Must See While In Kitui, Kenya: Nzambani Stone

Nzambani Stone in Kitui, Kenya

Last visit to Kambaland visiting the lady’s family in Kitui, we saw it but didn’t go visit it. This time around, though, I’m looking forward to visiting the famous Nzambani Stone — the rock that turns men into girls.


A mythical rock in Kitui tops the list of tourist attractions not fully exploited for the benefit of local residents.

The Nzambani rock — Ivya ya Nzambani — is unique, thanks to a story told by one generation to another… that if one goes round it seven times, they have their gender changed. And many stories are told of men and women who have done just that.


One tells of the days that the earliest missionaries arrived in Ukambani and were pursued by Kamba warriors.

They sought refuge inside the rock where they stumbled upon women’s robes which they wore as disguise.

When the warriors caught up with them, they were shocked to find that the missionaries had changed into women.

Another story is told of a beautiful Kamba maiden, Nzambani, who together with two other girls, went to fetch firewood.

While doing so, she saw a beautiful round stone that was good for grinding tobacco for her grandfather. Nzambani took the stone and hid it from the other two.

After they had collected firewood, Nzambani found the stone could not be moved, and cried for help.

The other girls rushed back to the village to call Nzambani’s parents but in vain. By the following day, Nzambani had changed into a rock. And locals say that the rock continues to grow today.

Visitors to the rock can use a ladder to the top, from where they have a great view of Kitui Town.

Kitui also boasts three vast game reserves with great tourism potential; two of which are strategically placed within key international tourist routes.

They are Tsavo East national park, the South Kitui game reserve and Kora national reserve — but they don’t benefit the county.

Local residents want the Government to downgrade the famous Tsavo East national park into a reserve so that it can be administered by the county government.

“The Government should formulate a new tourism policy geared towards empowering the communities surrounding such resources because they also bear the burden of human-wildlife conflict” said businessman Kennedy Ngumbau Mulwa.

However, those pushing this change have a hard time as the Constitution stipulates that all national parks are property of the national government.

The three game parks could generate millions of shillings for the county’s coffers.

 

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