(where you can
see Kenya heritage cultural diversity)
Traveling in Trans-Nzoia (Kitale)
A rich sylvan district in the rift valley province of Kenya Trans-Nzoia is an idyllic getaway for the humdrum of the city life. Enjoying the tranquil banks of the Nzoia River this district like any other in Kenya is well connected through both rail and road. With ample number of flights coming down to Kenya one can easily reach this exotic African destination. Placed at the center of all activities in the Trans-Nzoia district Kitale is the primary town which is a major tourist attraction. With a great many tourists traveling in Trans-Nzoia (Kitale) it is a major tourist puller in the country of Kenya.
Situated in the western part of Kenya in close proximity to the Cherangani Hills and mount Elgon Kitale is not only the principal towns of the district but also an important place in the country which is well connected through road and few freight rail services. An agrarian town Kitale is a rich treasure trove of wild flora and fauna which is such a pertinent attraction for all nature lovers. Traveling in Trans-Nzoia (Kitale) is therefore an enchanting experience that is sure to add something new to the traveler's itinerary.
A bustling town with ethnic population Kitale is a central base where foreign travelers frequently travel to reach Mount Elgon or Lodwar . Though arriving at Kitale is a little circuitous with ample flights connecting Nairobi to the rest of the world one can reach the place from there through the ubiquitous matatus from Kakamega. Kitale has quite a few good hotels that provide good rooms and facilities at the most affordable rates. Some of the noteworthy hotels are Bongo Hotel, The Alakara Hotel and The Vision Gate to cite a few. Apart from great traditional recipes one can indulge in camping, log fire, excursions, bird watching, trekking and horse riding.
Some exciting and fun filled experience could be derived from an adventurous safari at the Sawai National Park, Kakamega Forest to even the Mount Elgon National Park. The Kitale Museum, a rich repository of aboriginal art and other ethnographic collectibles is also a must visit site located close to the railway station. The verdant forests and caves add to the enriching experience of Traveling in Trans-Nzoia (Kitale). Apart from the manifold shopping extravaganza offered in the Kitale streets one can freak for a great shopping at the Gigamart which happens to be the largest in Kenya.
With an array of blended experiences Traveling in Trans-Nzoia (Kitale) is a long cherishing memory.
Mount Elgon National Park - "Untamed Wilderness, Secluded Splendour..."
Mt. Elgon is Kenya's second highest mountain. It lies 140km North East of Lake Victoria and is bisected by the Kenya-Uganda border. It is an ancient eroded volcano with a huge caldera and, on its summit, the spectacular flat topped basalt column known as Koitobos. Another unique feature of the mountain is the lava tube caves, some over 60m wide and frequented by elephants (and other animals) digging for salts. The mountain soils are red laterite. Mt Elgon is an important water catchment for the Nzoia river which flows into Lake Victoria and for the Turkwel river which flows into Lake Turkana.
Mt Elgon National Park was gazetted in 1968 and covers a narrow transect up the North Eastern slopes of the mountain, from lower montane forest to the caldera edge. The remaining forest and moorland is part of the Mt Elgon Forest Reserve. The Ugandan side of the mountain is protected within Uganda's Mt Elgon National Park.
On the western border of Kenya with Uganda, in Trans-nzoia District of Rift Valley Province. It covers an area of 169km2.
The climate is moist to moderate dry. Annual rainfall is over 1,270mm.
HOW TO GET THERE
Mt. Elgon is located 470 kms from Nairobi. Access is via tarmac road to Kitale and then to the Chorlim Gate. Two routes to the gate can be used, either via Endebess or take the tarmac road 11km past Kitale and turn left onto a murrum road leading to the gate.
At Park Headquarters.
Adequate road network.
There are four park gates i.e. Chorlim main gate, Kassawai, Kiptogot and Kimothon.
Together with the fauna and flora, the park is endowed with variety and breathtaking scenery of cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks.
The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, enters 200 m into the side of Mt. Elgon.
The breathtaking natural beauty of the park can be best appreciated from the Endebess Bluff where one gets a panoramic view of the areas' escarpments, gorges, mesas, and rivers.
The highest peak of Mt. Elgon on the Kenya side, Koitoboss, measures 13,852 ft (4,155 m), and is easily reached by hikers in about two hours from the road's end.
Public: Rongai Campsite; Nyati Campsite; Chorlim Campsite.
Special: Salt lick Campsite.
There is one picnic site at the Elephant platform with no facilities.
The park has three short nature trails to Kiptum cave, Makingeny cave and the Elephant Bluff.
* Vehicle circuits leading to animal viewing areas, the caves and Koitoboss peak.
* Self-guided walking trails (Ask for the Kitum Cave guide book at the gate)
* Hiking to Endebess Bluff and Koitoboss Peak
* Primate and bird watching
* Cave explorations
* Camping Photography
The vegetation varies with altitude. The mountain slopes are covered with olive Olea hochstetteri and Aningueria adolfi-friedericii wet montane forest. At higher altitudes, this changes to olive and Podocarpus gracilior forest, and then a Podocarpus and bamboo Arundinaria alpina zone. Higher still is a Hagenia abyssinica zone and then moorland with heaths Erica arborea and Philippia trimera, tussock grasses such as Agrostis gracilifolia and Festuca pilgeri, herbs such as Alchemilla, Helichrysum, Lobelia, and the giant groundsels Senecio barbatipes and Senecio elgonensis.
The botanical diversity of the park includes giant podocarpus, juniper and Elgon olive trees cedar Juniperus procera, pillarwood Cassipourea malosana, elder Sambucus adnata, pure stands of Podocarpus gracilior and many orchids.
Of the 400 species recorded for the area the following are of particular note as they only occur in high altitude broad-leaf montane forest: Ardisiandra wettsteinii, Carduus afromontanus, Echinops hoehnelii, Ranunculus keniensis (previously thought endemic to Mount Kenya), and Romulea keniensis.