Message From H.E the Governor of Bomet County, Dr. Hillary Barchok
As we mark the World Tourism Day this year, whose theme is “Tourism and Rural Development” as unveiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, I wish to join other counties and the Nation at large in the commemoration.
Indeed, tourism plays a significant role as the engine of economic growth in several counties through provision of unique opportunities to communities which include improved road infrastructure, job creation, improved access to community health and market for products.
As an emerging destination, Bomet County is strategically positioned in the South Rift which is situated in at the Western part of Kenya.
- 1 Fencing of Maasai Mau forest kicks off
- 2 Accurate maps to guide human settlement and conservation
- 3 State signs deal for fencing Maasai Mau forest
- 4 Kenya's forest communities face eviction from ancestral lands
It is a gateway to the famous Maasai Mara National Game Reserve and endowed with unique and diverse combination of scenically beautiful geographical landscapes, the country’s biggest proportion of amazing tea farms and plantations, nature-based tourist attractions in the Mau Forest, unique indigenous culture, sports tourism that has continued to nurture world champions, nature trails that provide fine and exclusive attractions, rivers, caves and waterfalls that will be forever embedded in one's mind once experienced in the county. Additionally, it has emerging hospitality and conference facilities.
As we focus in tourism products development, we are working with the national government agencies and other stakeholders in planning and partnerships to package the products for both domestic and international visitors. Key partners include the Kenya Tourism Board, Kipsigis Highlands, Iria Maina Cooperative Societies among others. This has been actualized through the draft county spatial plan.
Message from Hon. Juliah Chepkuto, CECM Trade, Energy, Tourism, Industry and Investment
I take this opportunity to wish all the investors and tourists a wonderful experience as we all strategically plan to recover from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Truly it is the dawn of tourist attractions in Bomet County as we seek to invite new visitors to discover a dazzling County which has an unparalleled variety of memorable experiences.
The Department of Tourism has the potential to transform and sustainable livelihoods especially among various groups of people of Bomet County. Tourism is also a key pillar for the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. Top in the development agenda for the department are initiatives in the draft county tourism policy. The interests of the local and international investors have been factored in with the local community being at the centre stage. Therefore, visitors are welcome to sample what we have as our top experience products.
Repositioning Bomet county as a tourism destination for rural and urban development
Through Agri-tourism (Tea tourism experience), Nature-based tourism, Cultural and Sports tourism, Hospitality and Conference facilities, Bomet County has huge opportunities to offer in terms of tourism product development.
Bomet County is endowed with 50,000 hectares of tea plantations ranging from small scale, medium to large scale estates own by multi-national tea companies across the county making it the largest producer of tea in Kenya – This is the untold story.
The tea tourism package offers a unique and memorable experience to visitors, owing to its fascinating and undulating landscape and natural forest surrounding it that is spiced by the factory visit where visitors are physically taken through tea processing stages.
The tea tourism package experience starts from the farm visit to the factory with a complete step by step process (from the bush to the cup). Tea Tourism offers an opportunity to develop tour packages for tourists to visit tea farms, participate in tea picking, take tea farm walks, visit tea buying centres, follow tea processing stages, tasting different varieties at the tasting unit and encounter local culture and lifestyle.
The county government through the Department of Tourism is in the final stage of completing the formulation of tourism policy that shall guide the sector and take care of both investors and visitors who tour the designated sites for ideal tea tourism experiences.
Mau forest is one of the largest water towers in Kenya in its natural state with real tropical rain forest features.
The location is ideal for eco-tourism activities that support conservation. It is in this forest where ancient caves are found and a natural bridge stretching over 100m with big boulders a cross-river Nyangores is found.
As the river meanders downstream, it forms one of the biggest tributaries of the Mara river that supports the Mara ecosystem. The forest is home to the rare Bongo that is found in its natural habitat and white forest hong among others. The county government is working and supporting community initiatives through community forest association as a conservation strategy across the county to make the forest a destination for domestic tourism and research location. The county government will soon commission one of its ecotourism sites at Iria Maina.
Cultural and Sport Tourism
The Kipsigis, are renowned in the Kalenjin Community for their deep cultural values and elaborate ceremonies.
There are several renowned artists particularly from the Kapkimolwo area, well known for traditional wrestling, which is immortalized in song by the famous Kipsigis musician Kipchamba.
The rich cultural heritage of the south rift is something worthy to be preserved through Investment in cultural centres for the current and future generations. The county is in advance stage of setting up such centres with the support of the community and well-wishers who wish to invest in the sector. The county focus on Sports tourism is soon going to be realised by the completion of the Tegat high-altitude training centre.