Nanyuki is a market town in central-east Rift Valley region of Kenya lying northwest of Mount Kenya along the A2 road and at the terminus of the branch railway from Nairobi. It is situated just north of the Equator (0° 01' North). It was founded in 1907 by British settlers, some of whose descendants still live in and around the town. Nanyuki is currently the main airbase of the Kenya Air Force. The British Army also keeps a base at The Nanyuki Show Ground (NSG) from where it conducts yearly desert and jungle training exercises on the mountain and in the arid areas to the north.
Nanyuki is the capital of Laikipia County. In addition to a town hall, therefore, it also houses the county headquarters. The town was started by British settlers during in the early days of colonial Kenya in 1907. Some of their descendants still live in or around the town. The town is today multi-cultural and is the market center for farms, ranches, game parks and wildlife conservancies in the region. It's also the base for people seeking to climb Mount Kenya, the most famous landmark in the country.
The Equator line passes 6.5 km (4 mi) south of this town. Nanyuki municipality had an urban population of 31,577 in 1999 (). Most members of the population earn their money through trade. Shops in the town supply many farms, ranches and game parks in a wide circle. Originally, most shops were owned by Indians, who still form a sizable part of the population.
Climbers and backpackers visit Nanyuki on their way to or from Mount Kenya along the Sirimon and Burguret routes and many other tourists pass through the town. The oldest restaurant in town is The Marina and it is still fairly popular. Several years ago, a restaurant was opened south of Nanyuki built inside a huge tree. Named Trout Tree Restaurant its main attraction is obviously trout prepared in various ways. Patrons can also visit the trout breeding installation at the foot of the tree. Another notable restaurant is "Barneys" located at Nanyuki Civil Airfield, once the base of the No. 1340 Flight RAF, which flew Harvards during the Mau Mau Uprising.