Thomson's Falls

Last updated
Thomson's Falls. Thomson's Falls.jpg
Thomson's Falls.

Thomson's Falls is a 74 metres (243 ft) waterfall on the Ewaso Ng'iro river in central Kenya, a few kilometres from Lake Ol Bolossat, which drains from the Aberdare Range. It is situated 3 kilometres (2 mi) from the town of Nyahururu, at 2,360 metres (7,740 ft) elevation. In 1883 Joseph Thomson was the first European to reach Thomson Falls, and named them for his father.[ citation needed ] Thomson wrote:

Ewaso Ngiro river in Tanzania

Ewaso Ny'iro is a river in Kenya which rises on the west side of Mount Kenya and flows north then east and finally south-east, passing through Somalia where it joins the Jubba River. The upper basin of the Ewaso Ng'iro River is 15,200-square-kilometre (5,900 sq mi). The river has a continuous water supply due to the glaciers on Mount Kenya. Ewaso Ng'iro feeds into Lake Ol Bolossat, the only lake in Nyandarua county and the larger Central Kenya. Ewaso Ng'iro crosses seven arid to semi-arid landscapes. It is characterized by vastly different physiographic features and species and has become a fundamental component to the survival of the wildlife, as well as the expansion of human population and socio-economic developments. Water, the limited land resource provided by the Ewaso Ng’iro watershed is unevenly distributed throughout the higher and lower regions of the catchment due to the large percentage necessary to maintain agricultural practices and climatic changes.

Kenya Republic in East Africa

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 52.2 million people, Kenya is the 27th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.

Aberdare Range mountain range

The Aberdare Range is a 160 km long mountain range of upland, north of Kenya's capital Nairobi with an average elevation of 3,500 metres (11,480 ft). It is located in Nyandarua County, west central Kenya, northeast of Naivasha and Gilgil and just south of the Equator. The mountain range is called Nyandarua among the Agikuyu people in whose territory this forest and mountain range is located. The name Nyandarua means a drying hide due to the distinctive fold of its silhouette.

I was impressed mightily by the stupendous thundering of the waters which in magnificent mass plunged down several hundred feet into a fearful gloomy gorge. ... The crevices give support to a splendid drapery of creepers and bushes, the spray from the waters yielding the necessary sustenance. Among other plants wild bananas are to be seen.

Joseph Thomson [1]

Thomson was a Scottish geologist and naturalist who became the first European to walk from Mombasa to Lake Victoria in the early 1880s. [2]

Scotland Country in Northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Geologist Scientist who studies geology

A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid, liquid, and gaseous matter that constitutes the Earth and other terrestrial planets, as well as the processes that shape them. Geologists usually study geology, although backgrounds in physics, chemistry, biology, and other sciences are also useful. Field work is an important component of geology, although many subdisciplines incorporate laboratory work.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

The falls are a major economic resource for the adjacent town of Nyahururu. Most of the revenue is received from tourists, both international and domestic, who are charged at the gate.

Nyahururu Town in Laikipia County, Kenya

Nyahururu is a town in Kenya, lying north east of Nakuru. The town derives its name from the Maasai word e-naiwurruwurr, meaning waterfall and/or windy or place of storms. It is located in Laikipia County. Despite this, Nyahururu formerly functioned as the administrative capital of Nyandarua County, before it became a county, until the headquarters was shifted to Ol Kalou. There have been calls for a reversal. The town has an urban population of 36,450. The town still continues to be a central economic power of the immediate former district of Nyandarua. For that reason, the town has strong economic ties to the two counties.

This is an aerial view of Thompson Falls, located in Nyahururu, Kenya. Thompson Falls Aerial.jpg
This is an aerial view of Thompson Falls, located in Nyahururu, Kenya.

The falls appeared in the TV Movie The Man in the Brown Suit (1988).

Related Research Articles

Lake Victoria one of African Great Lakes

Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes.

Zambezi fourth-longest river in Africa

The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is 1,390,000 square kilometres (540,000 sq mi), slightly less than half of the Nile's. The 2,574-kilometre-long river (1,599 mi) arises in Zambia and flows through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it crosses the country to empty into the Indian Ocean.

Victoria Falls a waterfall in southern Africa

Victoria Falls is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Clutha River river in New Zealand

The Clutha River / Mata-Au is the second longest river in New Zealand and the longest in the South Island. It flows south-southeast 338 kilometres (210 mi) through Central and South Otago from Lake Wanaka in the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, 75 kilometres (47 mi) south west of Dunedin. It is the highest volume river in New Zealand, and the swiftest, with a catchment of 21,960 square kilometres (8,480 sq mi), discharging a mean flow of 614 cubic metres per second (21,700 cu ft/s). The Clutha River is known for its scenery, gold-rush history, and swift turquoise waters. A river conservation group, the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, is working to establish a regional river parkway, with a trail, along the entire river corridor. The name of the river was changed to a dual name by the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998.

Rift Valley lakes group of lakes in the East African Rift

The Rift Valley lakes are a series of lakes in the East African Rift valley that runs through eastern Africa from Ethiopia in the north to Malawi in the south, and includes the African Great Lakes in the south. These include some of the world's oldest lakes, deepest lakes, largest lakes by area, and largest lakes by volume. Many are freshwater ecoregions of great biodiversity, while others are alkaline "soda lakes" supporting highly specialised organisms.

Tallulah Gorge gorge in northwest Georgia

The Tallulah Gorge is a gorge formed by the Tallulah River cutting through the Tallulah Dome rock formation. The gorge is approximately 2 miles (3 km) long and features rocky cliffs up to 1,000 feet (300 m) high. Through it, a series of falls known as Tallulah Falls drop a total of 150 metres (490 ft) in one mile (1.6 km). Tallulah Falls is composed of six separate falls: l'Eau d'Or, Tempesta, Hurricane, Oceana, Bridal Veil, and Lovers Leap. The Tallulah Gorge is located next to the town of Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Tallulah Gorge State Park protects much of the gorge and its waterfalls. The gorge is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.

Joseph Thomson (explorer) Scottish geologist and explorer

Joseph Thomson was a Scottish geologist and explorer who played an important part in the Scramble for Africa. Thomson's gazelle and Thomson's Falls, Nyahururu, are named after him. Excelling as an explorer rather than an exact scientist, he avoided confrontations among his porters or with indigenous peoples, neither killing any native nor losing any of his men to violence. His motto is often quoted to be "He who goes gently, goes safely; he who goes safely, goes far."

Murchison Falls National Park national park in Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP) is a national park in Uganda and managed by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. It is in north-western Uganda, spreading inland from the shores of Lake Albert, around the Victoria Nile, up to the Karuma Falls.

Kijabe is a town in Kenya.

Shamata is a constituency ward of the Ndaragwa Constituency of Kenya's Nyandarua County. It is located 222 kilometres (138 mi) from Nairobi.


Gilgil, Kenya, is a town in Nakuru County, Kenya. The town is located between Naivasha and Nakuru and along the Nairobi - Nakuru highway. It is to the west of the Gilgil River, which flows south to feed Lake Naivasha.

Luoland is the tribal homeland of the Kenya Luo, a people of western Kenya, also extending into eastern Uganda and northern Tanzania. This area consists roughly of the basin surrounding Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria. Non-Luo tribal areas abutting upon Luoland include those of the Padhola, the Luhya and Nandi, the Kipsigis, and the Gusii and Kuria.

Düden Waterfalls group of waterfalls in the province of Antalya, Turkey

Düden Waterfalls are a group of waterfalls in the province of Antalya, Turkey. The waterfalls, formed by the recycle station water, are located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north-east of Antalya. They end where the waters of the Lower Düden Falls drop off a rocky cliff directly into the Mediterranean Sea.

Ol Kalou is a town in Kenya. It is the capital of Nyandarua County of the former Central Province. It is located west of Aberdare range and 40 kilometres east of Nakuru. Ol Kalou is connected by road to Gilgil, Nyahururu and Nakuru. Ol Kalou forms a town council with a population of 47,795, of whom 15,186 are classified urban.

Migingo Island island

Migingo is a 2,000-square-metre island, in Lake Victoria. The island was the center of a low-level territorial dispute between Kenya and Uganda and is extremely densely populated.

Magadi Airport airport in Magadi, Kenya

Magadi Airport is an airport near Magadi, Kenya.

Marungu highlands

The Marungu highlands are in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the west of the southern half of Lake Tanganyika.

Gregory Rift

The Gregory Rift is the eastern branch of the East African Rift fracture system. The rift is being caused by the separation of the Somali plate from the Nubian plate, driven by a thermal plume. Although the term is sometimes used in the narrow sense of the Kenyan Rift, the larger definition of the Gregory Rift is the set of faults and grabens extending southward from the Gulf of Aden through Ethiopia and Kenya into Northern Tanzania, passing over the local uplifts of the Ethiopian and Kenyan domes. Ancient fossils of early hominins, the ancestors of humans, have been found in the southern part of the Gregory Rift.


  1. Joseph Thomson. 1887. Through Masai Land: a journey of exploration among the snowclad volcanic mountains and strange tribes of eastern equatorial Africa. Being the narrative of the Royal Geographical Society's Expedition to mount Kenia and lake Victoria Nyanza, 1883-1884. London: Samson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, p. 218
  2. "Culture and Customs of Kenya", p. 5, by N. W. Sobania

Coordinates: 0°02′39″N36°22′13″E / 0.04417°N 36.37028°E / 0.04417; 36.37028

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.