What You Need To Know
Eldoret is a principal city in western Kenya. It is the capital and largest city in 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). 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.
The name “Eldoret” is based on the Maasai word “eldore” meaning “stony river”; a reference to the bed of the Sosiani River that runs through the town.
Eldoret is governed by a county Government of Uasin Gishu. The council manages all the city affairs. The city is divided into thirteen wards. Six of them (Huruma, Kamukunji, Kapyemit, Kidiwa/Kapsuswa, and Stadium/Industrial, Market) are in Eldoret North Constituency, Three (Hospital, Kapsoya and Kimumu/Sergoit) are in Eldoret East Constituency, and the remaining four (Kipkenyo, Langas, Pioneer/Elgon View and Race Course) are part of Eldoret South Constituency. All of these three constituencies have more wards within other local authorities than Eldoret municipality.
Population: 252,061 (2009)
Kenyan shilling is the official currency and many unofficial currencies, e.g. U.S dollars, British Pound etc.
Eldoret has a marine west coast climate that is mild with no dry season, warm summers. Heavy precipitation occurs during mild winters which are dominated by mid-latitude cyclones. Seasonality is moderate (Köppen-Geiger classification: Cfb).
There are a number of medical facilities in the city, notably Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital; one of two national hospitals in Kenya. The county has the Uasin Gishu District Hospital, and there are several private institutions: St. Luke Orthopaedic And Trauma Hospital, Eldoret Hospital, Mediheal Hospital, and Elgon View Hospital among others. In 2015 East & Central Africa’s first public children’s hospital; The Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital, a 105-bed state of the art general hospital, was opened, behind the Moi Referral.
Eldoret is surrounded by prime agricultural lands and acts as a trading centre for Uasin Gishu’s economy which is driven by large-scale grain farming, dairy and horticultural farming. The town is also a local manufacturing hub with a number of nationally recognised manufacturing concerns, including Raiplywoods, Rupa Textiles, Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Co-operative Creameries as well as corn, wheat and pyrethrum factories all within the town.
The city is home to a large market and is known for the Doinyo Lessos cheese factory, Moi University and Eldoret International Airport. The runners from Eldoret have also contributed significantly to the economy of Eldoret town, primarily investing in small businesses and real estate, from their winnings in races all over the world. Moses Kiptanui is a stake holder in one of the largest buildings Komora that houses a large supermarket chain and many offices.
Public and private motatus (van taxi’s) travel from Nairobi and all other towns. The trip from Nairobi can take 4-6 hours depending on traffic and road conditions. Eldoret International Airport has regular flights from Nairobi for around 6000Ksh one way. Local motatus (van taxis) can be hailed on the roadside and travel to outer neighbourhoods. There is no route map that tourists can refer to so it’s best to ask a local which motatu to use. Prices can range from 20Ksh upwards.
Eldoret is home to Moi University with a student population of 14,855 as of 2006. The second medical school in Kenya, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), is also located in the city limits of Eldoret city. The growth of the University of Eldoret is also playing a major role in the economic sector because of its high population. The city also is home to many technical and vocational institutes including Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, Eldoret National Polytechnic, African Institute for Research and Applied Studies.