E. Marakwet County

Discover Elgeyo Marakwet County

Spatial Location of Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya
Spatial Location of Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya

Brief Overview of Marakwet County

The lengthy and narrowed Elgeyo Marakwet County, wedged between the Uasin Gishu Plateau in the west and Kerio River in the east, is eccentrically split into three distinct topographic zones – highland, Kerio Valley and the escarpment – set apart by the spectacular Elgeyo Escarpment. Even without the possibility of seeing game, which it is has in plenty, a chance to experience these three unique zones and glimpse at the Elgeyo Escarpment and the Kerio Valley is a nice treat.

​On top of that, there’s also the kindred spirit of long distance running in Elgeyo Marakwet County, and which is almost palpable in the air.  This is the playland of long-distance running.  It has consummate flair considering two out of every three titlist long-distance runners in Kenya have their roots in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Put differently, this region has engendered about 62% of all the long-distance world champions. A record breaking triumph from a community that accounts for 0.0004% of the world’s population. Kamariny Stadium is a typical case. In 2019 Iten was elevated by IAAF to the status of global heritage location.

From the exemplar Iten Viewpoint, also known as Kerio Viewpoint, which is the universal welcome to Elgeyo Marakwet County, the drive from here takes to the spectacular winding road down the escarpment, to Kerio Valley. Driving down this heart-stopping and meandering descent, one looses 1,000 ft of altitude in just 5 kms and the temperature rises from 23 C at the highland to about 32 C on the lowland of Kerio Valley. The world champions train in the highland region.  

View of Kerio Valley.  Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor
View of Kerio Valley. Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor

Salient Features of Elgeyo Marakwet County

  • County Number 28
  • Area – 3029 km2
  • Altitude – 1000 to 3350 ms
  • Major Towns – Iten, Kapsowar, Chepkorio
  • Borders – West Pokot, Baringo, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu
Elgeyo Marakwet County Map

Brief History of Elgeyo Marakwet County

The British arrived rather late in Elgeyo Marakwet County, only showing up in 1910. Akin to their neighbours, the Turkana, the Marakwet did not take a liking to the presence of the Europeans in their native land. In 1911, they attacked and murdered a white settler who had been awarded land rights in their country. On account of inferior weapons and direful combat strategy, the few local revolts against the newcomers were easily and quickly quelled, and a Native Council was established in 1922. Nevertheless, aside from the “Grazing Lands”, there was little value in then Elgeyo Marakwet District and the Colonial Government was more interested in collecting taxes and sourcing for labourers to work the thriving sisal, wattle and wheat farms in Uasin Gishu where many of the natives opted to migrate to and become squatters. By the same token, the highland and more productive areas around Mosop were administered differently from 1939.

Section of the C51 Iten to Kabarnet Road.  Image Courtesy of RunUltra
Section of the C51 Iten to Kabarnet Road. Image Courtesy of RunUltra
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37 Attractions in E. Marakwet County, arranged as one would visit these - west, south then north - with aid of in-depth narratives, images, strip maps and distance chart: 

High Altitude Training Camp, Kamariny Stadium, St. Patrick's School Iten, Bugar Forest, Iten Viewpoint, Lelin Campsite, Kerio View Hotel, Active Edge, Rimoi National Reserve, Kessup Falls, Kessup Forest, Kilima Resort, Tambach Museum, Kolol Viewpoint, Torok Falls, Biretwo Museum, Kerio River Lodge, Chebloch Gorge, Samich Resort, Kenya Fluorspar Company, Sego Safari Resort, Melwa Gorge, Kerio Valley, Elgeyo Escarpment, Lake Kamnarok National Reserve, Kureswo Hot Springs, Metkei Ridge, Cherangani Hills Forest Reserve, Teren River Bridge, Arrow Dam, Chebara Dam, Embobut Forest, St. Micheals (Wewo) Church Embobut, The Sister Foothills (Kipkunurr, Koisungur and Kipteberr), Kipteberr Meteorite Site, Kiplagoch Caves, Marakwet Furrow Scheme.

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