Uasin Gishu County

Discover Uasin Gishu County

Aerial view of Eldoret Town and A104 Mombasa-Uganda Road. Photo Courtesy
Aerial view of Eldoret Town and A104 Mombasa-Uganda Road. Image Courtesy

Brief Overview of Uasin Gishu County

Uasin Gishu’s landscape is generally flat. That of an undulating plateau with no impressive mountains or valleys. Its extended upland plains lie within the Lake Victoria catchment zone, and all its rivers eventually drain into Lake Victoria. Some of the major streams in Uasin Gishu include Sosiani, Kipkaren, Nderugut, Daragwa and Sambu. The principal line of communication in the County is the A104 Mombasa-Uganda Road that halves the lower half of area from Timboroa (southeast) to Eldoret Town (middle), from where it gradually turns northwest then west through Leseru and Kipkarren before reaching Webuye. Near Leseru, the B2 Eldoret-Kitale Road continues just west of north to Kitale Town through Matunda and Moi’s Bridge. A scenic but rarely used road, and which is a great alternative from Nakuru, is B53 Eldama Ravine-Nyaru-Kaptagat-Eldoret Road.

Owing to the favourable altitude, fertile soils and reliable rainfall, Uasin Gishu County is mainly agricultural in character, and marked by farmlands of maize, sunflower, wheat, pyrethrum and barley.  The arable land covers 2,995 km2 of which 910 km2 is under maize where 4.5 million bags are harvested annually, making this one of the most important cereal growing regions in Kenya. It also produces more than one-third of total wheat in Kenya.  Its forests cover 298 km2: 132 km2 is under plantation and 166 km2 hectares of indigenous forests. The forests mainly occupy the highest country in the northeast. Although much of Uasin Gishu County lies within one degree of the Equator, daily temperatures are moderate and the climate is equitable throughout the year, since much of this region of Kenya stands at an altitude of more than 6,000 ft. above sea level.

There is marked contrast to the landscape of Uasin Gishu County as you move from Eldoret Town, easterly heading, down the Kerio Escarpment, which links the cool and humid Uasin Gishu County with the warmer and semi-arid  Elgeyo Marakwet County. The Nandi Hills, which separate it from Kisumu County, make for an exceptional drive to appreciate this ecological gamut. Uasin Gishu County is also bounded to the north by the steep escarpments overlooking the Nzoia Valley, and to the west by smaller escarpments facing the Sosiani Valley. In the northeast corner of the area the Cherangani Hills rise steeply to heights exceeding 9,000 ft; in consequence the rainfall here is considerably higher than over Kitale plains and much of Uasin Gishu County, so that the higher parts of Cherangani are clothed in forests containing limited timber reserves of Cedar, Podo and mixed hardwoods. Bamboo thickets are abundant around 8,500 feet.

Salient Features of Uasin Gichu County

  • County Number 27
  • Area – 3345 km2
  • Altitude – 2700 ft
  • Major Towns – Eldoret, Burnt Forest, Turbo
  • Borders – T. Nzoia, E. Marakwet, Nandi, Kericho, Baringo, Kakamega

Brief History of Uasin Gishu County

The installation of the rail-head at Eldoret 381 kms northwest of Nairobi was a key turning point in the origination of Eldoret. Further, Kitale was linked to the main Kenya-Uganda line by a branch railway extending north from Leseru. At both towns sidings, go downs, stockyards as well as the usual trading facilities embracing banks, post offices, shops, hospitals and schools sprung rapidly. In turn, the blossoming of Eldoret was expedited by the activities of British and Afrikaner settlers from South Africa.  Their settlement in Uasin Gishu County gave rise to services such as security and transport. In 1908, the sitting District Commissioner awarded a contract for the construction of the DC’s residence, administrative offices, and stores in Eldoret Town. The newly-built centre was originally known as “Farm 64” which was the survey map number for this zone. Fertile soils, favourable climate, railway and mechanization of farming led to an exponential growth of Eldoret Town and its environs.  In November 1912, Farm 64 was renamed as Eldoret (its current name) which covers an area of 11.2 km2.

View of the Koromosho Falls - a hidden gem.  Photo Courtesy of All Events
Koromosho Falls – a hidden gem. Image Courtesy of All Events

Places of Interest in Uasin Gishu County

1. Timboroa Railway Station

About 95 kms from Nakuru by way of the A104 Nakuru-Eldoret Road you reach Timboroa Town and the southeast gateway into Uasin Gishu County. The drive is arguably more enjoyable after Mau Summit (57 kms from Nakuru) as the B1 Londiani-Kericho-Kisumu offloads much of the traffic on the great procession to Western Kenya. At Timboroa there is a hidden gem often sold short at the old Timboroa Railway Station. Remarkably still in good shape, this modest wooden country-style railway station was installed in 1961, and at an altitude of 9001 ft stands as the 11th highest (non-cable) railway point in the world and the highest in the British Commonwealth. Timboroa also lies along the Equator, that made crossing of this small rural hamlet historically of much interest for travellers on the defunct Lunatic Express. The Equator runs across the platform at Timboroa Railway Station. A small diamond sign used to be just visible at the end of the rail platform. In 1925, through an official public information gazette, an official postal office was established close to the station; once a heavily guarded facility.

2. Kesses Dam

Constructed in 1966 and subsequently upgraded in 1990, the relatively sizeable Kesses Dam built on a tributary of Kirobii River along the Kesses-Lessos Road and nearby Moi University is popular as an outdoor leisure area and the locals relish it for its boating and for fishing. The wetland of Kesses Dam was formed as a result of damming of Kirobii or Kesses River to supply Moi University with water. The dam lies in a wide valley bottom which is encircled by an undulating landscape marked by rolling hills and lovely forests. Among the things to do at Kesses Dam include exploring its lush riparian, walking its forest patch, boating at the dam and visiting Kesses Dam Retreat. From Timboroa it’s a 50 kms drive northwesterly through Burnt Forest to Cheptiret Center and the turnoff to Moi University and Kesses Dam. From the turnoff it’s a 21 kms drive to Kesses Dam.

Spatial Location of Kesses Dam in Uasin Gishu County
Spatial Location of Kesses Dam in Uasin Gishu County

3. Alten Energy Solar Farm

As the world seeks greener power solutions, Uasin Gishu County has taken huge steps-forward in this pursuit. Alten Energy, which represents one of three start ups that will collectively generate about 120MW of solar energy in Uasin Gishu County, is set up on a 371-acres piece of land where about 161,000 solar panels have been set on mobile devices called solar-trackers.  Two other 40MW each proposed solar plants, one 1 km east of Alten Energy and the second (Eldosol Energy) close by it, will in full-rille collectively generate 120 MW. Rather more importantly, these will set a benchmark for the untapped solar energy market in Kenya.  At present, Alten Group has signed a PPA agreement with Kenya Power and Lighting Co | KPLC, the state-owned company responsible for the country’s electricity distribution and sale. Alten Energy is currently working through the financing process with South Africa’s Standard Bank and Kenya’s Stanbic Bank, expected to be completed during 2020. What is more, project engineering and construction by Voltalia has already been signed off. It’s located close to Kesses.

4. Mlango Falls

10 kms north of Cheptiret via the A104 Nakuru-Eldoret Road you reach Ngeria Center. A road from here heads west through Ngeria Location to Mlango (at the boundary with Nandi County) which is one two ways to reach the lofty Mlango Falls. The more usual route is along the C39 Eldoret-Kapsabet-Yala Road which travels southwest from Eldoret past Eldoret International Airport and Kapseret to Mlango Center, and then turns north as you aim for the falls. Its 21 kms from Eldoret to Mlango Falls via the C39. Also known as the Chepkiit Falls, the 70 ms Mlango Falls, a roaring exceptional cascade along Kipkaren River, is one of the great launches of Uasin Gishu County and is especially worth a visit soon after the rains. It is, however, at most times of the year, a worthwhile site to tour. It’s named after the monkeys found in the nearby forests. This site remains under-developed, although in the latter-day guard rails have been installed for safety.  Mlango Falls has a correlative cultural significance to that of the Morobi Cliff (in Nandi County) and was historically used as a Sheu Ritual Site.  Aside from the rushing falls, there are eerie dark ‘bat-filled’ caves at the bottom of the Falls.

Chepkiit or Mlango Falls. Published by Cathy Wacuka

Ndalat Hill

This lies about 20 kms northwest of Mlango Falls and 26 kms west of Eldoret Town, along the border with Nandi County. It is reached via the second branch of C39 Eldoret-Stendi-Yala Road through Pioneer Estate. The comparatively flat Uasin Gishu County is only interspersed by few and far-between hills most notably of Ndalat Hill, and Sergoit Hill lying in the northeast area near Moiben.  The isolated Ndalat Hill, reaching 2,195 ms and rising about 130 ms above the surrounding landscape, is a no-sweat easy-take hiking destination.  At the apex, Ndalat Hill provides lovely views of the verdant farmlands and rural hamlets. It offers a glimpse of the antithesis ecology of Uasin Gishu County that is literally in the opposite side of Nandi’s spectrum. A whip-smart base to contemplate the uncanny geological differences of these two farming counties, whose analogies of geological uniformity in various travel accounts has been purely coincidental.

Spatial Location of Ndalat Hills in Uasin Gishu County
Spatial Location of Ndalat Hills in Uasin Gishu County

6. Koromosho Falls

Originally christened Selby Falls, the under-developed 70 ms Koromosho Falls found 13 kms east of Ndalat is a deserving site for the intrepid who entreats the roads less travelled. Koromosho Falls occur where Sosiani River plumps-off the Uasin Gishu phonolit, about 80 kms from its source in the Kaptagat Forests in Elgeyo Marakwet County.  Koromosho Falls is set in the wildly pretty V-shape Sosiani Valley which is also pleasing area to walk and explore. Another superb area, further downstream, is the confluence of Rivers Sosiani and Kipkaren. It is located about 13 kms east of Ndalat Centre and 15 kms west of Eldoret via C 39 Eldoret-Stendi-Yala Road, close to Kaptinga Seventh Day Adventist Church. 

Koromosho Falls – A hidden gem. Published by Titus Biwot

7. Greenwoods Resort

There are a multitude of reasons to visit the low-key and homely Greenwoods Resort located in the peri-urban area of Eldoret Town: From the simple joys of lazing on the eye-catching lawns, to camping at its grounds, to sleeping under the stars, or glamping in the lovely cottages.  There is a simplistic and laid back quality in this family friendly resort, which sprung out of a family opening the doors of their home to friends. Greenwoods Resort is located in a tranquil area, encircled by a planted forest, 12 kms from south of Eldoret Town and halfway between the Cheptiret Junction to Moi University and Eldoret; near Cheplaskei.

8. Doinyo Lessos Creamery

Launched in 1964 by Bryan Cuthbert, Doinyo Lessos Creameries reputed as an internationally recognized cheese-makers is also Kenya’s oldest creamery.  The family-run Doinyo Lessos has built a reputation for superior quality cheese and especially of its top-notch highland cheddar, which is part of a production line of twenty more kinds of cheeses, varied yogurts, ice creams and ghee.  All their products are in every way engendered by hand.  Callers to Doinyo Lessos should look forward to the cheese tasting, the factory trips, its retail shop, and a first-hand experience in the artistry of hand-making superlative dairies.  It is located within reach of most roads in Eldoret Town, at Nandi Park, off Harambee Road.

9. Muge Memorial Mausoleum

The Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge Memorial Mausoleum situated within the precincts of ACK St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Eldoret Town commemorates one of the most unforgettable personalities in the history of the Church in Kenya. Bishop Muge died on August 14th, 1990, in mysterious circumstances, after he defied an order from a Kanu stalwart not to visit Busia Town. Born Alexander Kispang Muge in March 1948, he became the first bishop of Anglican Diocese of Eldoret, and went on to be one of few brave Kenyans, and most notably the only outspoken clergy man, who questioned and dared talk ill of the harsh dictatorial President Daniel Arap Moi, his cronies and the singly ruling party Kanu: “In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Kenya was literally a police state and Kenyans a fearful lot who kept looking over their shoulders, as the ‘Gestapo’ had penetrated every corner of the city and villages” – The Star. It is located along C39 Kisumu Road.

10. River Sosiani Park

The entire southwestern area of Uasin Gishu County is drained by the Sosiani and Kipkarren Rivers.  River Sosiani, which rises close to the crest of the Elgeyo Escarpment in the neighbouring Elgeyo Marakwet County, courses westwards through Eldoret Town down into the Selby Falls, after which it eventually joins up with River Kipkarren close to the western edge of Uasin Gishu.  Projects are well underway to set-up a nature and amusement park along River Sosiani, on a 4 km2 park near Eldoret Town. It is earmarked to be the foremost Urban Green Space in Eldoret.  It will feature; a viewing deck, birding pads, cultural heritage village, and an amphitheater.  It is found in the south outskirts of Eldoret Town.

11. Sisibo Cultural Festival

Away from farming and long-distance running, to a much welcome explosion of pomp and glamour, in the region cognate with modesty and routines, the Sisibo Cultural Festival is a colourful and rhythmic jamboree to celebrate the cultural diversity and essence of Uasin Gishu County. First held in December 2019, on a week long festival staged at the TAC Centre Ground in Eldoret Town, it’s a great opportunity for the locals and the thousands of visitors to the region to embrace diversity – through food, dance, crafts, fashion, traditional ceremonies or sports – and get a feel of the issues about sustaining and preserving cultures. In 2019, the festival brought joy, music and a huge amount of travellers to Eldoret, eager to participate in this amazing colourful fair. Uasin Gishu has seen tremendous growth brought about by the ideological thought process of cultural integration.

12. Eldoret Golf Club

Across from the turnoff to the B54 Eldoret-Kaptagat-Nyaru Road is the road to Elgon View Estate and Eldoret Golf Club. Launched in 1924 as a members only club (currently at about 1,200 members) it is situated in beautiful grounds just outside Eldoret Town, on what was once farmland. It has a vibrant Clubhouse, with stocked bar and restaurant services; 32 cottage style en-suite rooms, gym, tennis courts, squash court, badminton court, swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna. It crowning-piece is well designed nine-hole golf course. It is played to a par 71. “The main highlight of the course at Eldoret is the ever present River Sosiani that snakes its way across almost all holes; from the opening hole where it lines the right hand side of the fairway to the third, the long par-4, where the river guards the front of the green, giving little room for wayward approach shots into this green”. The Club is situated along Nandi Road (off A104 Eldoret-Nairobi Road) opposite Eldoret Hospice, and about 6 kms from the main town.

Spatial Location of Eldoret Golf Club in Uasin Gishu County
Spatial Location of Eldoret Golf Club in Uasin Gishu County

13. Poa Place Resort

The safari-inspired-cottage-style Poa Place Resort near Eldoret Town, fabled as “the gem resort in the city of champions”, is a widely popular venue with great value for money. The 3-star Poa Place Resort is fantastic for day trips, for family getaways, or for an overnight stay – both for leisure and business travellers. It offers four choices of cottages – standard, safari, deluxe or VIP – all with access to the Poa Gardens, the floating restaurant, its leisure and children amusement park, its variegated nature park and the cultural center.  It is situated just 2 kms south of Eldoret Town and near the junction of the B54 Eldoret-Kaptagat Road.

14. Two Rivers Dam

Two River Dam is located west of Eldoret Town along the B54. This was built in the 1960s and carries 14,950 m3 per day to the Sosiani Water Treatment Works alongside the Ellegerini Dam constructed in 1981. For tourism, the pretty Two River Dam, unfrequented by both humans and domestic animals, is a peaceful prospect to spend the afternoon or better still to picnic. The pleasant man-made dam located at an altitude of about 7,136 ft., and which is also fed by Endoroto River has a stunning overflow which stands-sentinel at the site, and is the most spectacular feature here. The overflow of the Two Rivers Dam forms part of the Sosian River whose discharge is orientated in a westward direction. There is a natural clearing near the dam which doubles as a resting area and a picnic site. Two River Dam is found 5 kms from Eldoret along B54 Eldoret-Kaptagat Road.

15. Pombo-Sabor Forest

A drop in at Two Rivers Dam is easily combined with a tour of the Pombo-Sabor Forest which is one of the most enliven forest patches in Uasin Gichu County. “It is spectacular. Thick green moss covers the tree trunks and orchids hang from the branches, while leaves and mushrooms cover the forest floor. Rays of sunlight filter though the canopy” – Rupi Mangat. The Pombo-Sabor forest has no less than 40 different species of orchid, about 150 species of butterflies and varied bird life, including the rare Hartlaub’s turaco. There is a path through the Pombo-Sabor Forest – locally known as the Podo Path – which takes one deep within the forest to some of its tallest podo trees. The fresh, clean air of the forest is revitalizing. Pombo-Sabor is located along B54 Eldoret-Kaptagat Road.

16. Kolol Recreation Centre

Conveniently located just 8 kms from Eldoret along B54 Eldoret-Nyaru-Ravine Road, this public recreational center also doubles as a restful weekend hideout. Modestly priced, with spacious rooms and abounding outdoors, it makes for a great family destination. Its traditional-inspired huts blend modern and local styles. One of the main highlights of Kolol Centre is the splendid countryside, where travellers can walk all day and watch the village life unfold. Just a short distance from Kolol Center sits the Two Rivers Dam and Pombo-Sabor Forest.

17. Naiberi River Camp

The well-liked and charmingly-rustic Naiberi River Camp set in the magnolious Naiberi landscape delivers the experience of a “quieter-pace, rural living”. This hideout has something for everyone, from its tree-house bandas to the crawl-in tents. One of the establishment’s biggest trump-card is the cave bar, “designed to take its vacationers on a journey to as far back as the stone age, with a little modern poise.”  There is also an outdoor pool to cool off, a barbecue gazebo, a camping ground and the nearby Sirikoi Holes – which are great for exploration.

18. Elagerini Traveller Camp

23 kms from Eldoret Town along the B54 Eldoret-Kaptagat-Nyaru Road sits the Elagerini Travellers Camp just 2 kms outside the border with Elgeyo Maraktwet and about 10 kms from the Elgeyo Escarpment. Located at the nucleus of long distance high altitude training and within the forests at Elgarini, this rustic and homely camp serves as the desired base camp for many a world-titled athletes, and it’s also a worthy weekend hideout hermitage for adventure-seekers looking for a ways-out cabin to enjoy a quiet weekend. Some highlights at the Elagerini Travellers Camp include: the forests around the campsite, Elagerini Dam, close by high altitude camps; and excursions to Chebloch Gorge, Rimoi National Park and Kerio Valley. “Elagerini camp absorbs you into nature world away from the bustle and hustle of busy work environment. Have a taste of crisp fresh water, leafy landscape, of bird songs, and of colobus swinging from branch to branch.”

19. Samich Resort

Of the two routes of getting to Kabarnet from Iten, C51 Eldoret-Iten-Kabarnet Road is more popular and shorter, at 54 kms. The other route, C54 Iten-Nyaru-Kabarnet Road is much longer, at 85 kms. This travels further south into Elgeyo Marakwet, to Nyaru, before making a wide turn that rounds up at Kabarnet. At the same time, this stretch is less congested and more scenically-splendid. The descent down the escarpment at Nyaru is most memorable with endless turns and bends which manifest in a joyride that is equal parts heart-warming and heart-stopping. Shortly before Nyaru travellers can drop-in at Samich Resort. This refurbished modish house which opened its doors in 2013 enjoys some of the finest vistas of Kerio fluorspar mines, Mektei Ridge, Kerio Valley and Elgeyo Escarpment.  Its modish design and landscaping complement the scenery, with most of its fifteen snuggly and elegant suites overlooking Kerio Valley.  Samich Resort which offers the choice of 7-room-layouts all with balconies looking over Kerio Valley is great value for money – there is an outdoor pool to cool-off, a play area, gardens, and nature trails; one leading horizontal to the escarpment and the other going down the escarpment. It is found just 49 kms from Eldoret.

Spatial Location of Samich Resort
Spatial Location of Samich Resort

20. Mektei Ridge

Both ends of Elgeyo Marakwet County – north and south – are marked by steep upland ridges. In the north, the Cherangani Range terminates its frontier along the boundary with West Pokot. In the south, the rutted Mektei Ridge marks its southern boundary with Baringo. Best seen along the Nyaru-Kabarnet Road or along the Eldama Ravine-Nyaru-Eldoret Road, the heavily wooded and deeply gullied Mektei Ridge, rising to 3,500 ms, clasps Metkei Forest – a dense forest with indigenous trees on top of a very steep escarpment – where the River Kerio has its source. From the Mektei Ridge, the land then falls in a sequence of steep slopes and level plateaus which dovetail with the Elgeyo Escarpment, thereafter culminating in the splendorous Kerio Valley which averages about 1,000 ms asl.

21. Kerio Viewpoint

The eastern boundary of Uasin Gishu County is marked by the fault-scarp of the Elgeyo Escarpment and the adorbs Kerio Valley, which paired together cast one of the loveliest and knockout landscapes seen in Kenya.  The short journey from Eldoret Town to Kerio Viewpoint is also a wildly beautiful one. It provides many indelible views for first-time trippers to the area.  From Iten, the stratified agro climatic zones sighted across the Kerio Viewpoint are rather exceptional. Lake Kamnarok, the Cheranganis’ and Tugen Hills compose a veritable panoramic backdrop to the fetching the Kerio Valley. Rimoi National Park set about 11 kms beyond Kerio Viewpoint should not be omitted on a trip taking in Kerio or Iten Viewpoint. It’s located 36 kms from Eldoret Town via C51 Iten-Kabarnet Road.  

22. Kip Keino Stadium

The 10000-seater multi-function tartan-track stadium named after Kipchoge H. Keino is a mecca for long-distance running and a legacy synonymous with the North Rift Region of Kenya. This stadium is especially worth a visit during the athletic meet-ups for international championship qualifiers which feature the creme-de la-creme of distance runners in Kenya, in an intoxicating-showdown. A lot of the globally-acclaimed Kenyan runners hailed their arrival to the world stage at the Kip Keino Stadium.  It’s found along C51 Iten Road near Dola Unga.

23. Eldoret War Cemetery

The Eldoret War Cemetery lies about 3 kms to the north-east of the town centre along C51 Eldoret-Iten Road, taking a right turn at the traffic lights on entering the town. The narrow track leading to the cemetery is set on the left side of the road, about 250 metres past the Eldoret prison. It contains five Commonwealth burials of the Second World War and one French war grave. It is open everyday.

24. Sergoit Hill

Midpoint along the 36 kms journey easterly heading from Eldoret to Iten along the C51 you reach the turnoff on the left onto the C50 Moiben-Cherangani Road which travels northerly to the unexplored north-eastern region of Uasin Gishu, with much to commend it in beauty and hidden gems. Just 3 kms along the C50 the solitary wooded dome of the Sergoit Hill, which in numerous other Counties of Kenya would be just a moderate upland, stands-out bodaciously against the flat and flush landscape farmed across the board and spotting pretty fields. This nondescript landmark has an elevation of about 6,857 feet (2,090 meters) ASL. “At the hilltop, one is able to enjoy great views of the area.  It is an ideal place for hiking. Its terrain can be rough and challenging but exciting. On a clear day, one is able to glimpse Mount Kenya to the far east, Mount Elgon in the west, the undulating Nandi Hills to the south, and the expansive Cherangani Hills to the north” – Kiptoo. Sergoit, thought to the Kalenjin epithet for ‘good luck ahead’ is a treasured site and shrine by communities living around it in both Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties, and especially the ‘Keiyo and Marakwet’ Tribes.

Spatial Location of Sergoit Hill in Uasin Gishu County
Spatial Location of Sergoit Hill in Uasin Gishu County

25. Kruger Farm at Sergoit

Extending far into the horizon around Sergoit Hill are eye-catching farms and fields of wheat and maize (depending on the season and time of year). This area is home to some of the extensive plantations in Uasin Gishu County. With rich soils, plenty of sunshine and reliable rain, conditions here are fantastic for large scale and mechanized farming that has been ongoing for decades. And which is why after independence several settler farmers like the Kruger’s stayed on. In the early 1900’s the region around Sergoit Hill played host to many Afrikaners who had migrated to Kenya from South Africa during the British rule in Kenya. “The Kruger family have lived at the foot of Sergoit Hill since 1908, carrying out large-scale farming. Currently on its fourth generation, the family commercially farms wheat and barley, and are also keen conservationists. The Kruger family co-own the property around the Sergot Hill with the Sergoit Golf and Wildlife Resort. They established a wildlife sanctuary around Sergoit Hill in 1996 and brought in thirteen giraffes. The sanctuary is now home to various wildlife such as the Rothschild Giraffe, varied antelopes, duikers and a large variety of birds”.

26. Sergoit Golf and Wildlife Resort

The ongoing Sergoit Golf and Wildlife Resort set-up on 3,000 acres of charming land around Sergoit Hill is the blossoming living, leisure and recreation village consisted of 2,000 villas, an 18-hole golf course, a wildlife conservancy, a 5-star resort and a high-altitude training centre. On realization, this Shs. 40 bn project will indubitably transform the farming boonies of Sergoit Hill to a tourism hub.

Sergoit Rock and the hills seen south of Turbo, including Kaptabei and Ndalat, are residuals of the end-Cretaceous surface; a reduction in summit elevations of the residuals from 7,870 feet at Sergoit Rock to 7,200 feet at Ndalat is an expression of the westedy inclination of the end-Cretaceous surface parallel to the lower Miocene surface – W. Pulfrey.

27. Chebara Dam

Commissioned in 1999, Chebara Dam situated 12 kms northeast of Sergoit Hill along the C50 Eldoret-Cherangani Road is fed by Moiben River that rises in the Embobut Forest within the Cherangani Hills Forest Reserve. This 12 km2 dam is the main source of water for residents of Eldoret Town and its environs.  The picture-postcard Chebara Dam set in the middle of a forest patch, part of which was cleared to set it up, is still a hidden gem of adventure which can be explored on a long afternoon outing.  There are boats available for hire, either for fishing or for simply exploring the dam. There are walking trails which loop around the dam.  It’s located 30 kms from Eldoret Town and 27 kms north from Iten Town.

28. Cherangani Hills

20 kms north of Sergoit Hill at Moiben, which sits just 5 kms outside the north and east boundaries of Uasin Gishu County in the northeast frontier, the area is marked by a sharp climb to an otherwise flat to slightly undulating area as the southern footslopes of the Cherangani Hills commence. These trend northerly from Elgeyo Marakwet County into Trans Nzoia and West-Pokot Counties with only a small section within Uasin Gishu County. The scenic striking ridges with deep intervening-valleys form part of the extensive Cherangani Forest Reserve. At Moiben, there are fine views of Kaisongul-Labot Massif known locally as flat-top, which stands at 10,311 ft. Covering over 1,141 km2 across four counties, the magnificent Cherangani Hills Ecosystem is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Kenya and the floral-jewel of North-Rift Kenya. It is comprised twelve roomy forests: Keren, Kapolet, Chemurkkoi, Cheboyit, Embobut, Kaisungor, Sogotio, Kipkunur, Kiptaberr, Kapkanyar, Toropket and Lelan. Its mountscapes, and the associated montane-forests, is one of the magnolious natural heritage in Kenya.

29. Sirikwa Holes at Moiben

The Sirikwa Holes is a term commonly used to describe saucer-shaped hollows which are found in numerous areas on the hillsides of the western highlands of Kenya and in the elevated stretches of the central Rift Valley around Nakuru. These hollows, each having a diameter of 10–20 metres and an average depth of 2.4 metres, occur in groups, sometimes numbering less than ten and at times more than a hundred. At various locations where the Sirikwa Holes have been uncovered, they are preserved on the sides with a ring of rocks. There is a like-mindedness where these holes have been located that these were once roofed mud houses and occupied by the inhabitants of a foregone age known as the Sirikwa Tribe. “Before the Maasai epoch, the Sirikwa had been the dominant population of the western highlands of Kenya. The Sirikwa territory extended from Sotik in the south through Kericho, Nandi and Uasin Gishu to the slopes of Mount Elgon and Cherangani Hills in the north, and to the north limits of the Mau Hills and Nakuru in the east. They were prominent around 12th to 15th Century. The Sirikwa were primarily cattle herders, but they also carried out small-scale farming and gathered fruits and other wild plants” – Enzi Museum.

30. Kapsilot Hills

These are located about 20 kms east of Moiben near the boundary with Elgeyo Marakwet County. Here the wonder of hillocks stands tall over Karuna, Meibeki Ward. Moreover, “Kapsilot Hills are a soft spot to the eye as they have distinct summits. The gradual slopes allow for various recreational activities including hiking and nature walks”. High among the priority sites the Uasin Gishu County Government is looking to spruce-up as a way to diversify its tourism industry, there are plan to erect a monument at the summit of Kapsilot Hills. An original monument had been erected here in the 1870’s by explorer and missioner David Livingstone who was credited with helping to abolish slave trade in East Africa. “The relic monument was destroyed in the 1980’s because of suspicion that it contained mercury.” An exact replica of the monument is planned to be set-up at Kapsilot Hills to draw attention and preserve the singular history of this area.

31. Chebororwa Conservancy

The planned 5 km2 Chebororwa Conservancy is set at the extreme northeast corner of Uasin Gishu County abutting with Chebororwa Agricultural Training Centre and along the border with Elgeyo Marakwet County. It was communally earmarked years back to preserve the assorted wildlife found in the area and the current upgrade is expected to boost local tourism and conservation. From its higher vantage and atop the uplands found within Chebororwa are spectacular views of the seemingly flat Uasin Gishu Plateau juxtaposed with views of the singular Sergoit Hill and splendorous Cherangani Hills. Plans are underway to upright a perimeter fence and relocate more wildlife to the conservancy.  At the moment, feasibility study to assess its shortcomings, as well as, its strength are being carried out by experts.  The aims of Chebororwa Conservancy are to grow agro-tourism, which is a potential tourism niche in Uasin Gishu County, and offer adventure-makers access to its outstanding panoramas, its game viewing, and its cultural passages. It is located 56 kms northeast of Eldoret Town via C50 Eldoret-Cherangani-Kabenes Road through Moiben; close to Chebororwa ATC.

32. Rapids at Nangili

The Sergoit River, 3 kms east of Nangili – 34 kms north of Eldoret Town along B2 Eldoret-Kitale Road – where the river descends over a sudden change in the underlying basement rock, forms the series of rapids and small falls originally known as Nel’s Bridge Falls. Only modestly-known, even with natives of Uasin Gishu County, these are reachable from Eldoret, Turbo, and from Moi’s Bridge.

Open view from dining area at Naiberi River Camp.  Photo Courtesy of Michael Plagens
Dining area at Naiberi River Camp. Image Courtesy of Michael Plagens

Geography of Uasin Gishu County

Uasin Gishu County is a highland plateau with altitude falling from 2,700 ms to about 1,500 ms. The topography is higher to the east and declines gently toward the western border. Uasin Gishu County can be split into three ecology zones: the upper highlands, upper midlands and lower highlands. These zones greatly influence land use patterns as determined by climatic conditions. Uasin Gishu County lies within Lake Victoria catchment and all its rivers drain into the lake. The major rivers are: Sosiani, Kipkaren, Kerita, Nderugut, Daragwa and Sambu.

Uasin Gishu Plateau

This is the most extensive single physiographical unit in the area and is solely determined by the present limits of the Uasin Gishu phonolite lavas. The edges of the lava outcrops are deeply incised by the main rivers and their tributaries, so that prominent escarpments overlook the Nzoia Valley in the north, and the Sosiani Valley in the west. In the vicinity of Eldoret the plateau is about 7200 feet ASL; it rises progressively towards the Rift Valley at Elgeyo some twenty miles to the east of Eldoret, where at Kamorin it reaches an elevation of 8,000 feet. The present surface of the plateau exhibits a downward gradient directed towards the northwest, so that elevations at the north-western frontiers of the plateau, for instance near Moi’s Bridge, are roughly 1,000 feet less than those near Eldoret; the gradient has been brought about by the present inclination of the irregular floor on which the lavas were deposited and by a thickening of the phonolite accumulations towards their source in the Rift Valley region. The flat profile of the plateau is interrupted at Sergoit and Ndalat where basement rock protrude through the lava flow and stand above the flat surrounding landscape.

Land Use in Uasin Gishu County

The three dominant livelihoods in Uasin Gishu County are mixed farming (food crops and livestock), mixed farming (commercial crops and livestock – dairy) and formal/casual employment. Uasin Gishu has a prolific agricultural resource base, with 80% of the land tenure being privately-owned. Uasin Gishu County has an average land holding of 5 hectares in rural areas, and 0.25 of hectares within Eldoret Municipality. Land use practices vary considerably across the county. The crop enterprises include food crops, cash crops and horticultural, in so much as animal farming includes: dairy, poultry, sheep, goats, pigs, and fish.

Highlights in Uasin Gishu County

Uasin Gishu County is best-known as the “city of champions” because majority of international athletes hail from the region. There is a need to leverage on this for the purpose of tourism. Key areas in sports tourism that can be spruced for tourism purposes include development of high class athletic training centers, stadia and sports museum. Currently the Kipchoge High Performance Athletics Centre is available and other small facilities can be better promoted for tourism.

Population in Uasin Gishu County

According to the 2009 Census population in Uasin Gishu County was 894,179, at an inter-censual growth rate of 3.8%. The total population was projected at 1,211,853 by 2017. The population growth rate is higher than the national rate of 2.9%. The population density is 267 people / km2, and which was expected to increase to 362 people / km2 by 2017.  There are 102 centres with 6 of them being busy hubs: Burnt Forest, Matunda, Turbo, Moiben, Kesses, and Kapsaret.

View of Two Rivers Dam on Eldoret-Naiberi-Kaptagat Road.  Photo Courtesy of Eldoret Press
Two Rivers Dam on Eldoret-Naiberi-Kaptagat Road. Image Courtesy

Airports in Uasin Gishu County

Usain Gishu County is served by Moi International Airport.

Roads in Uasin Gishu County

Uasin Gishu County has an extensive road network comprising of over 300 kms of tarmac roads, 549 kms of murram, and 377 kms of earth roads. A2 Nairobi-Malaba Road passes through Eldoret. B6 from Eldoret travels north to Lodwar.

Climate in Uasin Gishu County

Although Uasin Gishu County lies within one degree at the Equator, the daily temperatures are moderate and the climate is equitable throughout the year, since much part of the region stands ay altitude of more that 6,000 ft above sea level. Rainfall reaches a maximum during the months of April, May and August, while December, January and February are the driest months. Temperatures range between 9 Degrees and 29 Degrees Celsius, rarely rising above 30 Celsius.

Uasin Gishu County Distance Chart
Uasin Gishu County Distance Chart

View of Sergoit Hill.  Photo Courtesy
View of Sergoit Hill.  Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

National Monument in Uasin Gishu County

There are no designated national monuments in Uasin Gishu County.

Uasin Gishu County Map

Uasin Gishu County Map