Nandi County


Attractions in Nandi County

18. Sheu Morobi Cliff

Assigned the grim moniker “cliff of death”, the 450 ms high Morobi Hill or the Sheu Morobi Cliff, on Nyando Escarpment 15 kms south of Nandi Hills Town, is a place of unparalleled beauty, yet, it is the bloodcurdling tales of the daunting and terrifying Sheu Rituals that draw visitors to the site. In Nandi, Sheu means “there we go forever”. As it were, the Sheu Ritual was upheld as an honourable act for the elderly, plunging off Sheu-Morobi to their death. It was transmuted with ancestral rites to set the seal that elder died in eternal peace. Furthermore, the Sheu Rituals were conducted every 5 to 10 years after the harvest period to ensure the elders were well fed before embarking on their spiritual journeys to the land of the dead. Those who chose to die a natural death were considered cowardly, and it was feared they would curse their descendants. Still, Nandi elders brook no refusal that they willingly chose to die, and were never forced. The practice was ended by the missioners during the colonial era. Sheu Morobi Cliff is located 15 kms from Nandi Hills Town along Nandi Hills-Kimwani Road.

Sheu Morobi Cliff in Nandi County. Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Sheu Morobi Cliff in Nandi County. Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons

19. Chemase Waterfalls

This little Chemase Falls is found at Chemase, hidden deep in the hills and vast sugarcane farmland along the Nyando Escarpment. The fact that this dinky falls is only lesser-known can only be a good thing for preserving its natural beauty. It takes about 40 minutes of hard walking from Chemase to approach it through a tangle of paths zig-zagging sugarcane fields, with zilch signs directing visitors to the falls, and are oft-times mucaked paths with a rough underfoot. The use of a local guide is imperative. Chemase Falls occurs along River Lamaiywo, one of the tributaries of River Nyando, which itself rises high in the glades of the Mau Escarpment and flows through the sugar belt north-westerly trending to drain into Lake Victoria. Chemase is 35 kms southwest of Nandi Hills Town via Nandi Hills-Kaptumo-Kipsigak Road. It can also be reached via Nandi Hills-Kopere Road and Kopere-Potopoto Road. From Kisumu it is about 38 kms to Chemase.

Chemase Waterfalls. Image Courtesy of Nandi County Government
Chemase Waterfalls. Image Courtesy of Nandi County Government

20. Mberere ‘Holy’ Springs

From Nandi Hills Town southerly travelling, over Nyando Escarpment, the road finally terminates at Chemilil 30 kms away. The drive over the escarpment, with many head turners of an overtly rugged terrain, is all about natural views. There are rocks jutting out the side of the hillsides, some reaching up to 2,500 ms. The visual appeal of the area is capped by the dashing, sparkling water of Mberere Spring as it snakes its way through the rock strewn valley, with gentle reposeful stream sounds. “At a corner, by a tall tree, the springs bubble and flow through the grove and into the plantations”. The untravelled Mberere Holy Springs have been, as far as locals say, a source of holy water for the Legio Maria Sect and its members may often be found praying around the Mberere Springs. The springs, sited within Kimwani Agricultural Development Corporation nearby Chemilil, offer an unusual trip that is equal parts a cultural passage and nature excursion. From Kisumu, it can be approached via the C37 Awasi-Chemilil-Songhor Road.

21. Kopere Rocks

Staring one in the face as they tower along C37 Chemilil-Kopere-Songhor Road, 12 kms northeast of Chemelil, the unusual Kopere Rocks (also cited as Mawe ya Mungu) are “a stack of rock columns piled up a hillock, as if someone chiselled them and then piled them up and forgot about them” – Rupi Mangat. When the Chemelil-Kopere-Songhor road was being cleared for construction in the 1950s, the surveyors found these rocks and left them unharmed. They are located a few kms drive before Songhor Pre-historic Site along C37 Nandi Hills-Kopere Road.

Section of the Kopere Rocks. Image Courtesy of Joseph Langat
Section of the Kopere Rocks. Image Courtesy of Joseph Langat

22. Songhor Pre-Historic Site

This is located about 14 kms northeast of the Chemelil to Makutano roundabout along C37 Chemelil-Kopere Road passing Chemelil Sugar Factory and Kopere-Songhor Road, taking a right turnoff at Kopere Shopping Centre. The 78-acres Songhor Pre-historic Site is found at the foot of Nyando Escarpment, and it was gazetted in 1982 as a National Monument owing to its importance in the study of the Miocene Era, 19 Mya. The hominids excavated here point to the existence of man and a variety of animals thriving in this area during the antiquated past. The evidence also indicates that the ape-like-man proconsul Africanus lived at Songhor. Although there is very little to separate this site from its surrounding grassy landscape, apart from a small timber-built research base that offers little for travellers, Songhor Site is still an active research base frequented by experts, anthropologists and paleontologists in particular studying the Miocene Era. It is situated 50 kms east of Kisumu City via C34 Mamboleo-Miwani-Chemelil Road.

Spatial Location of Songhor Pre-Historic Site
Spatial Location of Songhor Pre-Historic Site