Welcome to Kerugoya, the largest town in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. Situated in the former Kirinyaga district, Kerugoya offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and urban conveniences. Join us as we explore this vibrant town and discover why it should be on every traveler’s itinerary.
Kerugoya is conveniently located just 10 kilometers east of Karatina and 40 kilometers west of Embu, making it easily accessible from major cities. If you’re traveling from Nairobi, the capital city, you can reach Kerugoya by road via the Thika Road. The scenic journey takes you through Thika, Kenol, and Makuyu, until you reach Sagana town where a road branches off to Kagio town. From there, you can head north towards Kirinyaga University and eventually reach Kerugoya.
Alternatively, you can take a route through the Plains of Mwea, famous for the largest rice irrigation scheme in Eastern Africa. This route offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the life of the local Kikuyu community, who predominantly practice subsistence farming.
The name Kerugoya originates from the Kikuyu words ‘Kiri-guoya,’ which translates to ‘The fearful (Bush).’ In the past, the area was covered with thick bushes, and when the colonial settlers arrived, they named it ‘Kithaka kiri guoya’ in the Gichugu Dialect. Over time, it evolved into the modern name Kerugoya.
Kerugoya forms a local authority together with another township called Kutus, and it is known as Kerugoya/Kutus municipality. The municipality has a population of over 39,000 people, with several wards including Kerugoya Central, Kerugoya North, Kerugoya South, Kutus South, Kutus Central, and Nduini. This bustling town serves as an urban area for the surrounding villages of Kangaita, Kimunye, Kagumo, and Karia.
Education is highly valued in Kerugoya, with notable institutions such as the Kerugoya School for the Deaf, Kirinyaga Township Primary School, Kerugoya Boys High School, Kerugoya Girls High School, and the Kirinyaga University. In fact, in 2011, Kirinyaga County ranked number 1 out of 47 counties in Kenya for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education mean mark. This achievement reflects the dedication to academic excellence in the region.
Kerugoya is not only known for its educational institutions but also for its thriving economy. As the largest town in Kirinyaga County, it serves as an economic hub for the region. The fertile land surrounding Kerugoya is ideal for farming, and local farmers cultivate crops such as tea, coffee, macadamia, and various foodstuffs. To support agriculture and dairy farming, there are several agro-vet businesses and officers from the Ministry of Agriculture in the town.
When it comes to banking and financial services, Kerugoya has a range of options including Equity Bank, CBA, Cooperative Bank, Family Bank, Barclays Bank, Sidian Bank, Bingwa Sacco, Kirinyaga Farmers Sacco, Muhigia Sacco, and FEP Bank. These institutions cater to the needs of both residents and businesses, contributing to the town’s economic growth.
Transportation in Kerugoya is convenient, with public service vehicles (known as Matatus) providing easy access to and from the town. From Nairobi, it takes approximately two hours to reach Kerugoya by Matatu, with an average fare of 250 to 300 KES. The most commonly used Saccos (Matatu operators) include KUKENA, Supreme Shuttle, 2NK, and private vehicles. For those traveling by private vehicle, there are multiple gas stations such as Total, Kobil, and National Oil.
In conclusion, Kerugoya offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and urban amenities. Whether you’re interested in exploring the surrounding landscapes, immersing yourself in the local culture, or enjoying the town’s economic vibrancy, Kerugoya has something for every traveler. Plan your visit to this hidden gem and uncover the treasures of Kerugoya, Kenya.