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Background


Nzambani Rock or Ivya ya Nzambani, as the Kamba call it, is quite a popular scenic attraction in Kitui County. What makes this rock unique is the story behind it that has been passed along from one generation to another. The overnight 'noises' and 'activities of imaginary women and children' are some of the mysterious stories behind this Rock.
 

Getting There


Located about 24km from Kitui town and in a clear weather day, it can be seen as far as 80.5km away.
 

Key Attractions


Nzambani RockVisitors to the 60ft tall Nzambani Rock can use a ladder that runs up to the top. From there one can get a great view of Kitui town.

This site is located on private property owned by the Nyiva family and permission may need to be sought for in advance.

 

History


Folklore has it that if one goes round Nzambani Rock 7 times, they would have their gender changed! Stories abound of men and women who changed to the opposite sex after doing this. It is not possible to authenticate these claims however. The origin of Nzambani Rock is told through 2 interesting stories:

It is said that when the earliest missionaries arrrived in Kamba land, they were met by hostile opposition from the locals. One such incidence is told of missionaries who while being pursued by Kamba worriors, sought refuge inside the rock.

Inside one of the rock caves, they stumbled upon robes which they quickly wore to disguise themselves. When the warriors caught up with them after a long chase, they were shocked at what they saw. To them, the misionaries had transformed into women! thus began the legend of Nzambani Rock.

Another story is told of a beautiful Kamba maiden, Nzambani, who together with 2 other girls, went to fetch firewood in the woods. While doing so, she saw a beautiful round stone that was good for grinding tobacco snuff for her grandfather. Nzambani took the stone and hid it from the other 2.

After they were done collecting firewood, Nzambani tried to remove the stone so she could carry it in a better way but the stone could not be removed. She then cried for help. The other girls rushed back to the village to call Nzambani's parents who came to her rescue but in vain. In frustration, they left her and coming the following day, she had become a rock. Locals say that the rock continues to grow to-date.

 

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