Region: Vihiga County
Geographic Coordinates: 0.050000, 34.725000
Temperature Range: 14.0°C to 28.0°C (57°F to 82°F)
Vihiga is a small county in western Kenya, Bordered by Kakamega County to the east, Nandi County to the southwest, And Kisumu County to the northwest. The county covers around 530 square kilometers and has a population of approximately 600, 000 people. The majority of Vihiga’s residents are from the Luhya tribe, Known for their rich cultural heritage in music, Dance, And traditional beliefs. Visitors can experience this culture through events like bullfighting competitions and traditional dances.
Agriculture is one of Vihiga’s main economic activities due to its fertile soils that support crops like maize, Beans, Potatoes, Vegetables and coffee farming. Vihiga has several tourist attractions such as Chetambe Fort located in Emuhaya sub-county built during colonial times by local chiefs as a defense against British rule; it now serves as a historical site where visitors can learn about Kenyan history.
Another attraction is Luanda Magere Cave located near Mbita Hills Forest Reserve; this cave was once used by legendary Luo warrior Luanda Magere for his rituals before battle – it’s believed he turned into stone after being killed by his enemies but his spirit still haunts those who enter his cave today! Additionally, Vihiga boasts stunning natural landscapes including hills covered with lush vegetation and numerous rivers flowing through them providing water for irrigation purposes as well as fishing opportunities.
Finally, Vihiga offers excellent educational opportunities with several universities within its borders including Masinde Muliro University which offers courses ranging from engineering sciences all way up nursing programs. It is also home to several secondary schools and primary schools which provide quality education for students from all backgrounds. In conclusion, Vihiga County is a small yet vibrant county that offers visitors an opportunity to experience Kenyan culture, Cultural events, Historical sites, Natural beauty, And quality education.
- Luanda Magere Statue – This statue honors the legendary Luo warrior who fought against the colonialists in the 19th century.
- Chetambe Fort – A historical site that was used as a military base during World War II.
- Maragoli Hills – A scenic hill range located on the eastern side of Vihiga County that offers breathtaking views and hiking opportunities.
- Bunyore Forest Reserve – A natural forest reserve with diverse flora and fauna species ideal for nature walks and bird watching.
- The Source of River Yala – Located in Emuhaya sub-county, this river source marks one of the longest rivers in Western Kenya.
- Mbale Town Market – An open-air market where you can buy fresh produce and traditional crafts from local vendors.
- St Mary’s Mission Hospital Mumias- One of Kenya’s oldest mission hospitals that offer quality health care services to patients from all over Western Kenya.
- Musikoma falls- It is a beautiful waterfall located near Kaimosi town which attracts many tourists due to its beauty.
- The major industries and businesses in Vihiga, Kenya include:
- Small-scale trading
- Retail businesses
- Service industry such as education and healthcare
- The region is known for producing crops such as:
- There are also a few manufacturing industries that produce products like:
- Additionally, there are some tourism-related activities in the area due to its natural beauty including:
- The Vihiga Massacre occurred in 1992 when a group of armed men attacked a village, resulting in the death of over 50 people and numerous injuries. Political tensions were cited as the cause of the massacre.
- Senator George Khaniri is a prominent politician from Vihiga who has been serving as a senator for the county since 2017.
- Dr. Julius Kipngetich, originally from Vihiga, is an accomplished conservationist and former CEO of Kenya Wildlife Service.
- Bishop Emeritus Zacchaeus Okoth was born in Vihiga and served as the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay before retiring in 2018 after also serving as bishop of Kisumu.
- The Bukusu tribe is one of Vihiga’s main ethnic groups known for their traditional music, dance, and art.
- Chavakali High School was established by missionaries in 1925 and has produced many notable alumni including politicians, academics, and business leaders.
- Mbale Town Council was established during colonial times due to its strategic location as a trading center between Uganda and Kenya; it remains one of Vihiga County’s major towns today.
- The Kakamega Forest Reserve spans across several counties including parts of Vihiga County; it attracts tourists from all over Kenya with its diverse wildlife such as primates like baboons and colobus monkeys among other animals that call it home.
- The Mululu School Bus accident occurred in June 2000 when students were returning home after school hours; their bus veered off into River Nzoia while crossing Mululu Bridge on Webuye-Kitale road leading to at least thirty-five fatalities with others injured.
- Vihiga County Museum showcases the cultural heritage and history of the Vihiga people.
- Maseno University Art Gallery is an art center featuring contemporary African art exhibitions, workshops, and performances.
- Chetambe Fort is a historical monument that serves as a reminder of the resistance against British colonialism in Kenya.
- Kakamega Forest Reserve is a nature reserve that’s home to diverse wildlife and plant species, including primates, birds, and butterflies.
- Muliro Gardens are popular recreational spots with beautiful landscapes, picnic areas, and playgrounds for children.
- Luanda Market is a bustling marketplace that offers an authentic shopping experience with local produce, crafts, clothing, and food stalls.
- Maragoli Hills offer scenic views of the surrounding countryside with hiking trails leading to waterfalls and caves.
- Tom Mboya Statue commemorates Tom Mboya who was a prominent Kenyan politician during the country’s struggle for independence from Britain in 1963.
- Malava Forest Reserve offers hiking trails through lush forests where visitors can see rare bird species such as Turacos.
- Vihiga High School Memorial Hall is dedicated to students who died in school fires between 1998-2001.
- Vihiga Queens FC – A women’s football club that has won numerous regional and national titles.
- Vihiga County Basketball Team – A men’s basketball team that competes in the Kenya Basketball Federation league.
- Vihiga County Volleyball Team – Both men’s and women’s volleyball teams that have taken part in various national tournaments.
- Vihiga County Cultural Festival celebrates the diverse cultural heritage of Vihiga County and features traditional music, dance, food, and crafts.
- Maragoli Cultural Festival is held annually to celebrate the culture of the Maragoli people who are indigenous to Vihiga County.
- Emanyinya Cultural Festival celebrates the culture of the Tiriki people who are also indigenous to Vihiga County.
- Chavakali Agricultural Show showcases agricultural products and innovations from farmers in Vihiga County.
- Western Kenya Music Festivals bring together schools from across Western Kenya to compete in various categories such as traditional dances, choral music, and solo performances.
- Mulembe International Music & Culture Festival is a 3-day event that brings together musicians and artists from all over Africa to celebrate African culture through music, dance, art exhibitions among others.
- Kakamega Forest Marathon is an annual marathon that takes place in Kakamega forest with participants coming from all over Kenya as well as international runners.
- Mashujaa Day Celebrations is a national holiday celebrated on October 20th every year in honor of Kenyan heroes who fought for independence including Mekatilili wa Menza a famous female freedom fighter from Western Kenya region where Vihiga is located.
- Ugali: A staple dish made from maize flour and water, often served with a side of vegetables or meat.
- Sukuma Wiki: A dish made from collard greens cooked with onions and tomatoes.
- Matoke: A dish made from plantains cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, onions, and spices.
- Chapati: A flatbread made from wheat flour that is often served as a side dish or used to wrap other foods.
- Nyama Choma: Grilled meat (usually goat or beef) that is marinated in spices and served with a side of ugali or chapati.
- The Lounge Cafe & Restaurant
- Mama’s Kitchen
- Westend Grill House
- Kassam’s Kitchen
- The Village Cafe & Restaurant
- Vihiga County Stadium is a public park that hosts various sporting activities, such as football, athletics, and rugby.
- Luanda Sports Complex is another public park that offers recreational activities, such as football, basketball, volleyball, and netball.
- Mungoma Forest Reserve is a nature reserve that offers hiking trails and bird-watching opportunities.
- Chavakali Grounds are a popular spot for picnics and family outings in Vihiga County.
- Lirhanda Hill Forest Reserve offers nature walks and bird-watching opportunities.
- The Kakamega Forest National Reserve is located near Vihiga County; this reserve offers hiking trails, camping sites, picnic spots, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Bunyore Game Reserve is located near the border of Vihiga County; this game reserve offers wildlife viewing experiences such as giraffes and zebras among others.
- Malava Forest Reserve is a nature preserve located in the neighboring Kakamega county with walking trails for visitors to explore the forest while enjoying fresh air.
Overall, sports are an essential part of life in Vihiga, with many talented athletes emerging from the area to represent their respective teams at different levels of competition.
Some popular restaurants in Vihiga include: