Tourism

The Ministry is headed by County Executive Committee Member, Hon. Albert Mugambi and Chief Officer Polly Waweru. Since independence, the county’s tourism sub sector has seriously been sidelined and left out in major developments of the country. The county has a mandate to develop all the areas in the county and makes all people access opportunities.

OUR MANDATE
The mandate of the ministry is to:
• Promote and market Tharaka Nithi County as a tourist destination locally and internationally
• Establish public relations services to address issues of concern to the tourism industry, and facilitate the resolution of conflicts within the industry
• Work in partnership with national government regional and international organisations as well as other counties in the country to improve the tourism and enhance environmental protection
• To initiate education and awareness programmes on tourism and environmental conservation programmes locally and a well as broad
• Develop and maintain professional personnel to deal with issues that adversely affect the county environment and image in the tourism industry

VISION, MISSION AND STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

Vision
To be the leading agency in the integrated conservation, protection management and utilization of tourism sites, environment and natural resources for sustainable development in Kenya

Mission
To provide coordinated policy, legal framework and capacity building through integrated programs for sustainable management and utilization of natural resources for national development

Strategic objectives
i. In pursuit of the vision, and in line with the mission, the ministry will focus on the following objectives
ii. Develop implement and review strategies, policies and legislative frameworks in line with the constitution
iii. Develop, brand and market Tharaka Nithi County as the most preferred tourist destination in the region
iv. Enhance sustainable management of environmental and natural resources
v. To enhance the role of forestry and wild life conservation in socio economic development
vi. Enhance capacity building for environmental and water resources management and basin –based development
vii. Formulate, promote and implement integrated regional development plans, programs and projects
Enhance research and development to generate and manage data and climatic and environmental change information

Tharaka Nithi County has identified tourism as one of the key sectors that will boost its economy. The County has features that promote tourism including mountains, hills, waterfalls, expansive landscapes, variety of wildlife and agro-tourism.
Mt. Kenya is a main tourism attraction feature in the County including mountain climbing facilities. Mountain climbers and tourists can use the famous Chogoria gate as this is the most convenience and shortest route from Nairobi to Mt. Kenya
The docket is in the process of establishing a top nice Cultural Centre that will transform the lives of the people of Tharaka Nithi. The centre will be an all-inclusive entity for the youth, women and men of the county to showcase their skills in dancing, oral literature, and other cultural aspects.
The docket is in the process of establishing 3 Tourism Markets which will be an entity that will be composed of main museum for exhibition of artifacts, a curio shop and a dancing arena. An eatery and guest toilets will be available
 Mitheru Tourism Market
 Ura Gate Tourism Market
 Nkondi Tourism Market

Tharaka Nithi Traditional Dances

TharakaNithi is rich is in traditions and preservation of their culture. The docket has selected three groups from each sub tribe in the county, to showcase the cultural diversity at the cultural centre. These are;
 Tharaka Traditional Dancers
 Chuka Traditional Dancers
 Mwimbi Traditional Dancers
 Mbeere Traditional Dancers

Gaketha Ecosystem
 This is a site in Mount Kenya Forest, Mitheru area, Maara Sub County,Tharaka Nithi County.Tharaka Nithi County Government through the docket of Tourism, Environment, Water Services, and Natural Resources is exploring the possibility of constructing Board walks (750Mts) and A Tree House at Gaketha Catchment area with the largest elephant maternity in Mt. Kenya, which will be one of a kind in Kenya as it is in need of rejuvenation, particularly in light of increasing competition for strong emerging markets seeking heritage, culture and nature product.
 Pregnant elephants prefer the area owing to its gentle gradient which ensures safety of the animals from slipping off and getting injured

Mutunguru Tree
 This magnificent tree is located In Mutunguruni,KaringaniWard,Chuka /Igambangombe Sub County. It stands at 84M high and definitely one of the tallest trees in Africa. You can see it from Kitui. The hole at the centre is a complete home to squirrels, lizards, and many reptiles, sometimes they are replaced by wild cats. Definitely this is a wonder for one to see. It is believed to be more than five centuries old.

Other On-going projects / programmes
• Tourism facility at Gikwa water falls
• Tourism facility at kandakame water falls
• Renovation of Kinondoni lodge-Renovation of 12 self catering bandas and construct 10 executive cottages ;1 club house and restaurant;
• Tourism facility at Urumande
Joan Rotich
Tourism Officer

The docket has planted 1,540,000 trees under greening programmes- schools, hills, highways and private farm lands in the year 2014. To ensure rehabilitation of riverine ecosystem, green house has been purchased for culturing bamboo;
The docket has also purchased 40 water tanks, watering cans and spades to boost school greening activities, establishment of 6 tree nurseries;-Mutonga, Kajuki, Kaanwa, Magutuni, Magumoni and Gatunga, protection of hills and other water catchment areas in the county, and rehabilitation of degraded areas.

Water
This sector is mandated to providing safe and clean drinking water. So far 64 water project have been initiated through intake constructions, renovation of various boreholes, construction of earth dams and renovation of wells

Names of Directors
Mr. Samson Koome- Director Water services
Elosy Matti- Environment and Natural Resources Officer

The county boasts of fertile agricultural soils, limestone, Iron ore, Copper, Gemstones, Building Stones, Ballast, Sand, forest, Hilltops and Mt Kenya and untapped precious metals. We are still looking for investors to mine iron ore and serious people to tap gemstones.

Mountain- Mt Kenya

Rivers
The county is traversed by 14 permanent rivers which are Thuci, North Maara, Ruguti, Mutonga, Kathita, Ura, Thingithu, Thanantu, Nithi, Tungu, Kithinu, Tana, South Maara and Thangatha. There are also several streams and more than 100 springs which all serve as the water sources.

Hilltops
Kijege, Gikingo, Mariene, Muunguni, Mutaranga, Ntugi, Nyamantu, Kierera, Kombo, Kaguma, Kiagu, Kiuguni among others

Waterfalls
Kandakame, Iikwa, Karumbi-mutonga, Kamwere, Mirigo, Kariethera, Tunyiithi, Muthanthara, Maguta, Kibura, Ciengoco, Ndimbiri, Kambalu, Ciarago, Gatendugu, Kiaru, Kiandume, Inamwamba, Kabithe, Inamaguri, Ndiamboru

Lakes
Lake Ellis, Lake Michael Son and Lake Mpatu

Medicinal Plants
There are about 100 medicinal plants mostly in lower Maara, Igambangombe and Tharaka.