Kitui County


Discover Kitui County

Spatial Location of Kitui County in Kenya
Spatial Location of Kitui County in Kenya

Brief Overview of Kitui County

The principal line of communication in Kitui County is the A3 Thika-Liboi Road linking Thika with Kitui, 131 kms away, whilst a second, but less engaged, road meets the A109 Nairobi-Mombasa Road at Kibwezi, 144 kms south of Kitui. The northern part of Kitui County is best approached via the A3 which runs east to west about 20 kms outside the northern boundary – through Matuu, Kithyoko, Mwingi and Mbuvi Towns – and from which its two secondary roads extend to Mui and Nuu. The southern part is served via Kitui, where several fairly good roads radiate out of: west to Machakos Town along the C97 Mulutu-Wamunyu-Masii-Machakos Road; east and north via C96 Kitui-Zombe-Ikoo-Mwingi Road; and east and south via the Kitui-Zombe-Nguuni-Ikutha Road. In context, these roads traverse sizable distances across the long and narrowed 30,496 km2 Kitui County which is about 125 kms at its widest and almost 300 kms north to south.

To a great extent, the nature of most parts of Kitui County could be described as a rocky plain, sloping from west to east, excepting the uplands of Yatta Plateau and the Kitui Hills in the central part. “Kitui stands on a low spur at the south-western end of a group of hills which rise to over 5,000 ft. The town itself lies at an altitude of no more than 3,800 ft”. The low-lying, comparatively flat, tropical bushland, extending from Kitui Hills eastwards to Tana River, is generally less than 2,400 ft asl. Moreover, a combination of high temperature and low rainfall renders cultivation very difficult, and the greater part of the area is covered with Aristida grasses, and stunted thorn bush mainly composed of species of Acacia and Commiphora strewn with towering Baobab. In stack contrast, in the areas along the banks of Tana, Ura, Tiva and Galana Rivers the vegetation is riverine embodied by flourishing green belts of palms. The western hilly region around Kitui naturally supports the densest population of its local Akamba Community.

Only 16% of the land Kitui County is arable with the remainder consisting of marginal land and arid areas. Still and all, the huge potential mineralogy of the county is listed as including possible deposits of coal, gypsum, magnisite, gold, asbestos, garnet, tormaline, vanadium and silica. Kitui County has three large National Reserves found along its extreme frontiers – Mwingi National Reserve (north), South Kitui National Reserve (east) and parts of Tsavo East National Park (south). These all offer great opportunities for game viewing and exploring little-travelled and unfamiliar horizons. Tsavo, the largest, covers almost 6369 km2 and the entire southern quarter of Kitui County. In sum, the reserves cover about 35% of Kitui. The Athi-Galana-Sabaki River traversing it from north to south also forms its natural western boundary with Makueni County. Uniquely situated between Athi-Galana-Sabaki and Tiva River and also traversing it from north to south is the Yatta Plateau, the most prominent landmark – a 210 kms long continuous lave plateau ridge typified by plain wide shallow spaced valleys.

View of the dramatic and formidable Nzambani Rock.  Photo Courtesy
View of the dramatic and formidable Nzambani Rock. Image Courtesy

Salient Features of Kitui County

  • County Number 15
  • Area – 30496 km2
  • Altitude – 400 to 800 ms
  • Major Towns – Kitui, Mwingi, Mutomo
  • Borders – T. River, Taveta, Meru, Embu Tharaka, Makueni, Machakos
Kitui County Map

Brief History of Kitui County

During the British colonial reign over Kenya, the now defunct Kitui District was divided up into 23 location, each with its own Chief.  Unlike their neighboring communities Kitui Kamba were, as a tribe, pleasant, likeable and totally loyal. They also made excellent soldiers and policemen, taking eagerly to discipline and service.  Their contribution in the King’s African Rifles during the Second World War was greater than that of any other community in Kenya and possibly the singular greatest contribution was made by Senior Chief Kasina of Migwani.

Athi River bridge near Kiaoni market. Image Courtesy of Skyscraper City
Athi River bridge near Kiaoni market. Image Courtesy of Skyscraper City
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27 Attractions in Kitui County, arranged as one would visit these - north to south - with the aid of in-depth narratives, images, strip maps and distance chart:

Kanyonyoo Wildlife Conservancy, B2 Yatta Ranch, Ukasi Hill, Mumoni Hill Forest Reserve, Muvaroa Hill Forest Reserve, Kiambere Dam, Mwingi National Reserve, George Adamson Bridge, Ngomeni Rock, Kitui War Monument, Villa Kitui, Kalundu Eco Park, Kitui Hills, Baobab Boulevard, Nzambani Rock, Ikoo Valley, Mui Basin, Nuu Hills, Mutomo Hill Plant Sanctuary, South Kitui National Reserve, AIC Ikutha, Tsavo East National Park, Yatta Plateau, Ithumba Camp, Ithumba Hill Camp, Man-eaters Bridge

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