Chepkiit water falls. PHOTO|NRM
As crazy as the time leading up to Christmas break is, it’s easy to let the break slip away without having the fun and accomplishing the not so fun things that you had planned for. Most Kenyans have set out for family holidays to traditional holiday destinations such as Mombasa and some to Zanzibar. What most Kenyans do not realise is that there are other destinations where they could take their families to enjoy their festivities.
One such place is Nandi County where I hail from. The place is full of untapped tourist destinations. Nandi County and its environs offer you a lot of fun places to explore that will give an out of this world feeling this holiday season.
One could start with the Nandi rocks, where tourists will be awed by Mother Nature’s priceless gifts. Here you will find beautiful sceneries.Nandi Rock is one of the main natural tourist attractions in Nandi. It is an elevated rock outcrop on the escarpment that gives visitors a good vantage point from which to see the surrounding beautiful landscape that includes the Nyando Valley, the thousands of hills that make up Nandi and the sugarcane plantations below on the Nyando sugar belt. If you are looking for some outdoor excursions with the bonus of spectacular heavenly views, this should be a must-visit site on your Nandi County itinerary.
Chepkiit Water Falls
The Chepkiit Water Falls are located in the Kipkaren River. Dip yourself here and enjoy the cool Nandi waters or just the beautiful scenery.The surrounding open woodland provides beautiful picnic sites.Bird-lovers will not be disappointed; the cliffs, hanging rocks and indigenous trees are home and hunting-grounds for a variety of species, including Augur Buzzard, Grey Heron, Red-billed Hornbill, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu and Cliff Chat.
This is an idyllic swamp that is home to the rare sitatunga amphibious antelopes. The swamp is situated between Kosirai and Chepterit and is fed by the Keses River while the Kingwal River drains it out towards the west. The sitatunga population here is one of the largest. The swamp is also home to a variety of birds. While at the swamp, ask about the Kiplolok water springs.
Koitalel Arap Samoei Museum
Koitalel Arap Samoei was a Nandi leader who fiercely resisted the British during the construction of the Mombasa Kisumu Railway and the advent of colonial rule before he was murdered by a British colonel. The museum in Nandi hills houses his remains and other material artefacts and symbols of Nandi culture.
A tour of culturally rich Nandi Hills Town cannot be complete without a stop at the Koitalel Samoei Museum. The museum is a renovated colonial house on the road to Kaptumo. The mausoleum houses the remains (except the skull) of Koitalel who was the spiritual leader (orkoiyot) of the Nandi when their land was being invaded by the British. How he was assassinated in 1905 and the treatment of his brothers is grim but fascinating history.
The statue of the great Nandi political, Koitalel arap Samoei, stands majestically in the compound.
Kapsimotwa Gardens is a serene and secluded site located in the picturesque Nandi Hills, a highland area of lush green rolling hills at the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The variegated tranquil haven with carefully plotted, and meticulously manicured garden, large pathways,lake, ponds, streams and rest areas set hard within a scenic a tea estate and the striking verdant Nandi Hills annotates the difference between a good garden and a beautiful one.
At about 2000m above sea level, the gardens are part of the Kapsimotwa farm – a huge Tea plantation that dominate the landscape. The farm was established in the 1930s by a British settler called Bushwell. The gardens full of color — flowers in the most vibrant shades of reds, pinks, purples, yellows, and whites, was established in the late 1950s as a community leisure retreat; where locals and callers to Nandi Hills can be one with nature.
Serene pools and dams dot the gardens which is now a popular picnic site.
Bonjoge National Reserve
rveThe Bonjoge National Reserve in Nandi County covers an area of 21 square kilometers. It sits on the undulating uplands at the top of the Nandi Escarpment. The area is also easily accessible from Kisumu which is only 15km away. The Bonjoge National Reserve has rich biodiversity including rivers and riverine woodlands.
The reserve consists of millions of rocks and boulders that litter the landscape, rich birdlife and a wide array animal species including Olive baboons, Colobus monkeys, bush duikers, jackals, veryet and de-Brazza’s monkeys among others.
Sheu Moroni means “we go forever”. It is a 300m high steep and overhanging cliff that is situated between hills on the Nandi Escarpment. The place derives its name from the fact that in the past, it was once a suicide zone. Old men would jump to their deaths or be pushed to their deaths from here.From Nandi hills, one is able to catch a glimpse of Lake Victoria especially during morning hours and in the evening when the sun sets.
For any tourist, an important aspect is the availability of accommodation and its affordability. Well, that shouldn’t bother you since hotels are available and for as little as 2500/= you could enjoy bed and breakfast services at fine hotels.
Local tourism is a great activity to engage in during this holiday season. As you ponder on where to take your family, put Nandi County into consideration.Visit these spots and enjoy the beautiful scenes the County offers. You will be well received by the locals who are friendly. Come to Nandi the home of champions and renowned athletes. I wish you an amazing holiday and stay in Nandi County.
Merry Christmas & a happy 2018!