Taita Taveta County is located in the Coastal region of Kenya, lies approximately 200 km northwest of Mombasa and 360 km southeast of Nairobi and covers an area of 17,084.1 sq Km. The county experiences an annual mean rainfall of 650mm per annum with temperatures averaging 23 Degree C. It has 3 Local Authorities (Town Council of Taveta, County Council of Taita, and Municipal County of Voi) MwatateTo twon is the administrative headquarters. Taita Taveta County borders Makueni, Kitui and Tana River counties to the North, Kilifi and Kwale Counties to the East, Republic of Tanzania to the South and South-west, and Kajiado County to the North West.
The population of the county 30 years ago was approximately 45,000 persons but this has shot up to well over 250,000 persons with population densities ranging from 3 persons per kilometer Squared. to more than 800 persons per Kilometer Squared. 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 a.s.a at vuria peak which is the highest. In 2007, the Taita-Taveta District was split into two districts: the Taita District and the Taveta District. The two were subsequently re-united to form Taita-Taveta County.
The County is dry except for high catchments areas in the hills. The effect of the south easterly winds influence the climate of the County. The hilly areas have ideal have conditions for condensation of moisture, which results in relief rainfall. The County experiences two main seasons. The long, rains between months of March and May and the short rains between November and December. The rainfall is uneven in the County, with the highlands receiving higher rainfall than the lowlands. This coupled with the cooler temperatures; makes the highlands have more potential for planting of crops with short maturity period. The County is divided into three major topographic zones. These are the upper and lower zones and volcanic foothills. The upper zones are suitable for horticultural farming. Precious gemstones found are mixed in the lower plain, while the volcanic foothills are the potential for underground water and springs that emerge from Taita Hills. The major rivers in the County are Tsavo and Voi and Mzima Spring making it the major water supplier for coastal region.
The county is known for its large-scale sisal farming with vast sisal plantations covering the area. The county is ecologically diverse with an number of forests hosting a large variety of indigenous and exotic tree species. However, Taita Taveta County has recently seen great developments in its mineral mining sector after traces of iron ore were discovered in 1992. Asbestos, chalk, limestone, gemstones, construction stones and sand are also among the regions minerals portfolio. Moreover, Large parts of the county lie within the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks some of the country’s popular tourist destinations.