Kisii Town Kenya Guide
Kisii town is located in south western Kenya, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Lake Victoria. Abundant rainfall and very fertile soils have made Kisii Kenya one of the most productive agricultural areas in Kenya.
Between 70 and 80 percent of the land can be cultivated. Since 1989, the Gusii as a single ethnic group have occupied the Kisii, Gucha, Bobasi, Masaba and Nyamira districts of southwestern Kenya.
Kisii Town Climate
Kisii is located in western Kenya, on latitude: 0° 41′ 0 S and longitude: 34° 46′ 0 E. The town is a driving distance of 309 km (192 mi) from the capital city of Nairobi, located east-southeast, on Class B3 all-weather road. Other major urban center’s distances from Kisii town are Kisumu City which is 114 km (71 mi) to the northwest; Nyamira at 23 km (14 mi) to the immediate north, Keroka at 25 km (16 mi) to the east, Kericho at 101 km (63 mi) to the northeast, Kilgoris at 46 km (29 mi) to the southeast, Narok at 165 km (103 mi) to the east and Migori to the south-west 67 km (42 mi) which otherwise connects the town to the Kenya /Tanzania border at Isebania town a further 31 km (19 mi) south.
Kisii town enjoys a highland climate. It generally receives rain all year round thanks to its positioning in the Lake Victoria, lake basin and the heavily foliaged Kisii highlands. Due to its unique positioning within hills, Kisii town has never experienced flooding.
The city frequently receives thunderstorms and some thirty people in Kisii die each year from lightning strikes because of their frequency and because many of the area’s structures have metal roofs.
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History of Kisii Town
Kisii town was originally known by the Gusii people as Getembe. It was later named Bosongo, and it is believed to have originated from ‘Abasongo’ (to mean the White people or Whites) who lived in the town during the colonial times. The town was originally established by British soldiers who were being forced to retreat from Lake Victoria by heavy gunfire from German soldiers’ gunboats during the Great War in the early 20th century. Later, Kisii was chosen to be the District Headquarters of the larger South Nyanza and Kisii region.
Economic Activities in Kisii Town
The economy of Kisii town is derived from commerce and agriculture. Crops and fruit cultivated around the area include maize, managu, beans, bananas, pineapples, avocados, pawpaws etc. Kisii town is dotted with tall commercial buildings and is ever-bustling with activity. Kisii is the fastest growing town in western Kenya thanks mainly to its high population, political stability and general tranquility. New businesses are steadily being installed.
Smaller components are in food processing, health care, education. Although, it has a few industrial activities, it has potential for larger agro-based industries due to its location in a rich agricultural area. Soapstone quarrying takes place near the town around Tabaka, southwest of the town and a few miles off the Kisii-Isebania Road. Coca-Cola has a bottling and distribution plant in Kisii municipality. The town hosts large supermarket chain stores, e.g. Uchumi, Nakumatt Naivas and Tusky’s. Besides, it hosts 19 commercial banking and financial institutions’ branches. These include the long-existing
Newer entrants in the banking sector such as Equity Bank, I&M Bank, CFC Stanbic Bank, Credit Bank, Kenya Women Finance Trust, Family Bank, Chase Bank, Eco-Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, K-Rep Bank and others have launched new branches taking advantage of the large population and the positioning of Kisii as an increasing commercial hub town. Mwalimu Cooperative Savings & Credit Society Limited (Mwalimu Sacco), the largest Sacco in Kenya, maintains a branch in Kisii.
Moreover, like many of Kenya’s major urban centers, there is an influx of numerous other business ventures such as the hospitality sector with hotels, bars, restaurants, sports pubs, among other commercial activities.
How to get to Kisii Kenya
Public transportation, which is operated privately, is available throughout the town. A good example is private-owned taxis (matatus), taxi cabs and ‘boda-boda’ (motorcycle taxis) as an alternative to privately owned vehicles. Kisii town has one of the most organized bus stations and public transport systems in the country. Buses and matatus are not allowed inside the town.
Air service to Kisii is minimal. However, chartered flights mainly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport transport passengers to Kisii’s Suneka Airstrip situated 9 km (6 mi) southwest of the town centre. The facility is underused, but many of the residents especially businessmen, local politicians, and tourists use it for convenience.
Night Clubs and Nightlife in Kisii Town
- Alfrose Bar
- Embassy Bar
Education Institutions in Kisii Town
- Nyachwa High School – Boys Boarding
- Kereri Girls Secondary School – Girls Boarding
- ST.Lawrence Kiong’ongi Secondary School – Mixed Day
- Bishop Charles Mugendi Secondary School – Mixed Day
- Our Lady Of Victory Nyambera Dok Secondary School – Mixed Day
- Nyaura Deb Secondary School
Tourism and Tourists Attractions in Kisii Kenya
There are potential tourist attractions sites like Tabaka soapstone, river kuja among others which need to be exploited. Hence there is need to build tourist hotels especially in Tabaka and provide proper publicity.
There are no registered game parks in the County but some geological sites such as Nyangweta Forest, Ritumbe Forest and Ibencho offer good tourist sites if well exploited.
Languages Spoken in Kisii Town
The Kisii language, Ekegusii, is a Western Bantu language. It is common to name a child after a deceased person from the father’s clan for the first name, and one from the mother’s clan for the second name. Children may also be named for a recent event, such as the weather at the time of the child’s birth. Some common names refer to the time of migrations. For example, the woman’s name Kwamboka means “crossing a river.” Talking about personal feelings is prohibited. Hence, questions about a person’s mental state are answered with statements about physical health or economic situation.
Religion in Kisii Kenya
Before Christianity was introduced to the Kisii people, they believed in one supreme god who created the world but did not interfere directly in human affairs. Instead, interference was caused by ancestor spirits (ebirecha), witches, and impersonal forces. The Kisii tribe believed that displeased ancestor spirits were responsible for disease, the death of people and livestock and the destruction of crops.
Today, most Kisii claim to be followers of some form of Christianity. A Roman Catholic mission was first established in 1911 and a Seventh Day Adventist mission in 1913. There are four major denominations in Kisiiland: Roman Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist, Swedish Lutheran, and the Pentecostal Assemblies of God.
Although churches are very active, some non-Christian beliefs continue to influence the lives of most Gusii. If afflicted by misfortune, many Kisii visit a diviner (abaragori) who may point to displeased spirits of the dead and prescribe sacrifice. In addition to abaragori, who are usually women, various healers also exist. Abanyamoriogi (herbalists) use a variety of plant mixtures for medicines. Indigenous surgeons (ababari) set fractures and treat backaches and headaches through trepanation (needles). Professional sorcerers (abanyamosira) protect against witchcraft and retaliate against witches. Omoriori, the witch smeller, finds witchcraft articles hidden in a house.
Witches (omorogi) can be men or women, but are usually women. They are believed to dig up recently buried corpses to eat the inner organs and use body parts for magic. Among the Gusii, witchcraft is believed to be a learned art handed down from parent to child.
Rites of Passage Among The Kisii People
The most important Kisii ceremonies are associated with initiation and marriage. Initiation involves genital surgery for both sexes: clitoridectomy for girls and circumcision for boys. The ceremony is supposed to train children as social beings who know rules of shame (chinsoni) and respect (ogosika). Girls are initiated at the age of seven or eight, and boys a few years later. Initiations are gender-segregated, and the operations are performed by female and male specialists. Afterward, there is a period of seclusion for both genders.
Funerals take place at the dead person’s homestead, and a large gathering is a sign of prestige. Christian elements, such as catechism-reading and hymn-singing, are combined with the traditional practices of wailing, head-shaving, and animal sacrifices. Before burial, the corpse is dissected in order to determine whether death was caused by witchcraft. The Kisii tend to fear the spirit of a dead person. They believe the dead person may be angry for having died and may punish survivors. Therefore, sacrifices must be made to the spirit of the dead person to appease it.
People of Kisii Town
Kisii town has a sizeable number of Indian, Kikuyu and other communities who are also involved in trade although the Kisii people seem to be more prominent. However, the Indians have recently bought several properties from the Gusii which they are developing into supermarkets and highrise buildings at the center of the town.
Over the past few years, the town has experienced tremendous growth especially with the entry of firms in the town. The town now hosts large supermarket chains e.g.Tuskys and Nakumatt. Most banks e.g.Equity, Eco-bank and K-Rep have also launched new branches in the town taking advantage of the large population and positioning of Kisii as a center town
Hotels in Kisii Town
1. Dallas Inn
Dallas Inn is a luxurious hotel situated next to the business district in Kisii, County. The Hotel provides quality accommodation at affordable prices.Each room features a wardrobe and an en-suite shower. Complimentary breakfast is served daily. The onsite restaurant and bar serves a variety of local meals and drinks. Guests can enjoy work out session at the gym.The hotel features a business facility. Laundry and car hire services are provided upon request. Onsite parking is available and the premises are guarded round the clock. Dallas Inn is in close proximity to Kisii Hospital and Standard Chartered Bank.
For more information please visit: Dallas Inn
2. Gesonso Water Park Resort
Gesonso Water Park Resort is a budget friendly hotel located on a serene environment away from the city center in Kisii, Kenya. The resort features an event center.The rooms are fitted with a TV with satellite channels, a wardrobe and an en-suite bathroom.Breakfast is served daily at no extra charge. Guests can order local dishes at the onsite restaurant. The bar also serves soft and alcoholic drinks.Laundry and airport shuttle services are available onsite. The premises are guarded round the clock and onsite parking is also available.
For more information please visit: Gesonso Water Park Resort
3. Mwalimu International Hotel
Mwalimu International Hotel (MIH) is a Centrally located, Kisii’s premier boutique hotel catering for the needs and demands of both the domestic and global traveler, with personalized attention and care of the guests at the fore-front of their actions. Free Wi-Fi is available.Each room in the hotel is fitted with an en-suite bathroom and a TV with satellite/cable TV service. Its on-site restaurant serves local and continental menu options which can be enjoyed outdoors. Drinks and beverages are also available at the bar.
For more information please visit; Mwalimu International Hotel
4. The Stephens Hotel
The Stephens Hotel is located near trading centres in Kisii Town Kenya. Free WiFi is available.Each room features a flat screen TV, a refrigerator, tile floors and an en suite bathroom. Breakfast service is surcharged. The hotel houses an onsite restaurant which serves local and international dishes. Conferencing facilities attract additional charges. Onsite parking is available. The Stephens Hotel is 74 m away from Juction shopping center, Kisii.
For more information please visit: The Stephens Hotel
5. Hotel Dans
Hotel Dans is located within Kisii CBD, Kenya. The hotel is strategically located close to trading and business centers. Their spacious room are beautifully designed with an en-suite bathroom and a balcony. The rooms are fitted with a flat screen TV and wardrobes. Complimentary breakfast is served daily. The on-site restaurant offers local and international cuisine, while the bar offers a variety of drinks.Services offered include on-site parking, car hire and laundry services are available on request. The premises are guarded round-the-clock by security personnel.The hotel is a few kilometers from Kisii Teaching Referral Hospital and Nakumatt Kisii.
For more information please visit: Hotel Dans
6. Zonic Hotel
Zonic Hotel is a luxurious budget friendly hotel situated in a business district in Kisii, Kenya.Each room is fitted with an ornate lampshade, a mini-sitting area, full length windows, a TV with satellite reception and an en suite bathroom. The rooms are designed with a balcony which overlooks the surroundings.A Complementary breakfast is served daily. Local and Indian meals are served at the onsite restaurant, while guests can order a variety of drinks at the bar. Shared kitchen facilities are provided at the hotel.
For more information please visit: Zonic Hotel
7. Sakawa Towers County Hotel
Sakawa Towers County Hotel is a small lodge lying in a serene environment at the center of Kisii town, Kenya. The hotel boasts an onsite restaurant and bar, and an event facility.The hotel’s rooms have an en-suite bathroom, a balcony and a TV with cable service. Sakawa Towers County Hotel is in close proximity to Manga Hill, Tabaka Soap Stones, Migori Gold Mines and Nyanturago Gusii Culture Heritage.
For more information please visit :Sakawa Towers County Hotel
8. Hotel Nyakoe
Hotel Nyakoe is a modernized budget friendly hotel situated in Kisii county 5 km from Nakumatt Supermarket ,the hotel boasts a restaurant,bar and free WiFi.Their exquisite gardens coupled with the conferencing and accommodation facilities make for the perfect venue for Board luncheons, Product launches, Workshops, Seminars, wedding parties and team building activities.Delight your palate with excellently prepared meals at the Hotel Nyakoe restaurant. The restaurant embraces all the stringent requirements of a fine dining establishment with emphasis on taste, good ambiance and excellent service.The airy bar is spacious and uniquely decked. Come relax and have a great time with friends as you enjoy local and international alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
For more information please visit: Hotel Nyakoe
9. Mash Park Kisii
Mash Park Hotel is located along Migori Road, Kisii, Kenya. The hotel sits amidst lush tropical gardens with panoramic views over of Kisii. Each spacious room is beautifully designed with an en-suite bathroom and fitted with a TV, work table and chair and sofas .Complimentary breakfast is served daily. Other meals may be ordered at the on-site restaurant which prepares a variety of local and continental dishes. The bar is stocked with an assortment of drinks. Guests may relax and enjoy drinks at the bar after an eventful day. Bonfires are also set up for guests to enjoy quiet nights under the moonlight. The hotel offers a playground for children.
For more information please visit; Mash Park Hotel
10. Sundowner Guest House
Sundowner Guesthouse is situated in Kisii, Kenya. Guests enjoy panoramic view of Kisii town. Each room is fitted with a TV set, a refrigerator, a worktable and designed with an en-suite shower. African meals are served at the on-site restaurant, while guests order a variety of drinks at the bar.Laundry service is provided upon request. Nearby parking is available and the premises are guarded round the clock.
For more information please visit; Sundowner Guesthouse
11. Itibo Resort
Itibo Resort is an affordable resort located in the Itibo area in Kisii, Kenya. The resort is strategically located in a quiet area close to trading and business center away from Kisii Town. Itibo Resort is an ideal destination for budget and business travelers and is only 30 minutes drive to Kisii Town. Free Wi-Fi is available. Each spacious room is beautifully designed with an en-suite bathroom and fitted with a TV, work table and chair and sofas.Complimentary breakfast is served daily. Other meals may be ordered at the on-site restaurant which prepares a variety of local and continental dishes.
For more information please visit: Itibo Resort
12. Bunker Hotel
Bunker Hotel is located 3 minutes from Keroka town in Kisii County Kenya.Officially launched in 2014, they provide hotel services. Amongst the services that they offer are accommodation, conference facilities,event facilities, entertainment, and excellent meal. They also offer you a view of the bunkers in Kisii. Their professional, friendly and polite staff will warmly receive you and provide you with excellent and satisfactory service. Bunker Hotel s “a hidden gem” with amazing scenery and awesome service.
For more information please visit: Bunker Hotel
13. Metro Highway Hotel
Metro Highway Hotel is located in the central business district of Kisii Town, Kenya. The hotels location makes it an ideal accommodation for business travelers.Each room is fitted with a shower, a TV with satellite channels and a worktable. Breakfast service is surcharged. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of African dishes. Drinks ordered at the bar can be enjoyed at the lounge. Car hire and laundry services are provided at a fee. The hotel allows nearby and on-site parking. The premises are guarded by security personnel.
For more information please visit: Metro Highway Hotel
14. Magharibi Garden Hotel
Magharibi Garden Hotel is a 3star hotel, aiming to offer unprecedented luxury and quality in Kisii. Located within easy reach of the business district, but away from the bustle of town, it combines security and convenience in one location. Beautiful architecture, a spacious setup and lush gardens create a beautiful and peaceful environment for business and leisure travelers alike. By providing great service, serving exciting culinary delights, our guests are treated to a complete hospitality experience.
For more information please visit: Magharibi Garden Hotel
15. Ufanisi Resort
Ufanisi Resort Kisii is spread over five acres and built on a lush-tropical rain forest, overlooking Kisii town. The resort overlooks the picturesque Nyachwa Hills and the Manga Hills in the background.All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units include a seating area to relax in after a busy day. The rooms are fitted with a private bathroom.
For more information please visit; Ufanisi Resort