11 Amazing Kenyan Towns Under 50.000 Population

How much do we know about Kenyan towns?

As we all know, Kenya is big but also a great place. Every step you take in this country feels different, sounds different. From rocky mountains to crystal clear sea, Kenya is a place for everyone to discover something new, exciting and different! We believe in the power of travelling, learning and seeing.

Like Poet Pablo Neruda once said, “I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.”

Take a look at these small 11 Kenyan towns where some people grew up and influenced from its hills, rivers, rain, timber and forests.

After reading this article you might want to take a step for a new you! Go ahead, start scheduling your trip.

1. Nanyuki

Photo Credit: beadsofkenya

Attractions: Liki River, Nanyuki River, Trout Tree

Google Maps Link

Review: John K. on TripAdvisor says;

“I Love Nanyuki

Nanyuki is that quiet country town at the foot of Mt Kenya. Sunny all year. Beautiful grasslands and abundant wildlife.

Nanyuki is a market town in Kenya’s Laikipia County. This beautiful Kenyan town lies on the northwest of Mount Kenya which makes it a centre for those who wish to climb. This market town is known by its farms, ranches and wildlife habitats. There are also two rivers that pass through on the town – The Nanyuki and Liki Rivers. The Equator line passes 6.5 kilometres south of the Nanyuki. We suggest you try Trout Tree’s trout dishes while you are in Nanyuki. A great town to spend the weekend with family and friends for an adventure at Mount Kenya & a delicious trout dish!

2. Ongata Rongai

Photo Credit: kenyanmoments

Attractions: Giraffe Centre, Oloolua Nature Trail, Elephant Orphanage

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Review: Pauline Okenga on Facebook says:

A wonderful place to chill and release stress”

Ongata Rongai is a coastline town located in Kenya’s Kajiado County. This Kenyan town is situated 17 kilometres west of the Ngong Hills. The town is separated by the Mbgathi River from Nairobi Metropolitan. Ongata Rongai has a big part in fresh producing. There are two major markets in the town where everything comes from the farms to locals. Also, fish and beef are highly consumed. Besides the food chain in the area, there are also great places to have a great time with mother nature. Enjoy close encounters with giraffes at the Giraffe Centre where you feed these gracious giants while the Elephant Orphanage offers experiences with the gentle giants of the world. Oloolua Nature Trail contains waterfall, caves and a lot more hidden glorious places. If you would like to enjoy a beautiful seafood dinner with your loved ones, we suggest you try the Tamarind Restaurant.

3. Bondo

Photo Credit: kenyatravelhub

Attractions: The Kit Mikayi, The Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, The Kisumu Museum, Kanam Prehistoric Site

Google Maps Link

Review: Alex M. on tripadvisor says:


Impressive rock formation with lots of historically significance. Knowledgeable guides though look unmotivated. Good story telling by the ‘elder’.”

Bondo is a town located in Siaya County, Kenya. Siaya County’s largest town Bondo is located 50 kilometres west of Kisumu. Bondo is known with resources like; timber, agricultural items and fish. With a historical moment, you can easily visit the Kit Mikayi -three towering rock formation- to hear the story of “the stone of the first wife” by elders. The Kisumu Museum has the largest exhibition “Ber-gi-dala”, sponsored by UNESCO. This museum was built to replicate the culture of the area and even has the same entrance as a Luo household. If you like, you can enjoy watching over 115 species of birds,  sitatunga antelope, leopard, cheetah and lions! Mother Nature made its best for Bondo with such beauties!

4. Gilgil

Photo Credit: safari254

Attractions: The Aberdares, Lake Elmenteita, Malewa Bush Ventures

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Review: Barbara M. on tripadvisor says:

“Gem. We were pleasantly surprised by this place.”

Gilgil is a town in Nakuru County, Kenya. The town is in between Naivasha and Nakuru. The town is located 120 kilometres north-west of Nairobi. At this lovely, picturesque town you can have a calm and chilled weekend!  It’s a good base for exploring the Aberdares, Lake Elmenteita, Gilgil War Cemetery. If you are a camp lover, you can enjoy Malewa Bush Ventures with lots of activities to do. Hear us, foodies there is a place called River House in the town that uses vegetable sources only and has its own vegetable garden to prepare delicious meals. If you are looking for some blue under the sky, Lake Elmenteita is just a few kilometres away from the town with flamingos, plethora and other birds.

5. Iten

Photo Credit: medium.com/@EndaRunning

Attractions: Tarok Waterfall, Rimoi Game Reserve, Kerio Valley

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Review: Eddie Mukasa on Facebook says:

It’s a nice place for hiking and sight seeing”

Iten is a town located in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya. This Kenyan town is the largest town and the capital of the County. 800 metres outside of the town, you can see the Hill Ten -which is a local rock formation named by Joseph Thompson- on the road toward Kessup, is a place to hike! Besides, Iten has been the home to champion runners -even lots of runners from the world come to see how athletes in Iten train- there are many magic to enjoy the mother nature; waterfalls, wildlife watching, gorges and caves. If you are a runner, we would recommend you to grab your shoes and start training at the “Home of Champions”.

6. Luanda

Photo Credit: nairobibusinessmonthly

Attractions: Mumboha Church of God, Esabalu, Maseno

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Review: Sammy Jikaze on Facebook says:
Emmatsi viewpoint in Luanda constituency, Vihiga County, a place you can view lake
Victoria, Mt Elgon and other Rift Valley places.”

Luanda is a market town in Vihiga County, Kenya. Luanda is 228 kilometres north-west of Nairobi. It’s located along the Kisumu-Busia highway and a few kilometres away from the Equator at Maseno. Luanda is in between of Esabalu and glamorous rocky hills of Maseno. In Vihiga County, Luanda has the only railway station which makes it so easy to get there. The famous Abasiekwe rain-making clan lives in the town. According to a legend, once the country was facing with a long dry season and the founding father of the nation, sought for a resolution & right after they left the State House it started raining cats and dogs through the nation! You can find different tastes such as ugali with chicken and fried white ants with fish or meat. Luanda is also close to 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites; Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley and Serengeti National Park.

7. Isiolo

Photo Credit: Kenya-experience

Attractions: Buffalo Springs Nation Reserve, Samburu National Reserve, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

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Review: Berdewelle on trip advisor says:

“Stunning Scenery

Stunning scenery, great wildlife. Wonderful to see rhino again, sadly missing from much of Africa”

Isiolo is a town in the Upper Eastern region and 285 kilometres north of Nairobi. Isiolo is a base to ones who wish to visit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Samburu National Reserve. If you are adrenaline passionate, there is an opportunity for quad biking safaris along with game trails. If you would like to see The Grevy’s Zebra, you can find it in Samburu National Reserve. The town is also known for its while brass, copper and aluminium jewellery market. This small but cosmopolitan town is home to many different people and cultures. Isiolo has a Catholic Church with twin bell towers and The Jamia Mosque which is the largest mosque of all in the town.

8. Mtwapa

Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia

Attractions: Ngomongo Villages, Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, Mombasa Marine Park, Paradise Beach Resort, Jumba la Mtwana

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Review: Deborah Payton on Facebook says:

“Love Mtwapa a paradise on earth. The only place to live, love and die. I’m never going home.”

Mtwapa is located in Kilifi County, 16 kilometres north-east of Mombasa. The town has the oldest archaeological site in East Africa. With the Indian Ocean inlet Mtwapa Creek, it’s the starting place for deep sea fishing tours. Believe us when we say “take a week to enjoy Mtwapa”. The town offers many things that you should see, do or even hear. It’s a picturesque place with a variety of ethnics and cultures.  Jumba la Mtwana is a magical, historical ruined town dates back to the 14th century. This so-called “The House of The Slave” is 1 kilometre away from Mtwapa Creek and suggested to see. Take a week and enjoy the culture, history and even the sun while resting on the beach!

9. Maralal

Photo Credit: thefrogntoad

Attractions: Turkana Safaris, Kenyatta House

Google Maps Link

Review: Diana V. On tripadvisor says:

“A magical and life changing experience”

The five days we spent in the bush with Ismail and “the guys” were the most magical and relaxing time we’ve had in a long long time.

Maralal is a small hillside market town located in the north of Kenya. Maralal is a peaceful place where you should definitely spend some time. Approximately 2 kilometres southwest of the town, you can find Maralal National Sanctuary diverse wildlife like zebras, leopards and more. We suggest hiking around the Maralal National Sanctuary and discovering the traditional arts of the Samburu Maasai warriors. This cultural and exciting town also contains Kenyatta House, the place where negotiation for the country’s independence took place. Despite, being far away from coastal, coast dishes offers daily dishes such as pilau made with goat. At Turkana Safari, you can your enjoy days relaxed and happy with nature.

10. Ukunda

Photo Credit: wikivoyage

Attractions: Diani Beach, Vumbi Jeep Safaris

Google Maps Link

Review: Trevxxx on tripadvisor says:

“Ukunda the other side of DIANI beach kenya”

Ukunda is a coastal town in the south of Mombasa. The town is paving the way to Diani Beach where you can have so much fun just by the Indian Ocean. Ukunda has a lot to offer as a Kenyan town! Why don’t you pack your bags to visit this Kenyan coastal town and get ready for skydiving, safaris as well as jet ski safari, kiteboarding, diving and many more activities! Diani Beach is Kenya’s most popular and beautiful beach as well! A relaxed, fun weekend at Diani Beach is waiting for you! If you’re not so interested in beach activities, you can visit Diane Beach Art Gallery, Snake Park, Gaza Mangrove Boardwalk, Colobus Conservation and, of course, many more…

11. Moyale

Photo Credit: gdb.voanews

Attractions: Dida Galgalu Desert

Google Maps Link

Review: Mutayu Kyany’a on travel.jumia says:
The Kenya – Ethiopia Road trip is one of the richest inter-country road trips. The trip
is characterised by traversing through all forms of terrain, cultures and above all,
making new memories.

Moyale is a market town in the south of Kenya. It’s the border town split Kenya and Ethiopia. The town is affected by both Kenyan and Ethiopian culture. At Did Galgalu Desert -Kenya’s important bird area- you can see desert species endemic to Kenya. People of Moyale really cares about architecture, music and dance!  How wonderful would it be to spend the weekend according to the Moyale local traditions! We suggest you try Ethiopian cuisine. Ethiopian cuisine consists of spicy vegetable and meat based usually in stew form. Ethiopians usually eat their dinner using pieces of injera, a large sourdough flatbread made from fermented teff flour. You can also enjoy the Ethiopian beer or wine. This town, Moyale is basically a place where you can stay in Kenya but still see the Ethiopian culture.

Now, are you ready to learn new things about yourself and Kenya? Start packing, a new adventure is on its way!

Our Readers Comments

  1. My trip from Nairobi to Mombasa was thrilling for me. I boarded SGR with my family and started the trip. Though we went early aboard the SGR train we arrived safe and sound. Experienced a bit of weather change and got used the weather there. Kenya is beautiful and rich in resource. Lots of palm trees and sandy beaches,beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean across the coast. Wonderful time at the historical site of Fort Jesus. Good hotel services at Jawambe Hotel where you can go visit the ocean in the morning and afternoon. Enjoy by savvying the finger looking coastal delicacies like fish,maji ya mnazi and samosas. You get a ride across the ferry from one harbour to the other.

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