Nakuru County

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Nakuru County Details

Population: 1,603,325
Constituencies: Molo, Njoro, Naivasha, Gilgil, Kuresoi South, Kuresoi North, Subukia, Rongai, Bahati, Nakuru Town West, Nakuru Town East.

Religion and Traditional Culture

Majority of people living in Nakuru County are Christians, with a small number of Muslims and Hindus being present in major towns. The Kikuyu people speak Gikuyu; a language widely spoken across the country even in major towns where a majority of people speak Kiswahili.

On the other hand, Kalenjin community comprises several sub-tribes; Tugen, Nandi, Pokot, Keiyo, Kipsigis, Sabaot, Terik and Marakwet – all speaking in Kalenjin language. Many Kikuyus and Kalenjins also speak Kiswahili and English and are among the most educated ethnic groups in Kenya.

Traditionally Kikuyus believed in a single god, called Ngai (the provider), living at the top of Mount Kenya, while the Kalenjins believed in a supreme god, Asis, who is represented in the form of the sun. The two communities have abandoned their traditional beliefs for Christianity.

Christian denominations in Nakuru County include the African Inland Church (AIC), Roman Catholic, the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA).

Major Towns

Nakuru:

Located about 165 km to the north west of Nairobi, Nakuru is a major agricultural centre thanks to the county’s favourable weather and the fertile farms that surround the town. Crops grown around Nakuru and sold in the town include maize, beans and wheat. Nakuru is also a popular stopover on the way to the western parts of Kenya.

Naivasha:

Located about 90km from north-west of Nairobi, Naivasha is quickly becoming a popular destination. The town is the gateway to major tourist attractions such as Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate and Longonot national parks. Besides tourism, horticulture is a major economic activity in Naivasha. Some of the best freshly cut rose flowers sold in the european markets have been grown and exported from Kenya flower farms like the Oserian, Homegrown and Karuturi flower farms all found in Naivasha. Nakuru and Naivasha towns are complemented by other urban centres spread across the county, including Molo, Njoro, Gilgil, Mai Mahiu, Subukia, Salgaa and Rongai.

Climate and Weather

Nakuru County has predictable weather patterns with temperatures ranging between 10°C during the cold months (July and August) and 20°C during the hot months (January to March). The county receives between 700mm and 1200mm of rainfall annually, with average annual rainfall being an approximated 800mm. Nakuru has two rainy seasons; April, May and August (long rains) and October and December (short rains).

Economic Activities

Agriculture is the mainstay of Nakuru’s economy. The county’s weather is conducive for large-scale farming, horticulture and dairy farming. Food crops grown in Nakuru include maize, wheat, beans, peas, cabbages, tomatoes, kales and carrots. The produce is consumed locally and sold to consumers in neighboring towns and cities.

Some of the largest flower farms in the county include Homegrown, Oserian, Karuturi and Preesman. The bulk of flowers grown in these farms are mainly exported to Holland, UK and Germany. Tourism is also a major economic activity in Nakuru thanks to the county’s numerous tourist attractions such as craters, lakes, wildlife and birds.

There are numerous manufacturing industries in Nakuru town and other urban centres, including wheat and maize flour processing plants.

Health Facilities

Nakuru has numerous healthcare facilities serving the residents of the county. Main hospitals include the Rift Valley Provincial Hospital, Nakuru War Memorial Hospital, Valley Hospital and Nairobi Women’s Hospital (Nakuru).See also

Eduaction

There are 898 primary schools and 334 secondary schools in Nakuru County, serving 358,556 pupils and 25,475 students respectively. The county’s Teacher to Pupil Ratio is 1: 49 for public primary schools and 1:36 for public secondary schools. Some of the top high schools in Nakuru County include Moi High School Kabarak, Molo Academy, Nakuru High School, Bahati Girls Secondary School, Naivasha Girls Secondary School and Rongai Secondary School.See also Secondary Schools in Kenya

Universities and other institutions of higher learning in the county include Egerton University , Mt Kenya University Campus , Kabarak University, Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI) and Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) .See also Universites in Kenya & Colleges in Kenya

Attractions and Places of Interest

Tourist attractions in Nakuru County include Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate National Park and Menengai Crater.

Lake Nakuru National Park, situated just 4km from Nakuru town, is one of Kenya’s most popular tourist destinations. The park’s ecosystem, which comprises Lake Nakuru and surrounding grasslands, supports over 50 species of mammals including white rhino and about 450 species species of birds including flamingos.

Located just outside Naivasha town, Lake Naivasha draws a huge array of wildlife to its shores – including buffalo, giraffes and hippos. The lake offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. With over 350 species of birds, Lake Naivasha is a great birding destination.

Hell’s Gate National Park, which is situated beside Lake Naivasha, is ideal for rock climbing and biking. The park supports a thriving population of wildlife, including cheetahs, leopards and lions. The 2,490 meters-high Menengai Crater, which is located 10km north of Nakuru, is the world’s second largest surviving volcanic crater covering 90 sq km.

Traveling to Naruku County

Nakuru County is easily accessible from Nairobi by road. Public transport plies the Nairobi-Nakuru route on a daily basis. The 160km journey takes about two hours. Nakuru is also accessible by road from Nyeri, via the 167km Nyeri-Nakuru road, and from Kisumu via the 180km Kisumu-Eldoret-Nakuru highway.

Accommodation

Nakuru County offers a wide choice of accommodation. Popular places to stay when visiting Nakuru include Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, Merica Hotel, Midland Hotel, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Bontana Hotel, Hotel Kunste, Cathy Hotel, Flamingo Hill Tented Camp and Ufanisi Resorts. Numerous guest houses and budget lodgings can be found in Nakuru town, Naivasha town, Njoro, Gilgil and other urban centres.

Guest Information

Banks:

Nakuru County is served by all the major banks including Kenya Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Equity Bank , CFC Stanbic, Diamond Trust, Barclays and Family Bank. Safaricom M-Pesa services are readily available in the county.

Shopping:

There are stopover facilities with convenience stores and curio shops in many parts of the county, especially near tourist attractions such as Lake Nakuru and the Great Rift Valley Viewpoint along the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.

Delamare Farm shop on the outskirts of Naivasha is a nice stopover on the way to Nakuru. The shop sells farm fresh yoghurts and some yummy hot dogs. Top supermarkets in Nakuru town include Nakumatt , Naivas , Uchumi , Tuskys and Ukwala. These stores offer a wide range of products, including food and beverages.See also

Districts in Nakuru County: Naivasha, Gilgil, Nakuru North, Subukia, Nakuru, Njoro, Rongai, Molo, Kuresoi.

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