Nandi County


Discover Nandi County

Spatial Location of Nandi County in Kenya
Spatial Location of Nandi County in Kenya

Brief Overview of Nandi County

At some point in the early 2000s, standard specific roads became a norm rather than the exception in Kenya. A sudden boom in smooth blackstrip roads – that ultimately made access to many counties of Kenya easier – is still at a boom, not looking to go bust quickly. In the same resolve, hoteliers around the country are once again venturing beyond brick and mortar walls for uncommon experiences concomitant to each region with chic safari-style tents, many with wood floors, outdoor baths and freestanding bathrooms being the most widely adopted. For travellers to Nandi County, the experience offers the novelty of being in farming highlands proper, thanks to the newly laid roads and the simple, uncomplicated accommodation. Of a more recent development, Nandi County has tapped into the burgeoning demand for eco-sensitive and off-the-grid vacations by thinking of nature oriented activities for unique excursions. This is a great move because the region is, without fault, one of the most beautiful highlands in Kenya. Nandi County has long been known for its pretty-as-a-picture rural bucolic landscape, encompassing year-round verdant belts of prolific farms, forests and delightful mountainous regions – particularly in the south, southeast and northeast areas.

Key among the attractions in Nandi County are its four sizeable forests – South and North Nandi, Tinderet and Kimondi – covering 12% of its land area. There are many other designated attractions of splendid natural beauty, like: Bonjoge National Reserve, Kingwal Wetland, Nandi Hills, and Cheptiik (Mlango) Falls. A predominantly farming area, Nandi also inlays some of the most impressive farmlands seen anywhere in Kenya. These razzle-dazzle highlands embrace yet another dear to heart Kenyan treasure. Dubbed ‘source of champions’, Nandi is home to a swag of the world’s distinguished middle and long-distance runners. The short 46 kms journey from Eldoret to Kapsabet, the traditional entry point to Nandi, goes past many of its lighthouse attractions, starting at Cheptiik Falls, Ngabunat Caves, Kingwal Swamp, past the fitful and rolling Nandi Hills, before arriving at Kapsabet, the main town, where the conspicuously incised plains are reached. From Kapsabet Town the country is generally marked by steep slopes, especially in the Meteitei and Tinderet regions to the southeast. This undulating landscape marches on southbound through Kemeloi, Kaptumek, and Kapkures.

Nandi County is part of the North Rift Block, wedged betwixt Kakamega County (west), Uasin Gishu County (northeast), Kericho County (southeast), Kisumu County (south) and Vihiga County (southwest). As such, it enjoys an efficacious logistical advantage, flanked on all the frontiers by major trunk roads, giving it expeditious access. The A104 Mombasa-Eldoret-Kampala Road marches almost parallel to its eastern and northern boundaries, from near Timboroa to Webuyu en route Eldoret and Leseru. In the south, it is flanked by the B1 Nakuru-Mau Summit-Kisumu Road and the C35 Londiani-Kisumu Road. In the west, it is flanked by the A1 Kisumu-Kampala Road, en route Webuye. In the heartland, it is served by a good road network through the hilly landscape, which has made transport network difficult to build, yet, is a delight for callers to Nandi County.

View of the fetching Nandi Hills in the southern region.  Photo Courtesy of Arise Nandi
Nandi Hills in the mid-southern region. Image Courtesy of Arise Nandi

Salient Features of Nandi County

  • County Number 29
  • Area – 2884 km2
  • Altitude – 5036 ft
  • Major Towns – Kapsabet, Nandi Hills
  • Borders – Vihiga, Kericho, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Kakamega
Map of Nandi County

Brief History of Nandi County

If freedom and self-sustenance is all about keeping control of local resources, especially of the land factor of production, Nandi’s adverse assimilation of the disruptive colonial land policies gave a glimpse of what can happen when you briskly lose it. The seemingly impregnable native system of customs in Nandi, that had withered many disruptions, including every so often factions with the Maasai, defiantly faced down any form of conquest, opposition or oppression. Prior to the arrival of the British colonial government in Nandi, the natives had carried the day in the battle arena; notably of the factions with Maasai. But, the new visitors turned this strife a few notches up. By the grand assertion that the Crown and not the natives had original title to some land in Nandi was in many ways the wellspring of all the bad blood, the taxes notwithstanding. The native Nandi in return resisted the outsiders intrusion into their land. Consequently, following the 11-years Nandi Resistance, the punitive expeditions culminated in the 1905 ‘Nandi War’ and one of the savage campaigns led by the British forces. 

View of the Ngabunat Falls and Caves in Mogobich.  Photo Courtesy of Hidden Treasures
Ngabunat Falls and Caves in Mogobich. Image Courtesy of Hidden Treasures
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32 Attractions in Nandi County, arranged as one would visit these - south, north then west - with the aid of in-depth narratives, images, strip maps and distance chart:

Londiani-Koru Route, Nyando Escarpment, Bonjoge National Reserve, Nandi Rock, South Nandi Forest, Tindiyo Forest, Karebe Gold Mining, Nandi Scarp, North Nandi Forest, Cheruiyot Ecosystem, Nandi Hills, Koitalel Arap Samoei Museum, Samiitui Historical Site, Nandi Bears Club, Ketbarak Viewpoint, Kip’s Eco-Resort, Kapsimotwa Gardens, Sheu Morobi Cliff, Chemase Waterfalls, Mberere ‘Holy’ Springs, Kopere Rocks, Songhor Pre-Historic Site, North Tinderet Forest, Ngabunat Caves, Kipkolok Springs, Kapsabet, Kaptumo and Kipture Forts, Eden Springs Hotel, Keben Springs, Kingwal Wetland, Chepkiit (Mlango) Falls, Ndalat Hill

Geography, Land-Use, Highlights, Population, Roads, Airports, Climate and National Monuments in Nandi County