Kerio Valley National Reserve
This truly spectacular region is one of Kenya’s best kept secret. The highlands and escarpment of the North Rift Valley provide some of the country’s most awe-inspiring views, across the broad and beautiful Kerio Valley National Park.
The scenic vistas around the Elgeyo escarpment are truly stunning, especially from the ‘World’s End’ view point at Nyaru. Waterfalls flow down the face of these escarpments, and at Chebloch, on the valley floor water runs through a deep and narrow gorge with sheer rock walls. The highlands are an excellent place to explore, and there is plenty to discover among the many hills and ranges.
From the high Tugen Hills, there are excellent views across arid rift valley floor to Lake Baringo. The lush green hills around Kericho are home to Kenya’s tea industry, and the nearby Kisii Community is world renowned for their beautiful soapstone carving.
Unlike most of Kenya’s mountains and ranges, the rolling Cherangani Hills are not volcanic in origin. The hills are centered upon a forested escarpment and surrounded on three sides by sheer cliff faces. They are cris-crossed by walking path and ease of direction and undemanding slopes make this excellent country for relaxing hill walking. The paths cross open farmland, pass through sheltered valleys and wind their way up to forested peaks.
This is a birding mecca, and whether you are a serious ornithologist or a hobby birder, you should not miss the Cherangani. There are excellent bird guides available locally. Wildlife enthusiasts can also visit the nearby Saiwa Swamp National Park.
This is one of the few parks that permits walking, and is an ideal place for a day’s hike. This wild country is home to many and varied species, the best known being the very rare Sitatunga.
This semi-amphibious antelope lives in the depths of these swamps. Rimoi National Reserve, in the Kerio Valley, is an important area for elephant migration. The Western Highlands have become a major draw for sporting tourists.
This is the home of many of Kenya’s world famous runners. This is probably the finest place on earth for high altitude athletic training, and many international athletes visit training camps around Iten and Kaptagat.
But the real beauty of these Highlands lies in the solitude, peace, and isolation to be found in the hills. This is ideal walking, trekking and cycling country (although there are many steep hills), even within Saiwa Swamp National Park.
It is possible to take an organized safari into this area.