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County profile

Taita-Taveta County lies approximately 200 km northwest of Mombasa and 360 km southeast of Nairobi. The capital is Mwatate even though it is the fourth-largest town in the county after Voi, Wundanyi and Taveta in that order.

The population of the county is well over 250,000 persons 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 1900 mm of rain. The range rises in altitude from 500 m above sea level to almost 2,300 m at vuria peak which is the highest.

The county covers an area of 17,083.9 km2. of which a bulk 62% or 11,100 km2. is within Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. The remaining 5,876 km2 is occupied by ranches, sisal estates, water bodies such as Lakes Chala and Jipe in Taveta and mzima springs, and the hilltop forests which occupy less than 100 km2. or approximately 10 km² out of 587.5 km².

The lowland areas of the district that are do not belong to national parks are divided to ranches, estates and wild life sanctuaries. The district has approximately 25 ranches. The main land use in ranch 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 utilize also wildlife tourism and conservation.