Bungoma County

Discover Bungoma County

Spatial Location of Bungoma County in Kenya
Spatial Location of Bungoma County in Kenya

Brief Overview of Bungoma County

From Eldoret it is a rather brisk 71 kms journey through Turbo and Kipkarren to Webuye on the eastern corner of Bungoma. Alternatively, from Kitale, it is a 64 kms jaunt south to Webuye through Kiminini and Misikhu. A further route of 96 kms travelling northerly from Kisumu to Webuye through Kakamega and Malava rounds up its unofficial title as a communication hub of Western Kenya. Webuye is the second largest town in Bungoma County situated 30 kms east of its largest located in the mid south. The growth of Bungoma Town, its largest, begun as a result of a play of many forces, but largely as a small railway halting-station with open air commercial activities following the arrival of the Nairobi-Kampala railway line in 1925. Uniquely, this has two town centers, Kanduyi (old town) and Bungoma (new) separated from each other by the Bungoma Airstrip.

The rise of Bungoma was also influenced by the A104 international trunk road connecting Eldoret, Webuye, Bungoma and Malaba.  Bungoma County, initially part of Nyanza Elgon District, later renamed North Nzoia District (area north of Nzoia River) remains one of the main hubs in the region. And of all the fetching views to be seen along Bungoma’s good network of roads, it is the series of hills and jumbo outcrops that are the most memorable, especially from the summits. Of these, the most impressive is, ​of course, the imperial Mount Elgon. At 4,321 ms the extinct volcano of Mount Elgon is Kenya’s second-highest mountain. Its imposing dome rises abruptly in the northern area of Bungoma, from where the land descending south is dotted by lofty outcrops and numerous roof pendants.

The southern parts of Bungoma County, around Bungoma and Mumias towns, are typified by rock formations, most notably of Sang’alo Rocks. These lower-lying region ​lies within the Lake Victoria Basin. The land rises from 1,200 ms in this lowland to over 4,000 ms at Mount Elgon. Farming dominates Bungoma County with good and well-developed soils in Webuye and Kimilili. Bungoma is a prolific cotton and tobacco growing area. Maize, coffee, pyrethrum, sunflower and sugarcane are also farmed. Bukusu Community occupy much of Bungoma.

Wide-shot view of the seldom toured Malikisi Falls.  Photo Courtesy of Victor Matara
View of the Malikisi Falls. Image Courtesy of Victor Matara

 Salient Features of Bungoma County

  • County Number 39
  • Area – 3032 km2
  • Altitude – 5036 ft
  • Major Towns – Bungoma, Kimilili, Webuye
  • Borders – Trans Nzoia, Kakamega, Busia
Bungoma County Map

Brief History of Bungoma County

Bungoma Town was one of the substantial “beneficiaries” of the Kenya-Uganda Railway line. Before the arrival of the rail, nothing in the form of a settlement existed. Bungoma Town was founded around 1925 with the arrival of the rail, which provided a new phase for the area. Very soon afterwards, this became a camping ground for railway workers who mainly consisted of Asians and a few Europeans. This early communication advantage provided it impetus for the growth of its commerce and drastically hastened settlement. Prior to this, “the town was a meeting place by the Bukusu elders who used drums (engoma) to summon people to meet. It was, therefore, referred to as the place of drums by the Bukusu and Tachoni Tribes, hence the name Bungoma” – Standard Media.

An Aerial View of Bungoma Town. Image Courtesy of The Standard
An Aerial View of Bungoma Town. Image Courtesy of The Standard
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16 Attractions in Bungoma County, arranged as one would visit these - north, south east then west - with aid of in-depth narratives, images, strip maps and distance chart:

Mount Elgon National Park, Elephants Maternity Ward, Chepkitale Forest, Maeni Shrine, Kabuchai Hills, Teremi Falls, Chwele Market, Mwibale wa Mwanja, Namunyu Cave, Daraja la Mungu, Malikisi Falls, Buteyo Miti Park, Sang'alo Rocks, Chetambe Fort, Nabuyole Falls, Kumfunje Bridge.

Geography, Land-Use, Highlights, Population, Roads, Airports, Climate and National Monuments in Bungoma County