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Planning To Visit Sultan Hamud? Here is Everything You Need to Know about the Town

Sultan Hamud is one of the most famous historic towns in Kenya.

It’s located in Makueni county, Kilome constituency, Kasikeu division.

It’s home to an astonishing array of attractions, activities and experiences, making it one of the most visited places by both local and international tourists.

It is well-known for serving as a rest area for bus and truck drivers who use the Mombasa Road.

Sultan Hamud’s Population, Weather & Distance from Nairobi

According to the 2019 census, the population of Sultan Hamud was 8, 718, but today, more than 9,000 people live in the area.

The town’s average annual temperature is 25.1 degrees celsius or 77.18 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is 2.6 percent higher than Kenya’s national average.

It experiences 165.53 rainy days annually, with an average precipitation of 119.28 mm (4.7 inches).

The distance from Nairobi to Sultan Hamud is 110 Kilometers.

 It would take you approximately 2 hours to drive from Nairobi to Sultan Hamud.

If you’re using the Standard Gauge Railway, it would take you approximately 1 hour and 27 minutes and it costs Ksh 790 (for adults) and Ksh 400 (for children) for first-class travel.

Second-class travel costs Ksh 260 (for adults) and Ksh 130 for children. 

You can also use public transportation, which costs between Kshs 1200 to Ksh 1900 depending on the bus company, and takes slightly more than two hours. 

Sultan Hamud’s postal code is 90132.

The History of Sultan Hamud

Many travelers who pass through Sultan Hamud ask how a town in Makueni County acquired such a name.

Well, the town was named after Sultan Ali Hamud, who governed Zanzibar Island from 1902 until 1911.

The Sultan of Zanzibar traveled to inspect the progress of the railway when it reached modern-day Sultan Hamud and stayed there for a few days.

The connection between Sultan Hamud and Zanzibar

At the time, Mombasa, which is now a Kenyan territory, was ruled from Zanzibar by the Sultan.

Sultan Hamud town began to witness settlement and growth during the early 1900s as the Kenya-Uganda railway line was being built by the British.

Sultan Ali Hamud, the Sultan of Zanzibar at the time, saw the building of the railway line as a great opportunity for his administration to conduct business with Kenya.

 So, he cultivated positive ties with the British.

When the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway reached the area of modern-day Sultan Hamud, the ruler of Zanzibar arrived to check on the progress.

He slept there for a few days. The visit resulted in the naming of the town, Sultan Hamud.

To allow the leader of Zanzibar to worship, a mosque was built in the town, which drew other Arabs and led to the spread of Islam in the region.

Sultan Ali Hamud passed away in December 1918.

The town experienced slow growth during the highway construction period, but when it was completed and opened, the growth increased exponentially.

Before other tribes arrived, the Kamba and Maasai communities, which are divided by the railway line, predominated the town. 

Economic Activities in Sultan Hamud

Agriculture is the dominant economic activity in Sultan Hamud.

The area outside the town is endowed with rich soil suitable for agriculture.

The main crops grown in the region include mangoes, cassava, maize, millet, sorghum, beans and vegetables.

Livestock rearing is also a common economic activity in the area.

The main livestock reared in the area include goats, cattle, sheep, and chicken.

Beekeeping is also a major economic activity in the area. 

Many economic activities go on within the town. For example, the town is filled with general stores, hardware stores, and markets that sell foodstuff.

Mining is also a common economic activity in Sultan Hamud, though its small scale.

Some of the minerals mined in this region include kyanite, Goethite, Ilmenite and Microcline, including gypsum and limestone (raw material for cement production).

Social Amenities in Sultan Hamud

A. Schools

Sultan Hamud has numerous private and public primary, and secondary schools.

Check out all of them here. 

It also has several colleges, such as:

  • Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC)
  •  Eastgulf College
  •  P.C.E.A Kibini Teachers Training College, etc.

B. Hospitals

Sultan Hamud has several public and private hospitals, such as Sultan Hamud Sub District Hospital, Hospital Sultan Hamud, and Sultan Hamud Sub County Hospital. 

C. Road Network

Besides the Nairobi-Mombasa highway passing through the town, Sultan Hamud has a road network within the town, though the leadership needs to work on the roads.

They are dilapidated and most are dusty. 

D. Stadiums and Arenas 

There is no modern stadium or arena in the town.

You can only get football fields there, such as Sultan Hamud Football Club field, Sultan Hamud Railways Football Club field and so on.

Best Places to Stay in Sultan Hamud

You can visit or stay in hotels there and enjoy their cuisine.

Examples of the best hotels to visit or stay in include:

You can book an Airbnb for your stay in Sultan Hamud

Because Sultan Hamud receives tourists from the nearby Tsavo national park and many track drivers like to spend the night in the town, many AirBnBs have sprung up in the nearby towns. Examples of AirBnBs nearby include:

Things to Do & See In Sultan Hamud

Here are the fun things to do in Sultan Hamud:

H. Hiking at Mt Kalambweni

If you love Trekking adventures, Kalambweni Hills in Sultan Hamud, Makueni County, is the best destination for you.

Another great hiking destination is Ol Muntus situated near Sultan Hamud.

II. Visit the Tsavo East National Park

Sultan Hamud is located close to Tsavo National Park, which is one of the largest national parks in Kenya.

The park is known for its wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards and buffalos.

The park also has a beautiful landscape to marvel at.

III. Explore the town

Sultan Hamud is a small town, but it has a few local markets and shops where you can buy souvenirs and try local foods.

The town is also a good place to observe the local way of life and interact with the friendly locals.

IV. Visit the Akamba Cultural Centre

 The Akamba Cultural Centre is a museum that showcases the culture and traditions of the Kamba people, who are the local tribe in the area.

You can learn about the history and customs of the Kamba people and see traditional artifacts and crafts.

V. Take a safari

There are several safari companies in the area that offer game drives in Tsavo National Park.

A safari is a great way to see the wildlife up close and learn about the local culture and traditions.

VI. Hike at Ngulia Hills

The Ngulia Hills is a beautiful range of hills located in the western part of Tsavo National Park.

The hills offer scenic views of the park, and visitors can enjoy a hike in the area.

VII. Explore the Mzima Springs

Mzima Springs is a natural spring located in Tsavo National Park.

The spring is home to hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species.

You can walk along a nature trail to observe the wildlife and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Sultan Hamud Controversies


Sultan Hamud is prone to flooding after heavy rains, causing the nearby river to burst its banks.

This usually leads to cutting off the Nairobi-Mombasa Road, resulting in massive traffic snarl-ups, forcing motorists to spend the night on the highway.

These incidents happened in 2017 and 2018. 


Prostitution is a booming business in Sultan Hamud because of the number of truck drivers that spend the night in the town.

The average number of trucks stopping in the town is 60, with the average number of sex workers standing at 350. 


Sultan Hamud road is a black spot.

Every year, reports of accidents involving buses, cars and trucks are reported in that area.

 In fact, Nation Newspaper listed it among the 70 black spots in Kenya.

Recap: Quick Facts about Sultan Hamud

  • Sultan Hamud is a town located in Kajiado County. It is situated approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Nairobi and is located along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway. 
  • The town has a population of around 9,000 people and is known for its agriculture and livestock farming, particularly the cultivation of maize and beans. 
  • It has several schools, hospitals, and a police station. 
  • The nearby Tsavo East National Park is a popular tourist destination for visitors to the area.
  • The fun things you can do in Sultan Hamud include hiking, biking, cycling, and visiting the nearby Tsavo national park.
Kenyalogue Contributor


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