Trans Nzoia County

Geography, Land-Use, Highlights, Population, Roads, Airports, Climate & National Monuments in Trans Nzoia County

Geography of Trans Nzoia County

Trans Nzoia County can be divided into three definitive agro-ecological zones: Upper Highland Zone, Upper Midland Zone and Lower Highland Zone.  The Upper Highland Zone covers the hills and slopes of Mount Elgon, Cherangani Hills and the border zone towards West Pokot County. This zone lies between altitudes of 2,400 ms and 4,313 ms above sea level and constitutes about 16 percent of the county’s land area. The area is covered with woody vegetation, shallow stony soils and rocky outcrops. Mount Elgon National Park, situated in this zone, is the major tourist attraction.  The Lower Highland Zone covers the slopes of Mount Elgon and Cherangani Hills, between the altitudes of 1800 ms and 2400 ms above sea level. The Upper Midland Zone, covering around 1248 km2, comprises about 50 percent of Trans Nzoia County. This zone lies between altitudes 1700 and 2400 ms. The zone includes the Endebess Plains, stretching west of Kitale Plains and northerly to the area below the slopes of Cheranganis.

Land Use in Trans Nzoia County

Trans Nzoia Country’s land tenure system has evolved over time. At the time of independence, the whole of Trans Nzoia County was “Crown Land” reserved for the white farmers. After independence, the ownership was transferred to the Government of Kenya.  The main crops produced in the Trans Nzoia County are maize, beans, wheat, tea and potatoes. Other crops include coffee and a variety of horticultural crops.  The total acreage under food crops is 1438 km2, while that under cash crops is 1471 km2. Much of the land is under cash crop farming.

Highlights in Trans Nzoia County

The key attraction sites in Trans Nzoia County are Mount Elgon National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Kitale Museum and Kitale Nature Conservancy. It has plenty of wildlife to include elephants around Mount Elgon Forest arc and Columbus monkeys, variety of birds, buffaloes, hippos, bushbucks, and snakes.

View inside the Kitum Cave in Mount Elgon National Park.  Photo Courtesy of Explore 254
Kitum Cave in Mount Elgon National Park.  Image Courtesy of Explore 254

Population in Trans Nzoia County

Trans Nzoia County had population density of 328 persons / km2 in 2009, that rose to 367 people / km2 in 2013. This was expected to rise to 441 people / km2 by 2017. The 2009 Population and Housing Census recorded a total of 818,757 persons in the county. Of these 407,172 were male and 411,585 female. Inter-censal growth rate was 3.7% between 1999 and 2009, higher than the national average of 3.0%. It has two main towns (Kitale and Kiminini) whose population was projected as 136,644 in 2013, and expected to increase to 158,440 by 2017.

Airports in Trans Nzoia County

Trans Nzoia has only one airstrip but Eldoret Airport is within its proximity.

Roads in Trans Nzoia County

Trans Nzoia County has a total road network of about 4,069 kms, comprised of 154 kms of bitumen roads, 167 kms of gravel, about 786 kms of earth roads and 2953 kms of rural access roads. Most of these roads are in poor condition and impassable during rain season. The main road is A1, Kitale to Kapenguria Road.

Trans Nzoia County Distance Chart
Trans Nzoia County Distance Chart

Climate in Trans Nzoia County

Trans Nzoia County has a highland equatorial type of climate. The rainfall is well distributed throughout the year.  The slopes of Mount Elgon, in the west, receive the highest amount of rainfall while the region bordering West Pokot County receives the least. It experiences bi-modal rainfall pattern – long rains occurring from April to June and short rains fall from July to October. Trans Nzoia County also lies within the Lake Victoria basin and rain falls more or less continuously from April to the end of the year in local heavy showers. Many such showers originate over the forest below Kaibubich and proceed from there in a southwest strike to Kitale, which accounts for higher rainfall along this line.

National Monuments in Trans Nzoia County

There are no designated national monuments in Trans Nzoia County.

Trans Nzoia County

Trans Nzoia County Map