Fort Ternan - The Prehistoric Site and Tourist Attraction

  • Until it became the scene of a tragic bus accident that killed over 55 passengers on Wednesday morning, Fort Ternan was known for its beautiful scenery as a prehistoric site and tourist attraction.

    Fossils of the specimen, Kenyapithecus, were first found by Louis Leakey in Fort Ternan in 1962.

    The Kenyapitheus was a fossil ape whose upper jaw and teeth were dated to 14 million years ago.

    Upper and Lower jaws of the Kenyapithecus

    There is a prehistoric site and museum located about 15 km from Fort Ternan Town.

    The area served as a station on the branch line to Kisumu on the national railway system and white settlers grabbed it soon after the construction.

    The place boasts attractive rolling hills, valleys and spectacular escarpments, one of which became the scene of the deadly accident.

    The Indians who were working on the railway constructed tunnels and long scenic bridges that turned the area into a tourist attraction.

    According to a local daily, it is at one of these tunnels that the ill-fated bus veered off the road.

    It is a small town in Kericho County, located 50 Km east of Kisumu and five Km east of Koru.

    The main economic activity is cash crop farming- Coffee, Sugar Cane and tea (in a few high altitude areas) which are grown in small-scale holding farms.

    Adjacent to the town is Kipkelion Coffee millers where most of the coffee is supplied by farmers. Other crops grown around the town are subsistence crops maize, beans, tomatoes, and potatoes. 

    Forest Scenery at Fort Ternan