‘Sheu Morobi’ the cliffs of death in Nandi.

The Sheu Morobi cliffs located on the Nandi Escarpment in the Great Rift Valley are both revered and feared as “escarpments of death.”

Nandi elders told The North Rift Mirror how the old people in the community used to commit suicide at Sheu Morobi as a way of relieving the family from the burden of caring for them. It was regarded as an honourable act by the community.

 

It is a steep and overhanging cliff, perhaps 300 m high, located between two hills covered by thick forest, on the Nandi Escarpment.

It is regarded with awe and fear by some locals, since, in times past, very old people would, believing themselves to be useless, jump to their deaths here. For some, the leap was not a matter of choice; elders exceeding 100 years in age and women with illicit pregnancies would be taken there and given a little push.

Sheu Morobi means “we go for ever”.

For those choosing to make use of it in daytime, their last view will certainly be beautiful if not memorable: the expansive plains and lake of Nyanza with the misty, green hills of the Kericho highlands in the background. At night, those same hills are a distant, opalescent shimmer in the moonlight and the Morobi cliffs a black abyss at one’s feet.

Those cliffs are said to offer good rock climbing. If you are experienced (and don’t mind walking on old bones !) it might be worth a visit —– but check it out before you bring the ropes and pitons as locals are not familiar with the qualities of rock a climber would be looking for. You will have to walk in from the sugar plantations.

To get to the top of Morobi, drive 15 km from Nandi Hills, on the Kapsimotwo road, to Chematich village.

Visitors should ask the local people about all the legends and get proper directions. Some, perhaps not all, locals will be happy to speak to strangers.

If the informant seems cooperative, ask also about “Daraja ya Mungu” —-another source of scary legends.

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