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The famous Fourteen Falls | Coastweek

The famous Fourteen Falls on the Athi River and described as one of Kenya's most spectacular landmarks, East-South-East of Thika city, Kenya. Fourteen Falls is a spectacular 27 meter deep waterfall that derives its name from the 14 distinct falls that cut across the Athi River. It is said that the name Athi emanated from the Indian word 'Haathi'  meaning elephant. WIKIPEDIA PHOTO - NJERIANNK


Language Lexicon: For those from Kenya... especially Mombasa!

NEW DELHI India -- Just touching base to connect ... say Jambo and share a bit of your heritage growing up in Kenya, especially Mombasa. Guess you learn something every day eh?,  writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.

Have to say I have not checked how authentic these explanations are so assuming they are true.


The history of the old caravan arouses some interests in the native meanings behind some towns between Mombasa and Nairobi .

Adventure ,slavery and tribal wars are all embodied in these names and are of special significance to the history of Kenya.


Mombasa was derived from the Arabic word "mimbashia" which means the country which unfolds itself or a large expanse of land.


Makupa is short for "maji yamekupwa" which means the water has fallen, it is recorded that in the old caravan days it was at Makupa where people used to cross from the island of Mombasa to the mainland, whenever the level of water went down..


It was known as "Changarawe" which means pebbles, having connection with the gravel formed there. Blame is put on the portuguese for changing the name from "Changarawe" to Changamwe because they couldn’t pronounce the name, it is also said the original name was Kolokoloni.


The Duruma chief Mazera gave his name to this place where he once lived ,in the earlier caravan days Mazeras was known as "Ganjoni" or the place of ruins ,owing to it being attacked by the Maasai.


Is also of Duruma origin the word means the place of Quivers.

It is at this place where the Duruma and the Wakamba warriors used to meet for battle arrays.

One day the wakamba were defeated and as they fled they discarded their arrows covering the battle field with them.


Was originally known as gulugulu which in Nyika was the name of a local stream.

The name was later changed during the slave caravan era to its present version which means salt water


It is Kigunya word for gruel ,the story being that the stream at Voi often dwindled to a mere trickle and on this account only small amount of gruel could be cooked by the Wagunya slave raiders.


A place for deep waters.


Tsavo is a Kikamba word for slaughter, however it should be noted that the word has no connection with the slaughter of indian coolies during the construction of the railway.

The word infact relates to the slaughter of many maasai in the area .


Mtito-Andei is of course "Mtito-wa-Andei" or the forest of Kites, the maasai are said to have laid in waiting in a nearby forest with intent to attack Wakamba, following which many Wakamba were killed.

The kites remained in the surrounding forests and fed on the corpse .Afterwards, the local river and station were both known as Mtito Andei.


To the Wakamba Kibwezi was originally known as Kivwetse which is said to have been derived from a former scottish mission in the vicinity.

In the mission garden was a volcano rock which after a series of seismic movement split and caused an underground stream to flow above ground ,however the faithful believed that the mission padre struck the rock with his rod in much the same way as did moses.


It was originally known as Kiumbi because of the nearby seasonal river.

In swahili however Makindu means palm trees .The name changed from Kiumbi to Makindu when seismic disturbance started a permanent river making palm trees to grow.


Was named after a Sultan of Zanzibar Hamud Bin Muhammad ,to mark his visit to the rail head in 1898.

In the company of the Sultan was the notorious historical figure and slave raider "Tippu Tib" whose name was derived from the sound made by his gun.


It was originally known as Machakos road because it is from here where the roads headed to Chief Masaku’s home.

Chief Masaku’s home is where Machakos town currently stands.


It is said that the name Athi emanated from the Indian construction 'coolies', when the rail arrived at this point.

The Indian construction 'coolies' found it to have a large number of hippos, but because they had never seen hippos before, they cried out in Punjabi.

"Hathi", "Hathi" meaning "elephants", "elephants".

As the Punjabi 'coolies' knew nothing about the hippos the confusion was understandable.


Was derived from maasai word "Em-Bagasi" which is the Maasai name for the stream that crosses Ngong road and which flows through the Nairobi National park.

And finally did you know that Ngong Road was originally built out of the proceeds of a 15000 Rupees fine inflicted by the maasai paramount Chief Lenana on certain sturborn young warriors of his tribe (Elmoran)?



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