Kisii County Government maps tourist attraction sites


President Uhuru Kenyatta is shown a soapstone carvings exhibition at the County Commissioner's Residence, in Kisii County. [File, Standard]

Kisii County Government has commissioned a report showing an array of untapped tourist attraction sites in the area.

The report further shows how governor James Ongwae's administration can promote cultural diversity in a bid to create employment opportunities and revenue in the county.

Some of the tourist sites in the Kisii County Tourism Product and Mapping report include; Nyamarambe Waterfalls, Rigena Ria Kwamboka, Manga Caves and Hills and Tabaka Soapstone.

In its quest to market the sites, the county is organising Miss Tourism pageant events and is planning to identify ambassadors to market the tourism sites. Miss Tourism is an annual event that seeks to personify Kenya’s tourism strengths through pageantry. 

“Our objective is to identify tourism products, create a platform for youth, and encourage environmental conservation,” said Kisii County Secretary Patrick Lumumba.

In Nyariba Masaba, Masabo Hill is said to have been named after a Netherlands missionary. The missionary put up wooden gabions, which are still in place, along the Mogonga River to prevent soil erosion.

Masabo Hill is very unique since thatching grass, used to build traditional houses and shrines, grows on the hill.

Tara Prehistorically Site in South Mugirango is traced back to more than 100 years ago. The site was preserved to exhibit rock drawings and paintings done by the earlier inhabitants.

Nyamarambe, the only waterfall in the region, has cave-like special features that act as tourist attraction sites.

Jemima Bitengo displays her soapstone carvings at Tabaka, Kisii County. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Sameta, the highest hill in Kisii County, is forested at the top and was used as a shrine. The residents believed that they would be blessed just by visiting the hill and offering sacrifices.

Emanga caves are believed to have acted as shelters for the early man. The caves were also used as a hiding place for the fighters. 

Rigena Ria Kwamboka in Boncharia is one of the unique rock features in the county. The huge rock lies on top of a smaller rock, and it swings when pushed. However, the rock cannot fall even when pushed harder.

The rock served as a communication centre when there was a need to alert the community of an occurrence. Circumcision rituals were also conducted here.

Before visiting the holes at Manga Caves and Hills, the community believes that one must tie a knot of grass, lest the spirits will haunt you after leaving the place.

These are different sets of holes and caves on top of the Manga hills that the community believes sheltered the ancestors.

These holes are very deep. One of the holes is said to connect to Lake Victoria. It is alleged that a white man threw a dog into the hole, and it emerged from Lake Victoria.

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