Nakuru County in Kenya is one place considered to be as old as the Kenyan history because of its many prehistoric features that date back many many years ago. Nakuru County located in western Kenya, south east of the Great Rift Valley; the county sits on an area of 7495km2 that includes both arable and non-arable land. The county also has several forested areas and water bodies. Nakuru county is surrounded by seven other counties that include:-
Nakuru town is the capital of Nakuru County and it was started as a white highland for the British in the colonial times as the British used it as stop over during the construction of the Uganda railway. Because of the various British activities, the town kept growing and in 1904 acquired town status and in 1952 became a municipality. Nakuru Town acts as the headquarters of the county and the town is the 4th largest urban centre in Kenya coming behind Kisumu, Mombasa and of course Nairobi.
Nakuru County is sub-divided into eleven sub-counties which are further divided into wards as a way to offer proper administration and governance to the people and residents of Nakuru. The people of Nakuru are diverse with a mixture of local Kenyan tribes that are the majority and a few foreign communities, though the maasai people are said to be the native people of Nakuru. All the diverse culture in Nakuru live in harmony as each community compliments the other.
As stated earlier Nakuru town and Nakuru County first rose to modernity in the 19th century when the British used the place as a stopover during the construction of the Uganda railway that connects Uganda to the Kenyan coast. Since then Nakuru has grown and Nakuru town become one of the top business hubs in the Kenya. Though the construction of this railway line gathered mixed reception from both the Kenyans and the Ugandans, it helped Nakuru quickly gain municipality status; because of the many businesses that were erected along the railway line from Mombasa as it connected to Kisumu. To this day, Nakuru County still sits at the centre of the road from Mombasa to Nairobi.
Nakuru County is also endowed with other popular towns that include Naivasha, Gilgil, Maai Mahiu, Dundori, Mau Narok, Bahati, Olenguruone, Salgaa, Molo, Njoro, Subukia and Rongai plus many more.
The economy of Nakuru is fed mainly by Agriculture and Tourism, with Agriculture taking the upper hand and other economic ventures following right behind; these ventures are energy and manufacturing.
The farmers in Nakuru have two farming seasons in a year because of the county’s bimodal rainfall pattern that has long rains from March to June and short rains from October to November. Like most rift valley places Nakuru has a moderately balanced climate that is usually termed as a “warm-summer Mediterranean climate”.
Crops grown in Nakuru include coffee, barley, maize, wheat, potatoes and beans; and they are marketed both in Nakuru and in other parts of Kenya. Most of these crops also provide the raw materials used in manufacturing industries like flour milling and grain ginneries. Other farming activities in Nakuru are dairy farming that provides milk to dairy processing plants in Nakuru town and the county.
Nakuru County is famous tourism destination all year round with visitors visiting the county to experience several tourism activities that include watching the popular pink flamingos on Lake Nakuru and other lakes.
The tourism activities in the county include bird watching, game viewing, community and nature tours, hiking, picnicking, camping, boat rides and many more exciting and adventurous activities.
The county is known to host over 500 bird species that roam across the different lakes and sites, the county is also home to over 56 animal species that are in the different game parks including the endangered and rare rhinos; other animals are elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, waterbucks, Impalas and others.
The main game parks in Nakuru are Lake Nakuru National Park and Hell’s gate National Park as well as other sites like Lake Naivasha and Menengai crater that are also major attraction sites in the county.
One of the most famous soda lakes in Nakuru is Lake Nakuru in Lake Nakuru National park that is famous for hosting thousands of flamingos throughout the year. Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the finest National Parks in Kenya, its located North West of Nairobi city on an area of 188km2 that houses Lake Nakuru, acacia woodlands, bushy grasslands, euphorbia forest and spectacular landscape features. The park is home to the famous flamingos, over 400 bird species altogether and over 50 mammals that include rhinos (black and white) and the Rothschild’s giraffe that stay in the park’s rhino sanctuary. Lake Nakuru National park is fenced to protect the Rhinos and Rothschild’s giraffe in the park from poachers and encroachers. The Fence is also an advantage to tourism because the animals in the park don’t migrate, meaning any time you visit the park you will find the animals there.
Lake Nakuru National Park is the most popular and most visited national park in Nakuru and contributes a good percentage to the total income of county’s budget. Kenya Wildlife services is the main custodian of this park as well as other tourism sites in the county.
Housing in Nakuru ranges from pretty modest to pretty exotic facilities that cut across local designs, foreign designs and combined designs that accommodate both the local and foreign concepts. This housing structure is the same in most of the hotel and lodge facilities for tourism.
The people live in communities with structures of interaction that include similar working sectors, market gathering, religious gathering, cultural gatherings, and many more. The food in Nakuru is also diverse like the people of Nakuru cutting across local and foreign cuisines.
Nakuru County most of all is one of the premium destinations in Kenya and it’s worth paying a visit when one is in Kenya any time of the year.