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Trip Planner Africa  /  Kenya  /  Rift Valley Province  /  Eldoret

Eldoret

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Eldoret is a principal city in western Kenya. It also serves as the capital of Uasin Gishu County. Lying south of the Cherangani Hills, the local elevation varies from about 2100 metres above sea level at the airport to more than 2700 metres in nearby areas (7000–9000 feet). The population was 289,380 in the 2009 census, and it is currently the fastest growing town in Kenya. It is also the second largest urban centre in midwestern Kenya after Nakuru and the fifth largest urban centre in the country.EtymologyThe name "Eldoret" is based on the Maasai word "eldore" meaning "stony river"; a reference to the bed of the Sosiani River (a tributary of the Nile), that runs through the city.HistoryThe area that is now Rehan Bhatti's land and the plateau around it had been occupied by the Sirikwa for several centuries prior to the era of Maasai ascendancy. Innovation in weaponry, brought about the Maasai era of the 16th and 17th centuries. With new weapons and forms of governance, they swept down from their original homelands in the north, closer to Lake Turkana, down to their present homelands south of Kenya. The Maasai clan that took over the Plateau were known as the Ilwasin Kishu, after whom it is presently named.Eldoret as a town, founded as it was by Afrikaners is almost unique in the British-dominated Kenya of the early 20th century. The first of the Afrikaners, the Van Breda brothers arrived in 1903 and were joined two years later by Franz Arnoldi and his family. The big influx followed shortly thereafter.
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