By Dorothy Jepchirchir yegon
Kerio valley is lying between the Tugen Hills and the Elgeyo escarpment is one of the compelling landscapes in the North Rift. Standing at an elevation of 1000 metres the sharp drop allows in a bird eye-view of the land yonder. The Kerio view make use of the beautiful view and remains an attraction to holiday makers and tourists keen on savoring the scenic delights of north rift. Visitors can also tour Cheploch Gorge that stands as though looking down on other on others and which serves as the site where award winning advertisements for popular artists and brands in east Africa have been filmed.
Other Kerio treasures sites include the little known Lake Kapnarok National Reserve and Tugen Hills. Kapnarok is known for its notorious Elephants which lurk in deep thickets and pounce at least expected. On the other hand there is also Dik-dik the small and graceful antelopes they are seven species but gazelles and dik-diks are found there. The animals are very shy they have soft fur which varies in colour from pale gray-brown to dark brown.
Dik-diks are often found with families comprising of male, female and their most recent young ones. Males scent-mark and fiercely defend their territories, within which there are regularly used paths and places for resting. Dik-diks have no need to drink because they get all the water they need from their food. Although they are on everyone’s menu-watch out –though they are small, dik-dik has very sharp hooves and can put up a good defence.
In the dry spells from January to early March and later in December , scores of foreign Para gliders (sport involving , wind manipulation to lift one in the sky) arrive without fail to engage in their stunts. The eye catching Para gliders in the multicolored wings are spectacle to behold as they encircle the clear skies hundreds of feet above, as the bewildered visitors and locals sit and watch.
With all the attractions there is no doubt about Kerio growing importance in Kenya’s burgeoning tourism sector, particularly in western Kenya circuit.
One can say the same of other parts of Rift Valley such as Maasai Mara which continues to rake in tens of million in tourist earnings but locals still cannot access very basic things like safe drinking water hospitals or schools.
The advent of local tourism which seems to be catching on the day should surely make a difference to those regions and the people.
Rich pickings for tourists to choose from
A misty of atmosphere surrounds the place, the spray of water forming a rainbow over the falls, which locals regard with awe. Several type of birds the horn bill; the grey heron are some of the species in the vast greenery surrounding the falls. Picnic lovers and students have found the place most conducive as it offers fresh and relaxing ambience.
The dizzying heights and sharp decent are the contrasting vistas that make the place special.
Dorothy Jepchirchir Yegon, The Author is a journalist student at Moi University