Vihiga County


It is from the former Western Province of Kenya, its headquarters is Vihiga which is the largest town in the county.

The county has a population of 554, 622 according to 2009 census Vihiga County was split from Kakamega County in 1990.

The constituencies

  1. Sabatia Constituency
  2. Vihiga Constituency
  3. IdeEmuhaya Constituency
  4. Hamisi Constituency
  5. Luanda Constituency

The main physical features 


  • River Yala
  • Esalwa
  • Ejorodani

Lakes - Vihiga has no lake


  • Maragoli hills
  • Bunyore Hills

Importance of the physical features

  • Provide natural habitat for birds and animals.
  • Provided a natural place of worship.
  • Tourist attraction.
  • Contributes to revenue generation.

The main types of natural the vegetation

  • Forests vegetation

The importance of vegetation

  • Water catchment area.
  • Source of herbal medicine..
  • It defines the weather pattern of the area.
  • Natural habitat to animals and birds.

Map of the Distribution of natural vegetation

People and population

The language groups

Maragoli are the dominant ethnic group in the area and the town is also known as Maragoli. Tiriki, Idakho and Banyore are other ethnic groups in this locality.

Areas of high population density

  • Vihiga
  • Luanda
  • Sabatia

Areas of low population density 

  • Emuhaya
  • Hamisi

Social relations and economic activities 

Traditional way of life of the people


  • The people of this county are known for maize and beans as their staple food. Maize was used to make ugali. Sometimes soft maize was boiled with beans or alone.


  • Dressing depended with what was the occasion. During circumcision the boys wore animals’ skin and painted themselves with mad.
  • During funerals they wore clothes to match the occasion the same as during marriage and other occasions.

Songs and dances

Song and dance was mainly during special occasions. These occasions were:

  • Harvest
  • Weddings
  • Initiation
  • Birth.

There were unique songs and dancing styles for each occasion

Traditional medical practices

Traditional medicines like herbs were used.


  • Birth and naming

Children are named after the clan's ancestors, or after their grandparents, or after events or the weather. The paternal grandparents take precedence, so that the first-born son will usually be named after his paternal grandfather (Guka/Guga), while the first-born daughter will be named after her paternal grandmother (Guku).

  • Initiation

The Maragoli did not practice clitoridectomy, they only practiced male circumcision.

Circumcision was a period of training for adult responsibilities for the youth. Circumcision was carried out every four or five years, depending on the clan. This resulted in various age sets


  • Harvest

They had special songs to mark this special event. Men and women danced to after a good harvest. Any child being born at this time was given a special name to show they were born during this season.

  • Music

Music was used to mark special occasions these were circumcision, harvest, initiation and marriage

  • Drama

Resources and economic activities


The main cash crops and food crops grown

  • Tea
  • Sugarcane
  • Maize
  • Pyrethrum
  • Coffee

The areas where the cash crops are grown

  • Maragoli
  • Sabatia Constituency
  • Vihiga Constituency

The types of livestock kept 

  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Donkey
  • Sheep 


  • Areas where fishing is practiced the people

Fishing is not an economic activity in this county only small local fishing is possible along rivers.

Wildlife and Tourism

The type’s wildlife

  • Crocodile
  • Monkey
  • Birds
  • Baboons

The major tourist attractions

  • The only Hill of Vision


The products of traditional industries

  • Agriculture
  • Mining of gravel for construction


Major trading centres

  • Vihiga town
  • Sabatia
  • Luanda