In this article, we cover a list of the best places to visit in Vihiga County. Vihiga County is a vibrant region with a rich cultural heritage. It is home to various ethnic communities, including the Bukusu, Maragoli, and Tiriki, who have unique customs and traditions.

Vihiga County is a fascinating place to visit, with its beautiful scenery, diverse culture, and warm and welcoming people. Vihiga County is bordered by Nandi to the east, Kisumu County to the south, Siaya County to the west, and Kakamega County to the north. In no particular order, here are the top and best places to visit in Vihiga County.

Best Places To Visit In Vihiga County

1. Maragoli Hills

The Maragoli Hills serve as an unofficial boundary between Kisumu and Vihiga County. The hills are located just next to the Mungoma caves and provide panoramic scenic views. They are ideal for bird-watching and hiking. It is rocky and steep, but the view at the top is well worth the effort.

From the hilltop, one can see Lake Victoria’s Nandi Hills, Miwani Plains, Ndere, and Maboko Islands. Enjoy the distant view of Lake Victoria, which stretches out to the horizon, with lush vegetation and a lovely skyline.

2. Nganyi Hills

Nganyi Hills is a historic range of hills that holds sentimental and cultural heritage for the local Luhya sub-tribes of Maragoli, Banyore, Idakhos, Tirikis, and many others. These historic hills are believed to be the ancestral home of the Luhya people and are very deeply connected to their traditions and folklore.

These spectacular hills are commonly known as the Hills of the Rainmaker, and it is believed that the first rainmaker (Anyole) used to reside within the hills. There is a community metrological station within the hills that was established to honour Anyole for being a prominent rainmaker.

3. Mungoma Caves

The Mungoma Caves in Vihiga County are truly spectacular. The caves, located in the remote village of Mungoma, are made up of several massive boulders that have been lumped together, resulting in hollow, winding openings. Walking through these openings takes about an hour.

However, the darkness in the caves will scare the faint of heart, so visitors are always advised to bring a spotlight to see this intriguing natural wonder. The caves are highly valued in Vihiga due to their cultural significance.

The site provides a glimpse into the history of the Maragoli, a sub-tribe of the Luhya. The rocks act as an enduring link between the people and their past. Two Maragoli traditional huts have been built at the base of the rocks to represent that the Maragoli nation’s founders once lived there.

The caves are considered a shrine to the Maragoli. This is why residents will always be seen in the area, paying tribute to their birthplace. Local politicians frequently visit the shrine before elections to seek god’s blessings. Thousands of tourists have flocked to this natural site to satisfy their curiosity.

The caves are home to a variety of animals and insects, including wild rabbits and beautiful lizards. The caves are surrounded by stunning rocky hills that offer a panoramic view of the county. From the hilltops, Lake Victoria can be seen on the horizon. The hills are also an excellent place for bird-watching.

4. Kaimosi Forest

The indigenous Kaimosi Forest, with its beautiful canopy of thicket and an evergreen scene in the Tiriki community, attracts anyone visiting the Hamisi sub-county in Vihiga. It is part of the Central and Eastern African tropical rainforest ecosystem. The forest covers 10 acres of land.

The locals believe that circumcision gods, known as ‘Idumbi,’ live in the forest. Some of the trees in the forest are thought to have been around for more than a century. The forest is home to traditional Tiriki circumcision shrines, which are closely guarded as a source of rich Tiriki culture.

The shrines play an important role in providing shelter for initiates who spend more than two months in the forest undergoing Tiriki rituals as part of their rite of passage. A Tiriki man who has not had his traditional circumcision and has spent two months in the forest is considered a foreigner.

The beautiful shrines in the forest have become a popular tourist destination due to their long history within the community. Foreigners are not allowed to approach shrines because they are considered sacred, but they may admire them from afar per community customs.

5. Kibiri Forest

It is also part of the vast Central and Eastern African tropical rainforest ecosystem. It is located in Hamisi sub-county. Kibiri Forest was gazetted in 1932, alongside the Kakamega Forest Reserve, from which it was separated.

Kibiri Forest, which covers 37 square kilometres, is known for its sharp slopes, deeps, and steep valleys, as well as a diverse and impressive array of flora and fauna that is nearly identical to that found in Kakamega Forest. It is ideal for nature walks, picnics, and team-building activities. It also serves as a venue for Tirikis’ traditional circumcision ceremonies.

6. Bunyore Hills

The magnificent Bunyore hills, located just 5 kilometres to the right of Luanda Township on the Kisumu-Busia highway, form the border between Vihiga and Kisumu counties. Bunyore Hills, which join Maragoli Hills to the east, cover about 30 kilometres.

The hills are believed to have been the original home of Anyole, the ancestor of the Banyore sub-tribe of the Luhya people.  Elders believe that the hills, which attract hundreds of tourists each year, are sacred because they preserve much of the community’s history and traditions.

Anyole’s descendants are said to have settled in the hills because the caves and forests provided shelter and hunting opportunities, and the rocks served as excellent watchtowers during bloody tribal conflicts. According to locals, at the end of the year, people from all over Luhya land would congregate on hilltops in a nightlong frenzy of drum beatings to ward off evil spirits.

Residents of these hills freely interact with leopards, who frequently seek refuge in the natural environment. Locals claim that the animals rarely attack humans or livestock.

7. Sosa Cottages

Located in Gisambai, Vihiga County, it is about 25 minutes from Kisumu International Airport and 40 minutes from the neighbouring Kakamega County. Sosa Cottages provides a homely countryside feel; the landscaping—well-manicured lawns, flowers, and hedges—makes this place scenic and relaxing.

The hotel aims to ensure that guests experience the unique Western Kenya hospitality and taste traditional Maragoli culinary delights. It boasts 40 luxurious guest rooms with a 70-bed capacity. The location is great, as you can shop for vegetables in the market nearby. It’s easily accessible, and you can take morning walks outside the hotel. It is also a great place for meetings, weddings, team-building sessions, or just a sundowner.

8. Broadpark Hotel

It is located along the Kakamega-Kisumu Road, near the Gusanga filling station. It offers luxury accommodation in spacious guest rooms categorised as; single rooms, deluxe rooms, and executive suites. Excellent rooms, clean, well-ventilated, fast wi-fi connectivity, fitted with TV sets, and a balcony for the view of the beautiful landscape.

9. Mago Guesthouse

The Mago Guesthouse is a one-of-a-kind establishment located in the small rural village of Mago. This guesthouse was established in 2007 as an income-generating project for the Mago Youth Polytechnic School. It helps to fund a variety of educational programmes and community initiatives. The guesthouse also serves as a hotel training facility for catering and hospitality students. There is also a health centre on the compound.

The environment is very green with well-kept lawns, quiet and refreshing, and the rooms are very neat with good finishes. If you just want to relax outside, there are nice grass-thatched sheds set out on the lawns. Free WiFi is available. Mago Guest House offers rooms with mosquito-netted beds, worktables and chairs, and en-suite bathrooms.

Mago Guest House serves a complimentary breakfast every day. The on-site restaurant serves a variety of meals. The hotel has meeting and conference facilities for meetings and seminars. Laundry and dry cleaning services are provided for a fee. Security guards are present on the premises. There is also parking available on-site.

Phone Number: 0723 352792

Email: magoguesthouse@gmail.com

10. Magnum Resort

The Magnum Resort in Kaimosi Forest offers delicious food, comfortable rooms, conference facilities, a gym for your fitness goals, a swimming pool for a relaxing swim, a bar and lounge for a good time with friends, and great customer service.