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