THE CHERANGANI HILLS.
The Cherangani Hills are a series of rolling hills that rise to a peak of 3,529 meters at Kamalagon. They are Located North of Kitale with extensive tracks and paths that wind through scrubs and forests, which are ideal for relaxed hill walking.
Unlike most of Kenya's mountains and ranges, the Cherangani Hills are not volcanic in origin. The hills are on a forested escarpment and surrounded on three sides by sheer cliff faces. Climbers seek to scale the steep Elgeyo Escarpment, which forms the western wall of the Cherangani Hills.
The hills are home to the Pokot people in the south and, predominately, the Marakwet people, who migrated here from the north and are dotted with small towns. They have set up countless farms in the Cherangani Hills, as it is an ideal location for agriculture.
Although none of the towns offer accommodation, with the exception of Kapsowar which has very basic guesthouses. Kapsowar has a post office with internet connection. It is always possible to negotiate a bed in a private home or to camp in someone's garden!
The rare De Brazza's Monkey has been sighted here. The monkeys are confined to small areas in the Cherangani Hills that offer them little protection
To the North of Kitale, The Cherangani Hills form a barrier between the fertile highlands surrounding the town, and a barren stretch of desert to the north. Offering geographic diversity, a myriad of dirt roads and some dramatic peaks, the highest and most remote to the north, the Cheranganis are great for hikers who are happy to rough it.
To the north west of the Cheranganis is the Marich Pass where accommodation is available at the Field Studies Centre. Guides and hikes can be arranged here. Also guides and treks in the Cheranganis can be arranged through LetsGoKenya or Karibuni Lodge in Kitale.
At the foot of the Cheranganis, accommodation and camping is available at Lomut which has a great colourful Pokot market on Saturdays. Accessible by road is the Wei Wei Valley, with beautiful scenery and basic restaurants/accommodation is available in Tamkal.
The avifauna of the Cheranganis is characteristic of the highland forests of Kenya, west of the Rift Valley, comprising both central highland species and western species. Ecological surveys have recorded over 73 forest-dependent species, none of which is presently globally threatened. Regionally threatened species include Gypaetus barbatus (one of the last breeding populations in Kenya, nesting on the high peaks), Stephanoaetus coronatus (widespread in small numbers), Glaucidium tephronotum (recently recorded in Kapkanyar), Campephaga quiscalina (uncommon and local; recent records from Kapkanyar) and Indicator conirostris (uncommon).
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