Our motherland, Kenya, is home to some of the most fascinating sites and features in the world.
Every year, right about August, we have an influx of tourists visiting the country for holidays, most notably for the beaches, the wildlife and the cultural experience.
However, some places remain hidden or at least are not as exposed to the rest of the country and the world, but bare the thrill of the purity, perfection and beauty of nature.
Whownskenya.com, looks at some of the places in the country whose existence will leave you fascinated.
Blood-Red Alkaline Lake in Kapedo
For any ordinary Kenyan, cattle rustling and inter-community clashes comes to mind at the mention of the name Kapedo. The Kapedo Valley which lies on the border of Turkana and Baringo Counties, has long been thirsted over by the neighbouring communities.
However, under the banditry and ethnic clashes is one of the most beautiful sceneries in the country. Kapedo is home to a blood-red alkaline lake which is a sight to behold.
Believers in myth allege that the red lake symbolises the bloodshed witnessed in the area over the years.
However, scientists argue that as the lake dries out, its salinity increases. The warm water’s high salt concentration makes what’s left of the lake a prime breeding ground for Dunaliella algae, which turns the water blood-red.
In Machakos County, lies a hill that defies Isaac Newton’s law of gravity. At Kituluni hill, water flows up hill unaided, sparking the belief of mystical powers in the region.
Residents of the area believe that their forefathers used the hill as a holy ground where they would offer sacrifices to the gods and pray for rain, or cast away evil spirits.
Myth peddlers have often alleged that going round the hill seven times could turn a man into a woman and vice versa. Though, no one has ever come out to say that they has a transformation in genders after going round Kituluni.
Tourists and locals can attest that a vehicle on neutral gear actually goes up hill instead of downhill. When going uphill, cars tend to accelerate much faster, and slower when moving downhill.
According to experts, one square kilometre of the hill posses a strong magnetic field that defies the force of gravity.
The Shape Shifting Swamp of Ondiri
The swamp has been described a wonder of nature by those who have visited it. The area around the swamp wobbles, this gives you the sensation of sinking to the very bottom of the earth itself.
With every step, you get the feeling that you are sinking at the ground below you keeps on shifting.
Myth peddlers in the area tell tales of people who have sunk in the swamp and their remains discovered in Nakuru, Naivasha or Mombasa.
It is the only quaking bog in Kenya and the second largest in Africa after Duola in Cameroon.
Waters at Ondiri are believed to bear healing powers thus attracting pilgimage from religious groups from across the country.
The Cryptic Writings of Matsigulu Rock
From a far, the rock may appear not to bear much. The cracks, lacerations and parched surface may not be that much to gaze at. However, closer, a cryptic maze of indecipherable writings on the rocks surface brings out the myths in it.
The imprints etched on its surface bear a striking resemblance and size to those of human beings. A rock shaped like a coffin next to the footprints seals the fate of this rock as a place of interest for anyone myth lovers.
The Skull Caves of Taita
These caves evidence the spectacular outcome of a strange, ancient burial practices among the Wasagalla, Wadawida and Wakasigau people who inhabited the Taita Hill prior to the arrival of colonialists.
In those communities, important people were buried normally. Then years later, they would be exhumed and their heads severed from the rest of the body and buried in the caves among their ancestors.
Though, these practices no longer exist, the caves exist and are considered sacred.
The Devil’s Kitchen
Also known as the the Milky Curse of Marafa Depression or which means ‘The Place Broken by Itself’.
The place forms a spectacular scenery of stalactites and stalagmites formed on limestone rock due to internal geological forces of denudation. This resulted in the formation of a unique ridge of gorges and gullies which form an amazing scenery.
It has often been compared to the Bison and Grand Canyon of Arizona, USA.
The Archeological Site of Namoratunga
It is regarded as the first archeological site in Sub-Saharan Africa. The site is also believed to be archaeoastronomical because of the 19 pillars found here, leaning in different directions and aligned with the 7 star systems of Triangulum, Pleiades, Bellatrix, Aldebaran, Central Orion, Saiph and Sirius. The pillars are surrounded by an equally mystical ring of stones numbering over 20,000.
It was initially thought to be a burial site, until a study revealed that the arrangement of the rocks was different from other burial sites.
In 1978 Mark Lynch suggested that the 19 pillars were aligned to the 7 star systems. He alleged that the arrangement corresponded with the 12-month 354-day lunar calendar that was used by the Cushites of southern Ethiopia, thus, the pillars may have been a form of a calendar.
The Rock with an Elephant Soul
In Samburu County, The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is home to one of the most fascinating pieces of art you could ever see. It is the first indigenous owned and run elephant sanctuary in Africa.
At the heart of the sanctuary is a rock that was used by poachers as a hide out, but now, it is used by community elders, member and tourists as a place of gather.
On the rock is the painting of an elephant from Namunyak. At a close range, you can barely get the picture, however, a few meters back, the image of an enormous elephant is brought to life.
It was painted by an artist by the name Mantra. He was a street artist since 2008, but with the elephant painting, he gave the community a symbol that will live with them forever.