Saturday, May 12, 2007

Weekend in Webuye

Webuye Falls

About 30 minutes north of Malava is the village of Webuye (WAY-BOO-YAY). Webuye, in my mind, is known for two things, one of them is absolutely gorgeous while the other is absolutely disgusting. Webuye is home to the stunning Webuye Falls, but unfortunately it is also home to the Pan Paper Factory and also a sewage treatment plant. The falls are breathtaking beautiful and provide a relaxing retreat from the busy marketplace, while the pollution from the factory and treatment plant produce one of the worst smells on earth. The smell is a cross between car exhaust, burning rotten trash, and an overflowing pit latrine. It is mind-boggling that Webuye’s residents would tolerate such a foul stink in their community, but then again, I suppose they don’t have any power over the rich businesses in their village and furthermore, many of it’s residents are employed at either the factory or treatment plant. Fortunately, the falls are some distance from the village center and are isolated from the dreadful smell of appalling air pollution.

From the falls there are many tributaries that go in many directions

Behind the main falls are a series of smaller falls

In some spots, you can cross the river on a foot path of stones

The still water is very beautiful, but is also home to some crocodiles

From the marketplace, I hired a boda-boda, or bicycle taxi, to take me up the rocky path to the falls. The distance is only about a half-mile, but the terrain can be slightly challenging for a bicycle not built for off-road. For this reason, I had to pay double the standard taxi fee and what’s more I had to get off the bicycle and walk when the path became too difficult. Nevertheless, I gladly paid the 200 Ksh ($2.85 USD) round trip fee to spend a day at the falls. The boda-boda rider’s name was Joseph and he offered to be my tour guide for the day to show me around.

Webuye is a relaxing retreat from the busy marketplace

Local village children play in small caves formed by the huge rocks

The scenic rapids

The tropical landscapes

The main falls cannot compare to Niagara, but even still they are somewhat large and can be seen and heard from some distance. Where Webuye is lacking in size in comparison to Niagara, it makes up in serenely beautiful green tropical landscapes. Behind the main falls, huge stones dominate the countryside creating a series of smaller falls and rapids that give the feeling of peacefulness and tranquilly. There are even scenes of still water that make you want to spend an afternoon lying on the banks. The lazy stream is so inviting that children will often bath or go swimming it’s calming waters. But as Joseph, my guide, told me, “You have to watch out for the crocodiles!”

The stunning Webuye Falls!


Anonymous said...


You should have National Geographic publish some of these pics....the are pretty sweet!


Zoe said...

Hi Tim! Great to see your photos of Webuye. I lived there on a development project for a year when I was 12 years old - that was 1986 and we were the only europeans in the town. The falls looked exactly the same... and the smell...!! I would say rotten eggs. My mum said it smelt of sulpher dioxide (which I can't even spell!) and made us cover our mouths with hankies when the wind blew from the paper factory. It's amazing to think people might travel there just to explore now! You certainly get to some out of the way places!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim! I really doubted I'd find anything when I searched for "Webuye" on Google, but I did! And you're site is one of them.

I was just there about a week ago as part of a mission trip! I visited the Falls - they ARE beautiful!!

And you might find it interesting that Pan paper has shut down - which is the first thing my returning friend noted when he said he didn't smell it anymore!

whiterosekapwsowar said...

I know you posted this several years ago but how is the church doing in webuye? Mainly speaking of the Friends Church in the area. When I was there Christmas of 98 I think it was we saw revival break out in the area and saw one of the ex-witch Dr.s get saved, healed and delivered. Have you heard anything on that? If so how is he doing? It was awesome to see what God did over there.

Amyn said...

Hi Tim
Back in late 1940's I lived in Webuye then known as Broderick Falls and we used to go swimming in the Nzoia River. We had one flour mill and one street 'urban' town catering to agriculture in the area.
Thanks for bringing back memories of my childhood.


Barbara said...

Glory of the Lord Church has just been established in Webuye. Thank you for showing your pictures of your trip there.

Jeff muli said...

Tim, your website has made me think of going to see those great falls. I wil go on 24th september 2011 and see it myselfee those great falls. I wil go on 24th september 2011 and see it myself