Nandi County


Attractions in Nandi County

6. Tindiyo Falls

The route from Kaimosi, in the far west, through Kabsabet to Eldoret goes past many great attraction sites of Nandi County. The central area of the jug-shaped Nandi is noteworthy for its jets of waterfalls, small and towering, like Tindinyo Falls along River Yala. Two Rivers – the Kimondi and Sirua – converge in the North Tinderet Forest to form the Yala, which flows into Lake Victoria through a series of swamps and glades. Tindiyo Falls is best seen from the Tindiyo Falls Hotel, a charming old house restored to a resort. Also of interest along Tindiyo riverine walk is a drop in at the small hydro-plant found upstream that offers a unique sight on walking trips and close by South Nandi Forest. Tindiyo Falls is located 19 kms west of Kapsabet Town through Chepsonoi and Tindiyo Centers.

A Section of Tindiyo Falls, Nandi. Image Courtesy of IDEA Power Group
A Section of Tindiyo Falls, Nandi. Image Courtesy of IDEA Power Group

7. Karebe Gold Mining

The Karebe Gold Mining Company has been undertaking mining operations at Karebe, south of South Nandi Forest at the foot slopes of Nyando Escarpment nearby Kibigori and Miwani, since 2009. Other small scale mining activities by native communities also subsist. Although gold in moderate amounts has been discovered at various locations around Kenya such as West Pokot, Laikipia and Machakos, mining has been largely restricted to areas in which the Nyanzian and Kavirondian Systems are found; that is around the Kisii highlands and near Kibigori in Nandi County. Karebe Gold Mining Ltd, the widest-ranging gold producer in Kenya, has over 300 employees. Of a recent development, Karebe has been accused by the surrounding communities of encroachment into their farmlands as well as poor management of the environment. At the same time, Karebe provides one of few opportunities in Kenya to learn about ‘gold dig-ups’.

8. Nandi Scarp

Best sighted from elevated areas inside Kakamega Forest Reserve like Lirhanda Hill, the Nandi Scarp (not to be confused with Nyando or Nandi Escarpment) is one of the striking geological features in the west and northwest areas of Nandi. Rising in the South Nandi Forest (originally known as Kapwaren Forest) just south of the Kakamega-Kapsabet Road and just 3 kms to its western boundary with Kakamega County, this forms a natural barrier between the North Nandi Forest and Kakamega Forest Reserve. The main scarps rise to 5400 to 6600 ft over most of its length, and then south of Kakamega-Kapsabet Road proximate to South Nandi Forest it rapidly dies out. Isolated features such as Chapkaigat, Tabolwa, Kimoror, and Sumayat atop the Nandi Scarp rise to well-over 7000 ft.

Nandi Scarp from Kakamega Forest. Image Courtesy of Treasures of Kenya
Nandi Scarp from Kakamega Forest. Image Courtesy of Treasures of Kenya

9. North Nandi Forest

Erstwhile contiguous with South Nandi Forest but now separated by a few kms tract of land, the 105 km2 North Nandi Forest lying along the western border of Nandi County (north of South Nandi Forest) is the strip of high canopy forest immediately east of Kakamega Forest. It stretches for more than 30 kms from north to south and is 3-5 kms wide for most of its length. Occurring in Kabiyet and Central Nandi Sub-counties along the periphery of Nandi Fault Scarp, this forest is a biosphere of prolific flora and fauna most notably of its outstanding birding appeal. The enclosed 34 km2 North Nandi Forest Reserve, gazetted in 1968 as an Important Birding Area with almost 117 bird species recorded here, still remains largely undeveloped. A sought-after attraction within North Nandi Forest is the Tabolwa Rock, a monolithic grey granite mound that doubles as a beyond-money prominence from where trippers can view the pretty farmlands, Mount Elgon and Kakamega Forest. North Nandi Forest is found 30 kms north of Kapsabet Town along the Kapsabet-Baraton Road then Sangalo-Segem Road.

View atop the Tabolwa Rock, in Nandi North Forest.  Photo Courtesy of Edmond Kuto

With the influx of miners came the need for opening up the forest and to build the Kisumu-Kapsabet highway that cuts across the indigenous forest and divides it into two: South and North Nandi Forest. North Nandi is warmer than its “big brother” but its biodiversity is richer. – Rupi Mangat

10. Cheruiyot Ecosystem

Set hard along the eastern limit of the North Nandi Forest at Kapkoimet, 5 kms off the Chepterit-Baraton Road, Cheruiyot Ecosystem is the perfect jumping-off place to explore the beauty of North Nandi Forest. Established to both conserve the environment and Nandi culture, it contributes to the learning of indigenous mastery of plants and towards the preservation of this fast-disappearing knack. The site is suitably set up on a foreland overlooking the lovely Nandi Hills with pleasurable views of the boonie landscape exemplified by rocky outcrops, forest patches and variegated flora. On location is a small museum which expositions an array of artefacts and traditional antiques of the Nandi Tribe. There is also a Kalengin homestead consisted of two huts, with the obligatory two doors, and each is duly partitioned into two rooms pursuant to the traditional architecture.

Viewpoint at Cheruiyot Ecosystem. Image Courtesy of Tito Cheruiyot
Viewpoint at Cheruiyot Ecosystem. Image Courtesy of Tito Cheruiyot

11. Nandi Hills

Not to be confused with Nandi Hills Sub-county and Nandi Hills Town, these hillocks of roughly equivalent height forming the Nandi Hills, in the mid-south region of Nandi County, a short drive west of South Nandi Forest, are one of its most-vaunted landforms. The prepossessing landscape around these typically flat-top ridges with identical summits, hypothesized as remnants of an eroded plain, are only bettered by the sweeps of expansive tea estates. Superbly sighted along C37 Kapsabet-Nandi Hill Road, they are a great launch for evening walks. Nandi Hills Town, the second busiest town in Nandi County (after Kapsabet) set on the Nandi Hills, has many hotels that make for suitable starting-points to explore the area. “On the south side of Nandi Hills Town, at Kapsimotwo, is the Morobi Hill, where the aged used to voluntarily end their lives by plunging into an escarpment in a ceremony called Sheu” – Standard Media. Then, there’s the Koitalel arap Samoei Museum built in honour of the legendary Nandi Hero who led the anti-colonial revolt in this region. A visit to Nandi Hills should not omit a look-see of the much-lauded Kapsimotwa Gardens and the Nandi Bears Club.

Spatial location of Nandi Hills within Nandi County
Spatial location of Nandi Hills within Nandi County