Kericho is located to the South West of the country and lies within the highlands west of The Great Rift Valleyapproximately 250 km from Nairobi. It covers an area of 2,479.0 sq Km with temperatures ranging from 16°C 27°C. Average rainfall range between 1,400 mm and 2,000mm per annum and a population of 752,396 people (2009 census). The county has 6 Local Authorities (Kericho Municipal Council, Kipsigis and Bureti County Councils, Kipkelion, Litein, and Londiani Town councils). Kericho town is the administrative capital. Kericho county is also home to Kenya's biggest water catchment area, the Mau Forest Complex.
It borders Uasin Gichu County to the North, Baringo County to North East, Nandi County to the North West, Nakuru County to the East, and Bomet County to the South. It also borders Nyamira to the South West, Kisii County to the South and south West and Kisumu County to the West.
The County is home to the Kipsigis people, who are a part of the Kalenjin community. The Kipsigis are rated some of the most hospital and courteous people in the country. The Kipsigis just like their Kalenjin counterparts are well known to be good in Athletes. Kericho County has 6 constituencies Ainamoi,Belgut, Bureti,Kipkelion East, Kipkelion West and Sigowet.
The change in altitude and factors cause temperature to vary from 20oC within the highlands to 28oC along the border with Kisumu County at Nyando district. The mean annual rainfall varies from 1800mm around Kericho town and the whole forest area from 1400mm to 1800mm. The wettest months are April and May while the January and February are the driest. There is no real break between short and long rains.
The County ranks highly among the highest potential agricultural counties in the country. Out of the total land area of 2,479 km2, 2,195 km2 (90 percent total land area) is cultivable land. The County can be classified into three zones, viz a viz, high, medium and low potential zones. The high potential zone occupies about 52 percent of the county area and covers most of the Northern parts of the County (Kipkelion) and the central sections of (Belgut, Ainamoi and Buret).
Most of the economic activities within Kericho town and its environs revolve around agriculture. With a high altitude and virtually adequate rainfall, it is the country's leading tea growing zone with a high concentration of tea factories.
Kericho County is home to the best of Kenyan Tea which is renowned worldwide for its taste with its town square even known as Chai Square.Some of the largest tea companies including Unilever Kenya, James Finlay and Williamson tea are based here. It is also home to the popular Ketepa brand.
The North area is suitable for growing wheat, horticulture and floriculture, pyrethrum and maize and dairy farming, while the central section is mainly a tea zone, and pineapples besides growing pyrethrum, maize and keeping dairy cattle and the newly introduced Stevia crop.
The medium potential zone measures about 27 percent of the total county area and covers the North-Western parts of Kipkelion constituency covering the rocky highlands below Tinderet forest and bordering Kisumu County in Nyando at Fort-Ternan.
This area is suitable for growing coffee and maize and for both beef and dairy farming. Towards the South, the zone stretches along the Western sections of Belgut and Ainamoi where maize, stevia, horticultural crops and sugar cane area grown.
It is also home to a number of multi-national tea companies operating in the area including Unilever Kenya Tea, Williamson Tea and James Finlays Ltd, the leading producer and exporter of instant tea in the world and Kenya Tea Packers limited (Ketepa).
Kericho County has a comparatively good transport network. Road is the main mode of transport to and around the region. There are three main highways which cut across the county leading to Kericho town, the Nakuru-Kericho, the Kisumu-Kericho and the Kericho-Sotik-Kisii highways.
The Mau Summit- Kericho-Kisumu highway which cuts across the county is part of the 1,200 km Northern corridor road, which is critical to the country’s economy as it is the link to the agriculturally rich region.
The Northern corridor road is considered the country’s main economic artery that connects the port of Mombasa with the neighbouring Uganda and the Great Lake region. Kericho town also has direct bus (matatu) links to Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kisii and Bomet towns.
Rail transport is available from Kipkelion, Londiani and Fort-Ternan stations, all are agricultural hubs within the county. Air transport is also available through chartered wright aircraft from Wilson Airport, Nairobi and Kisumu and Eldoret International Airports.
The main airstrip is Kerenga Aerodrome, located 6 kilometres from Kericho town. Currently it is being upgraded and expanded to accommodate large planes. There is also Marinyin airstrip, situated 10 kilometres from Kericho town. The private airstrip is owned and managed by James Finlays.