Welcome to Kitui County, No. 15!

November 29, 2023 By Travel Comments Off

A Little Bit of History!

Kitui County is predominantly made up of the Akamba people who were originally hunters and gatherers.As long-distance traders with their friendly neighbors, they traded in locally produced goods such as sugar cane wine, ivory, brass amulets, tools and weapons, millet, and cattle.

They later adopted subsistence farming and pastoralism amplifying the utility of the expansive land they occupied.

To treat common illnesses, they traded in medicinal products known as ‘Miti’ (literally: plants), made from different medicinal plants found on the Southeast African plains. Some herbalists became famous for making concoction of herbs mixed with locally fermented brew that healed cancerous boils.

The Akamba people are known for their fine work in wood carving, basketry, and pottery. Fine artwork can be found everywhere in Kitui County. Wamunyu town along Kitui-Machakos road has a great and wider selection of handicrafts.

Due to their popularity, many of these handicrafts are displayed in many craft shops and galleries in major cities and towns across Kenya.

Over the years, a large number of Akamba pastoral groups moved eastwards to the Coast region, now Mombasa County in search of greener pastures for their cattle. These were the beginnings of urban settlement. They have since settled in major towns in Kenya.

Kitui County is now a host of many religious groups notably Christians, Muslims, and Hindus with Christians making the biggest contribution at 95%.

The name Kitui which means ‘a place where iron goods are made’ originated from The Kamba iron-smiths many years before the colonial period.

Kitui County Geography

Kitui County is in the Eastern part of Kenya with Kitui town as the capital and largest town followed by Mwingi town which is approximately 90 km away from Kitui town. Kitui town is approximately 160 km away from Nairobi and approximately two and a half (2½) hours’ drive through Kitui-Machakos road from Nairobi.

Kitui County has a population of 1,136,187 (2019 Census) and an area coverage of 30,496 km2.

It lies between latitudes 0°10 South and 3°0 South and longitudes 37°50 East and 39°0 East.

Kitui County shares its borders with seven counties and has 18 sub-counties.

Weather in Kitui County

In Kitui, the summers are short, warm, and overcast; the winters are short, comfortable, and partly cloudy.

The hot season lasts for about 2 months, from February to March, with an average daily high temperature above 83°F (28.3°C). The hottest month of the year in Kitui is March, with an average high of 85°F (29.4°C) and a low of 65°F (18.3°C).

The cool season lasts for about 3 months, from June to August, with an average daily high temperature below 77°F (25°C). The coldest month of the year in Kitui is July, with an average low of 58°F (14.4°C) and a high of 75°F (23.9°C).

Rainy seasons occur twice; the long season around March & April, and the short season around October through December. The length of the season defines its name rather not the amount of rainfall.

Education Level in Kitui County

Kitui County has a literacy level of 74.7% with colleges and universities setting up campuses in the county to absorb students for higher learning.

Road Connectivity in Kitui County

Kitui County has a road network score of 39.9% which has enhanced movement within the county and across the neighboring counties.

Visitors from Nairobi access Kitui town through A109, C97 road (Nairobi-Machakos-Kitui route) and also through A2, A3 then B7 road (Nairobi-Thika-Kitui route). From Kitui, travelers access Kibwezi via the new and smooth B7 road connecting to Mombasa Road, A109.

County Government

Kitui County Government has approved six (6) economic and investment zones that will transform the marked areas and towns into different hubs namely; mining, tourism, agricultural, administrative, financial, and educational hubs with far-reaching road and electricity network to enhance trade and movement.

Kitui Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism in Kitui County is quite engaging with fun activities including rock climbing, bird watching, hiking, game drives, escarpment views, and hospitable people with luxurious hotel facilities.

Among the tourist attractions within Kitui County include the following just a few minutes/hours’ drive away from Hotel San Marino Kitui as indicated starting with the closest site;

  • Breeze at the Kalundu Eco Park (10 min drive)
  • The 600 feet (180 meters) tall and mythical Nzambani Rock (15 min drive)
  • Explore Kanyonyoo Wildlife Conservancy (30 min drive)
  • Explore Mutomo Reptile Park (1 hour drive)
  • Explore Mutomo Hill Plant Sanctuary (1 hour drive)
  • The scenic V-shaped Ikoo Valley in Migwani (1 hour drive)
  • Hiking and bird watching at Mutha Hills (2 hours drive)
  • Hiking and bird watching at Mutito Hills (2 hours drive)
  • The scenic Ngomeni Rock Catchment (2½ hours’ drive)
  • Explore the Gai Rock in Kyuso (3 hours drive)
  • Wildlife safari at Tsavo East National Park (3½ hours’ drive)
  • Discovery at South Kitui National Reserve (3½ hours’ drive)
  • Discovery at Mwingi National Reserve (3½ hours’ drive)

People and Culture

Naturally, the Akamba people have an obviously hospitable personality.

They have maintained their forefather’s occupation in farming. However, their entrepreneurial interests are diversified to modern-day economic activities like trading in fast-moving commodities, transport business, banking, health, and running the best hotels in Kitui among other investment interests.

A local meal such as Ugali nyama choma (cooked maize dough served with grilled beef) or Chapati ndengu (unleavened whole wheat flatbread served with fried green grams stew) welcomes you to the Akamba culture.

Hotel San Marino welcomes you to Kitui town for your most memorable experience yet.

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