Nestled in the Great Rift Valley and framed by the Cherangany Hills, Kitale is a laid-back rural town on the edge of Kenya’s smallest national park. It’s home to fascinating museums and a demonstration agroforestry farm and is a stone’s throw from the majestic waterfalls and caves of Mount Elgon National Park.
Things to do in Kitale
Delve into the region’s cultural history at Kitale Museum, which was established in 1924 to showcase the private collection of Colonel Hugh Stoneham. Learn about Kenya’s diverse tribes as you browse artefacts belonging to the Maasai, Luyha and Turkana people, together with traditional homewares and musical instruments. After exploring the galleries, follow the short nature trail that leads through the adjacent rainforest for a chance to see rare animal and plant species.
Also in Kitale is the Treasures of Africa Museum, which houses the personal collection of a former colonial officer, John G. Wilson. It’s largely based on his experiences with the Karamojong people of northern Uganda, with highlights including cultural artefacts, everyday objects and ethnic handicrafts.
Want to explore Kenya’s smallest national park? Head north-east from Kitale to the Saiwa Swamp, a forested paradise created as a habitat for the rare (and semi-aquatic) Sitatunga antelope. Keep your eyes peeled for De Brazza’s monkeys, lesser jacanas and African black ducks while exploring its tropical wetlands and riverine forest, with the swamp fed by the waters of the Saiwa River.
Getting around Kitale
Kitale is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Eldoret and Eldoret International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Kenya. Kisumu is around three hours away. Matatus and buses connect to towns and cities across the region while comfortable coach services make the seven-hour journey to Nairobi. Kitale’s town centre is compact enough to explore on foot while taxi services are also available.