Tana River County

Geography, Land-Use, Highlights, Population, Roads, Airports, Climate & National Monuments in Tana River County


Geography of Tana River County

The major physical features in Tana River County is its undulating plain that is only interrupted in a few places by low hills: at Bilibil (near Madogo) and Bura, that are also the highest points in the County. The land in Tana River generally slopes south-eastwards, with an altitude that ranges between 0 ms and 200 ms above sea level.  River Tana traverses the County from Tharaka, in the north, to Indian Ocean, in the south, passing through Tana Delta and covering 500 kms.

Land Use in Tana River County

Much of the land in Tana River, about 27,798 km2, is non-arable. The rest is under forest (3,457 km2), arable land (2,547 km2) and national reserves (3,059 km2).  In a county where 77% of the population exist in absolute poverty, and with the population growth rate of 2.8%, the projected increase in population has a key and direct impact on the basic needs such as food, water, health and education for all ages.  The incidence of landlessness is high, about 95%, with a majority in the county living as squatters – since they hold no titles to the land.

Highlights in Tana River County

The major tourist attractions in Tana River County are Kora National Reserve, Arawale National Reserve and Tana Primate National Reserve.  The commonly sighted wildlife in Tana River County are the red Colobus monkeys, Tana River Crested Mangabeys, antelopes, elephants and hartebeest (Hirola). Tana River Delta is one of the six delta areas of Eastern Africa, and the largest freshwater wetland systems in Kenya. The Delta is rich in biodiversity, supporting diverse species of both flora and fauna. It supports no less than 22 rare species of birds, making the delta one of the key sites in the country for water bird conservation.

Bura Irrigation Scheme.  Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Bura Irrigation Scheme.  Image Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Population in Tana River County

The projected population of Tana River County, in 2012, was estimated at just 261,348 with 130,875 being female and 130,473 male. The county has an inter-census population growth rate of 2.83%, which is slightly lower than the base national average of 2.9%. The ratio of male to female is 99:100, and the pattern was projected to hold much the same to June 2018.  The projected population density of Tana River County is 6 persons / km2. It was, however, expected to increase to 7 persons / km2 in 2015 and June 2018.  Tana River County has two urban areas – Hola and Madogo – having a total population of 36,099 in 2012.


Airports in Tana River County

Tana River has seven airstrips with major ones found at Hola, Bura and Garsen

Roads in Tana River County

The total road network in the county is 3,377 kms, with about 55% in motorable condition. The road network is composed of 1,108 kms (class A – E) of classified roads and 2,269 kms (class U) of unclassified roads. Of these, only 449 kms is bitumen surface. The main road is B8 Malindi-Garissa Road that is dilapidated.

Tana River County Distance Chart
Tana River County Distance Chart

Climate in Tana River County

Tana River County has a hot and dry climate with average annual temperatures of 30o C; the highest being 41o C in January-March and the lowest being 20o C in June-July. Rainfall is low, bimodal and erratic. Long rains occur in April-May. Short rains occur in October-November with November being the wettest.


National Monuments in Tana River County

There are no designated national monuments in Tana River County


Tana River County Map

Tana River County Map