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Laikipia County is one of the 47 counties in the Ist Schedule in line with Article 6(1) of the Constitution and one of the 14 counties of Great Rift Valley.
Laikipia County borders 7 counties namely Samburu to the North, Isiolo to the North East, Meru to the East ,Nyeri to the South East , Nyandarua and Nakuru to the South West and Baringo to the West.
Laikipia County lies between latitudes 0o18″ and 0 o51″ North and between longitude 36o11″ and 37o24′ East.
Laikipia County covers an area of 9,462 KM2(2,338,111 acres)
The altitude of the county varies between 1,500m above sea level at Ewaso Nyiro basin in the North and 2,611 m in the South.
The maximum height of 2,611 m above sea level is found around Marmanet forest.
The other areas of high altitude are around Mukogodo and Loldaiga Forests in the eastern part of the County at 2,200 m above sea level.
There are two major swamps in the county namely: Marura Swamp which runs along the Moyot valley in OlPajeta Ranch and the Ewaso Narok Swamp around Rumuruti Township.
Rivers include Nanyuki, Timau, Rongai, Burguret, Segera, Naromoru, Engare, Moyak, Ewaso Narok, Pesi and Ngobit.
Gazetted forest totaling to 580 square kilometres and are divided into both indigenous and plantation forests. The indigenous forests include Mukogodo, which is a unique dry upland forest and Rumuruti, which is under threat from encroachment. The plantation forest include Marmanet and Shamaneik.
Laikipia county has two major urban centres: Nanyuki to the southeast and Nyahururu to the southwest.
Nanyuki is a market town in central-east Rift Valley region of Kenya lying northwest of Mount Kenya along the A2 Road and at the terminus of the branch railway from Nairobi. It is situated north of the Equator (0° 01‘ North). Founded in 1907 by British settlers, it is the main airbase of the Kenya Air Force. The British Army has a base at the Nanyuki Show Ground (NSG) from where it conducts yearly desert and jungle training exercises on the mountain and in the arid areas to the north. Nanyuki is the capital of Laikipia County. The Equator passes through the southern part of Nanyuki.
Climbers and backpackers visit Nanyuki on their way to or from Mount Kenya along the Sirimon: and Burguret routes and many other tourists pass through the town.
Where to stay
Lion’s Court, Equatorial Hotel, Mount Kenya Paradise Hotel and Joskaki Hotel. Mount Kenya Safari Club and Sportsman’s Arms Hotel are best known.
Where to eat
- The Marina
- Nakumatt, the mega supermarket with branded cafes and restaurants
- The Trout Tree Restaurant is a stunning restaurant wrapped around an ancreat ﬁg tree serving fresh trout from its ponds
- “Barneys” at Nanyuki Civil Airfield once the base of the N°. 1340 Flight RAF, which flew Harvard’s during the Mau Mau Uprising.
How to get there
- Nanyuki can be reached by air. The airport lies 6.5km’ (4miles) south of the town and is served by regular air services from Wilson airport.
- The town is reachable using the all weather road from Nairobi.
Tourists can visit a number of parks and reserves around Nanyuki. The most popular is Mount Kenya National Park. Others are Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Samburu National Reserve, Buffalo Hills National Reserve, and Shaba National Reserve.
In 1883, the intrepid explorer Joseph Thomson saw the 70m high waterfall on the Ewaso Ngiro River — which flows from the Aberdare Mountains – after a night on the Aberdares and named them Thomson’s Falls after himself. It was the founding of modern-day Nyahururu. Nyahururu is on the junction of Nyeri-Rumuruti Road and the Nyeri- Nakuru Road. The town grew around a railway from Gilgil opened in 1929.
Thomson’s falls: is a 70m scenic waterfall on the Ewaso Narok River, which drains from the Aberdare Mountain Range.
Facts About Laikipia County
Laikipia County borders Samburu County to the North, Isiolo County to the Northeast, Meru County to the South, Nyeri to the South, Nyandarua County to the Southwest, and Baringo County to the West
Area (Km 2): 9,462.0 Km 2
Climate/Weather: Has an annual relief rainfall varying between 400mm and 750mm with a mean annual temperature ranging between 160C and 260C.
Road Network: Bitumen Surface (139.3 Km), Gravel Surface (353.7 Km), Earth Surface (573.4 Km)
Key National Monument(s): None
Population of Laikipia County
Population: 399,227 (Male – 49.8 %, Female – 50.2 %)
Population Density: 42 people per Km 2
National Percentage: 1.03 %
Annual Growth Rate: 3.9 %
Age Distribution: 0-14 years (42.1 %), 15-64 years (53.8 %), 65+ years (4.0 %)
Number of Households: 103,114
Government of Laikipia County
County Capital: Nanyuki Town (proposed)
Number of Constituencies (2010): 2 (Laikipia East and Laikipia West)
Registered Voters: 153,274
National percentage: 1.2 %
Number of Districts (2009): 5 (Laikipia North, East, West and Central, and Nyahururu)
Number of Local Authorities (2010): 4 (Town Council of Rumuruti, County Council of Laikipia, Municipal Councils of Nanyuki and Nyahururu)
Economy of Laikipia County
Poverty Level: 46 % (Rural & Urban)
Age Dependency Ratio: 100:76
Resources: Indigenous Forests, Wildlife, Rivers
Tourist Attractions: Ole Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia Plateau Reserve, Thompson Falls, Caves
Financial Services: 6 Commercial Banks, 9 Micro-Finance Institutions, 2 Village Banks
Main Economic Activities/industries: Horticulture, Mixed farming, Livestock Farming
Education in Laikipia County
Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (347), Secondary (91)
Primary: Enrolment (85,424)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:37 (Public Schools)
Secondary: Enrolment (22,091)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:29 (Public Schools)
Tertiary: More than 14 Institutions
Adult Literacy Classes: Not available
Health in Laikipia County
Health Facilities: District Hospitals (2), Sub-District Hospitals (None), Dispensaries (56), Health Centres (8), Medical Clinics (9), Nursing Homes (2), Other (3)
Doctor to Population Ratio: 1:50,000
Infant Mortality Rates: 50/1000
Under Five Mortality Rates: 60/1000
Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, Diarrhoeal diseases, Bronchopneumonia
Notable Hospitals: Rumuruti and Nanyuki District Hospitals
Contact Laikipia County
The County Government of Laikipia
P.O. Box 1271 – 10400