Nzambani Rock is the premium scenic tourist attraction in Kitui. Situated about ¾ hour (more in the rain season) away from the town, it is truly a special sight. In the middle of the relatively flat landscape, suddenly the 60 feet tall rock is rising from the ground. To reach the top, it was built a staircase some years ago. There is a small fee to enter the staircase, which can be bought at the Nzambani Rock parking lot office for 100/200 KSH (Kenyans) or 200/400 KSH (foreigners) for children/adults. The prices can vary a bit with the season.
From the parking lot there’s a ten minutes walk before you reach the staircase that will take you to the top. It is quite tall, which makes the staircase sway a little bit if it’s windy. This can be a bit scary if you are afraid of heights. At the top of the rock, the sight you will meet is magnificent, and you have a 360o view over the Kitui landscape. If you want to take you children, be aware that the staircase is quite long and can be scary. The staircase is fenced, but the top is not – so you should probable keep an eye on your children.
You can see the Rock from up to 50 miles away, something that probably has dazzled the locals for centuries. Due to this, there are also a lot of old legends about the Rock:
The locals tell a story about a young lady, named Nzambi, which walked around in the Kitui forests looking for firewood. Suddenly, she found an eye-catching small stone. It was so beautiful that she decides to pick it up and put it to her breast to keep it safe. As she continued to gather firewood, the rock began to grow – bigger and bigger – until it surrounded her and swallowed her completely. Thus, the rock was given the named Nzambani, to honor the young lady. Even today, the locals say that the stone is growing and if you walk towards the rock from a certain side, the rock looks like a woman’s breast.
Another legend is from the days when white missionaries came to the Kitui district. Supposedly, they were met by hostile locals, that didn’t want them to spread the word of Christ. One missionary was cornered by the Kamba warriors and they walked around the Nzambani Rock, looking to kill the missionary. The missionary prayed to God, and eventually stumbled upon some robes that were laying in a cave in the Rock. He put them on, and when the warriors caught up with him, they were shocked. To them, it looked like the missionary had turned into a woman – and they did not kill him. Thus – the legend says that if you walk around the stone seven times, you change sex.
Last updated: 27.01.2012