Tana River County


Tana River County is a county in the former coast province, Kenya.  It is named after Tana River.

It has an area of 35,375.8 square kilometer and a population of 240,075 according to the 2009 census.

The capital and largest town is Hola.


  1. Garsen constituencies
  2. Galole constituencies
  3. Bura constituencies

Main physical features


  • Tana river
  • Lagas river


  • Bilbil hills


  • Tana River

Importance of physical features

  • Tana River and Lagas River are a source of water for irrigation in the county.
  • Building of dams along Tana river provides hydroelectric power in the county.

Main types of natural vegetation

  • The county has vast areas under forest, woodland and grassland.

The importance of the vegetation

  • Water catchment areas.
  • Food source to animals both domestic and wild.
  • Control soil erosion.
  • Gives the environment a beautiful scenary.  

Map of distribution of the natural vegetation

People and population

Language groups

  • The Pokomo 
  • Orma 
  • Wardey 

Areas of high population density

  • Tana Delta
  • Hola

Social relations and cultural activities

Traditional way of life of the people


  • Rice is the staple food among people of Tana River County.


  • The traditional attire of a man is a long and a small, rounded hat with elaborate embroidery. Women dress in long dresses and cover their heads.

Songs and dances

  • Song and dances include Kithoko, Mwaribe, Miri among other and these are usually played at various ceremonies e.g. during initiations ceremonies.

Traditional medical practices

  • Traditional medicine men and women gathered plants used for medical.
  • Different plants were used to treat different illnesses.


  • Birth and naming
  • Initiation


  • Harvest
  • Music
  • Drama

Resources and economic activities


Main cash crops and food crops grown

Cash crops include;

  • Rice
  • Mangoes
  • Maize
  • Bananas
  • Soya beans

Food crops include;

  • Cassava
  • Green gram
  • Bean
  • Peas
  • Kales

The areas where the cash crops are grown

  • Rice is grown along Tana River

The types of livestock kept

  • Beef cattle
  • Black head Persian sheep
  • Galla goat
  • Single-humped camel


Areas where fishing is practiced

  • The availabity of the Tana River and the Indian Ocean coastline has seen fishing activities in the county. However, most of the fishing in the county is on small scale or domestic consumption.


Tana River County comprises several areas of forest, woodland and grassland which are minor centres of endemism.

Wildlife and Tourism

The types of wildlife 

  • Red Columbus Monkey
  • Lion
  • Zebra
  • Elephants
  • Birds

Game parks

  • Kora National Park.

Game Reserves include;

  • Arawale National Reserve
  • Tana Primate National Reserve

Major tourist attractions

  • Kora National Reserve
  • Arawale National Reserve
  • Tana Primate National Reserve


Major trading centres

  • Tana Delta and Hola