Attractions in Vihiga County
6. Mwitoko Fish Farm
Vihiga County has upward of 1631 farmers engaged in fishing farming. Of these, majority are mainly focused in raising tilapia and catfish, which are big-eats in Western Kenya. Mwitoko Fish Farm is among the noteworthy fish farms found in Vihiga and this offers a great alternative touring site to spend an afternoon to wise on fish farming. With 40 full-stocked ponds holding about 75,000 catfish, this intricate operation on appearance seems rather overwhelming but, the staff make light-work of monitoring and surveying all these ponds with sharp-witted facts about almost every inch of the farm. And the future looks bright. “A Shs 10 million fish hatchery is ongoing at Mwitoko Fish Farm, in Luanda Sub-county. We want to produce more than 100,000 fingerlings and different species of fish here and distribute them to farmers” Wilbur Ottichilo, Governor Vihiga County.
7. Kidundu Friends Church
To appreciate the full scale and beauty of the Bunyore Hills and Maragoli Hills, trippers would be interested in driving from Luanda to Majengo (junction with A104 Kisumu-Kakamega Road) via C38 Ebusakami-Kima-Majengo Road for 18 kms. The primary distinction between these hills is the location they fall under, the one found in Bunyore and the other in Maragoli – also known as Mungoma. Shortly before turning left at Majengo towards Kakamega one can make a quick detour (200 ms from Majengo) to the Kidundu Friends Church. Another of the impressive Churches in Vihiga. It too is exemplified by the dashing-red exterior finish redolent of that seen at Kima Church of God. Christened as Nemiilembe Church or Vihiga Meeting House, this was established by Quaker Missionaries, who arrived in Kenya around 1902 and headed to Kaimosi where they further grew their aims. Vihiga became one of the first places the Quakers started off in East Africa. They laid the foundation stone in 1905. Next to this Church is an ancient ‘Mugumo tree’ that formerly served as the Church, or the meeting place.
8. Maragoli Hills
Maragoli Hills (also known as the Mungoma Hills) just like the fascinating and contiguous Bunyore Hills are an easy site to reach via a 20 kms fetching joyride along the C38 Ebusakami-Kima Road which connects Luanda and Makutano. A seldom busy roadway that takes you across the emblematic hillocks of Vihiga – Bunyore and Maragoli – whose distinction is not much over in evidence apart from the names of locations they occur. There is little that separates these two rocky ranges, geologically and topographically, the latter being rockier and less wooded. There are various vantage points of the Maragoli Hills overlooking the picturesque rural backwoods of Vihiga and for the more adventurous numerous trails along footpaths snaking through the old-fashioned bucolic villages. Then, there’s the famous middlebrow Mungoma Cave. In his book “The Stone Hills of Maragoli” Stanley Gazemba, the award winning Kenyan author, describes these Hills as “one of the simple things of this area but also one of the most splendid”. Sadly for the locals, a big section of the Maragoli Forest has been encroached by human habitat for settlement, timber and firewood, leaving the Hills with bare rocks – owing to high population growth rate leading to negative impact on the environment, climate and food security. On the brighter side, Maragoli Hills, the highest point in Vihiga County, are still a scenically-splendid destination, with incredible views of Lake Victoria and the greater Nyanza. They are located 20 kms from Luanda and 23 kms from Kisumu via A1 Kisumu-Kakamega Road.
9. Mungoma Cave
For centuries, cultures around the world have used caves as areas for dwelling, rituals and worship. Caves represent a mythical and underworld that bears the history of many a generation. Vihiga County has more than ten fine caves, many associated with its history. None, though, is as important as the Mungoma Cave consisted and formed by several huge boulders lumped close together leaving some hollow and winding openings inside: An oddity among its caves, not least because, it is considered the ancestral shrine of the Maragoli People. As it goes, Mungoma Cave more proper the Hango Humulogoli was the home of Mulogoli, the Maragoli hero of origin. In that, an eternal link to an unmovable history. By the same token, two huts near the Cave are symbolic of its cultural significance. An annual festival in reverence of its history is held here annually, in December. Mungoma Cave does make for a wondrous caving adventure culminating in a hike around the lordly Maragoli Hills. Also found nearby are the Givavei Caves.
A walk through these openings takes close to one hour. But the darkness in the caves will scare the faint-hearted, so visitors are always advised to carry a spotlight to have a clear sight of this intriguing natural wonder. – Vivere N.
10. Givavei Cave
A call in on Mungoma Cave just alluded to is easily combined with the equally impressive Givevai Cave in the near Hamisi Sub-county. Unlike the Mungoma that is underground, Givavei sits on the surface, surrounded by hulky boulders at the entrance. Inside the Cave are smaller sets of boulders scattered in which are often used as resting-areas by the explorers. What is more, the area around this Cave, grown with uncommon flora in between impressive rocks, is inviting for on fleek countryside walks and trek through the village of Givavei in Hamisi.