Taita–Taveta County (previously known as Taita Taveta District) is a county of Kenya. It lies approximately 150 km northwest of Mombasa and 300 km southeast of Nairobi. The capital, nominally, is in Mwatate town but county government offices are in Wundanyi. The population of the county was almost 300,000 persons according to the 2009 national census, with population densities ranging from 3 persons per km2 to more than 800 persons per km2. This is due to the varied rainfall and terrain with the lower zones receiving an average 440 mm of rain per annum and the highland areas receiving up to 1,900 mm of rain. The county ranges in altitude from 500 m above sea level to 2,228 m at Vuria Peak, which is the county's highest point.
Taita–Taveta County covers an area of 17,083.9 km2, of which 62% or 11,100 km2, is within Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. The remaining 5,876 km2 is occupied by small scale farms, ranches, sisal estates, water bodies (such as Lakes Chala and Jipe in Taveta and Mzima springs), and the hilltop forests.
The lowland areas of the county outside the national parks consist of farms, ranches, estates, and wildlife sanctuaries. The county has approximately 25 ranches. The main land use in the ranches is cattle grazing. The three operating sisal estates of the district are the Teita Sisal Estate, Voi Sisal Estate and Taveta Sisal Estate. Many ranches have ventured into wildlife tourism and conservation. The Taita Hills and Saltlick Lodges sanctuary is among the well-known tourist attractions in Taita Taveta.
There are 48 forests which have survived on hilltops in the county of which 28 are gazetted and are under government protection and management. They range in size from small 500 square metre patches with a few remnant trees to modestly vast 2 square kilometre indigenous and exotic forest mountains. These forests are part of the unique Eastern Arc range of forests found mostly in eastern Tanzania with the Taita Hills forming the only Kenyan portion of that forest type.
The Taita Hills forest holds unique biodiversity with 13 taxa of plants and 9 taxa of animals found only in the Taita Hills and nowhere else in the world. In addition, 22 plant species found in the Taita Hills forests are typical of the Eastern Arc forests. Within these beautiful indigenous forests, bubbles clean water flowing to the lowland areas catering for both human economic activities and wildlife.
Taita–Taveta County has four constituencies:
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