Nature has never ceased to amaze us. From an underground river in the Philippines, colored layered soils in Mauritius, to the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, there is always something phenomenal about nature. Kenya also has its fair share of wonders. Some of the natural creations that stand out in Kenya are rocks. So here are a few that will leave you mesmerized at how they came to be as well as the final product.
The Crying Stone of Ilesi
Set at the heart of Western Kenya in Kakamega County, is the Crying Stone of Ilesi. Its name itself will tell you it is an unusual rock. It is shaped in such a way that it looks like a figure with a gown, with tears continuously flowing from head to toe. According to scientists, this rock is a formation consisting of large boulder balanced on a column of the rock, where water flows from a groove in the middle. In addition, there is a cave situated at the bottom of the rock where some of the community members go to pray.
Its bizarre occurrence has led many of the local people here to take it as a myth, emphasizing that it has great cultural and spiritual importance to the Luhya Community. Some say that when the stone cries it is a signal for the bumper harvest to come while others say it shows the strain of the community when it has not rained. Another group takes it as a sacred place, where they perform cleansing rituals. They hold the rock in such great value so much so that they have resisted its takeover by the government to turn it into a fully-fledged tourist attraction.
This rock is 120 meters high and is located in Kisumu, 29 kilometers from the town. Kit Mikayi is the Luo name for “the stone for the first time”. Its formation is unique in that it has three rocks on the bottom and weeps from time to time. Till now, there has been no clear scientific explanation as to how it came into being. However, there are several myths around this stone. For instance, its peculiar structure is
said to represent the Luo cultural family, which is polygamous.
Additionally, the small stones each show houses for each member of the family. Others say that it was named “Kit Mikayi” since long ago an old man named Ngeso would go to the stone and stay there for a long time such that his wife was forced to go and serve him food there. He loved the stone dearly that when people asked of his whereabouts they would be told he was with his first wife, hence the name Kit Mikayi.
Rock Gongs of Lewa Downs
These rocks have some geometric and abstract rock paints. Also in the rocks are gongs. The gongs have some carved cup shape depressions that look like cupules. When struck in different places, they produce different tones just like a musical instrument. In addition, the paintings have white concentric circles. These decorations are believed to have been made between 1000 and 3000 years ago by the Twa people. They were hunters and gatherers who lived in the northern slopes of Mount Kenya. Additionally, it is said that then rocks could have served as a sacred place where rituals were performed.
Situated in the middle of Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha, is a rock of about 25 meters. It was formed after a volcanic eruption, naming it after a German explorer, Gustav Fischer. He was on his way to Lake Victoria from Mombasa. While there, he met a Maasai who slaughtered almost his entire party. Its height has attracted tourists who climb it as a hobby. However, all climbers need a guide since it is a risky undertaking due to its steepness and thus needs assistance. To climb this peculiar rock, you will need lots of energy and courage.
While many people go climb the rock, there are other activities that can be carried out in the area. They include walking, cycling, game viewing, bird watching, picnic as well as camping.
Standing 183 meters above the ground is a stone outcrop in Kitui. It has become a major tourist attraction due to the peculiar way it came to be. It is believed that it is among one of the largest stone outcrops in the country. People who climb it are able to view Kitui
from almost an aerial view. There are other tales and myths that revolve around this stone. For instance, some people say that if you go around it seven times, you turn into a member of the opposite sex. Others have stated that there are strange noises that come from it at night. Apart from that, Nzambani rock was turned into a sacred place by a different group in the past, where they conduct rituals. To visit this place, you will need 1000 shillings for adults and 500 shillings for the children.