Taita Taveta County is one of the forty seven counties of Kenya, located in the south eastern part of the country. It lies approximately 200 km northwest of Mombasa and 360 km southeast of Nairobi city.
Taita Taveta County covers an area of 16,975 km2. of which a bulk 62% or 11,100 km2. is within Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. The remaining 5,876 km2 is occupied by ranches, sisal estates, water bodies such as Lakes Chala and Jipe in Taveta and Mzima Springs, and the hilltop forests which occupy less than 100 km2. or approximately 10 km² out of 587.5 km².
The lowland areas of the county that do not belong to national parks are divided to ranches, estates and wildlife sanctuaries. The district has approximately 25 ranches.
The main land use in ranche is cattle grazing. The three operating sisal estates of the district are the Teita Sisal Estate, Voi Sisal Estate and Taveta Sisal Estate. Many ranches utilize also wildlife tourism and conservation. The Taita Hills and Saltlick Lodges sanctuary is located in the county.
There are 48 forests which have survived on hill tops in the district of which 28 are gazetted and are under government protection and management. They range in size from small 500 square metres with a few remnant trees to modestly vast 2 square kilometres indigenous and exotic forest mountains. These forests are part of a unique Eastern Arch range of forests which are found mostly in Eastern Tanzania with the Taita Hills forming the only Kenyan Eastern Arc forest type in East Africa.
The Taita Hills forest hold a unique biodiversity with 13 taxa of plants and 9 taxa of animals found only in the Taita Hills and nowhere else in the world. In addition 22 plant species found in the Taita Hills forests are typical of the Eastern arc forests. The next being in eastern Tanzania. Some of the endemic African violet – Saintpaulia teitensis among others. Within these beautiful indigenous forests, bubble pure clean water to the lowland areas to cater for both human, agricultural activities and wildlife in the Taita Hills Game Sanctuary and Aruba dam in Tsavo East. The lower plains are thus supplied with water by the forests in the hills which are a good catchment of rains.
This small county with very diverse geographical features, coupled with the various flora and fauna found there and together with a cosmopolitan population which provides a rich culture from all over Kenya needs time and a fundi to take a visitor around so as to understand and enjoy it all. Only Zaruma Safaris Ltd and its associates enjoy this status. We recommend a minimum of four nights to accomplish this mission. Contact us for your itinerary.
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