africa - a woman's job). Aberdare Country Club is perched on 'Ol Dionyo Larash'. White settlers came to farm coffee and livestock on these hills.
By 1920, as Kenya Colony was formed, more white settlers came to Nyeri (6,000ft). Mt Kenya was once the highest mountain in Africa, before erosion wore away the crater walls. In 1935, Mickey and Dot Lyons bought the 'STEEP' site on the footslope of Ol Dionyo Larash. Vir Singh- a sikh, contractor from Nyeri was used. In 1937, William D Campbell built Monte Carlo Ranch House, 2 miles from the Steep. Both houses facing Mt Kenya with Aberdare Forests behind them. Then in 1967, it was thought to convert 'Steep' to a lodge and build another lodge 'The Ark' in the Aberdare Forests. Bill Woodley, Warden at Mt Kenya/Aberdares helped. Kartar Singh of Nyeri got the contract for the Ark in 1969, opening it on 1.12.1969.
'Steep' name was then changed to 'The Aberdare Country Club'. In 1980, the capacity of the Ark was increased from 60 to 123 passengers. The Club was also expanded with a golf course and 19 extra cottages. The Ark stands at the edge of YATHABARA glade with a large waterhole and salt lick surrounded by the Aberdare forests. Me and my wife visited these lodges in September 2001. First you go to the Club, leave most of your luggage, have lunch and by 2.30pm, you are taken in buses 17 miles to the Ark. After entering the Aberdare National Park, you are 4 miles from the Ark. Animals are seen straight away. No mosquitoes here. Ark, is 3 story building, your room is small with shower and toilet. There were many viewing areas to see all kinds of animals. In the middle of the night, a buzzer rang in our room, there were rhinoes at the waterhole. Next morning, after breakfast, we were back at the Club to collect the rest of our luggage. WONDERFUL.