In Summary
  • Fearing British rule, the Boers used ox carts to move from South Africa to Kenya.
  • Some descendants of the Boer settlers still own land in Uasin Gishu.
  • Wagon Wheel Hotel is a symbol of how Eldoret was segmented between the Boers and British settlers.
  • It was built as a private members’ club for mainly senior railway staff as well as the Afrikaner farmers.

The link with Boer settlement and the influence of the British royalty forms the unique history and heritage of Eldoret, the industrial hub and tourist destination of the North Rift.

Most of the old buildings made of red bricks have retained their character in the town that came into being as a result of the occupation by Boers.

Fearing British rule, the Boers used ox carts to move from South Africa to Kenya.

A majority of the Boers — or Afrikaners — who arrived in Kenya settled in Uasin Gishu, occupying huge tracts of land for the purpose of agriculture.

RECREATION CLUBS

They built recreational clubs, among them Wagon Wheel Hotel, which has maintained its distinctive character since.

Built in 1926 on a three-acre parcel, Wagon Wheel Hotel is a symbol of how Eldoret was segmented between the Boers and British settlers.

While the Boers thronged Wagon Wheel Hotel for recreation on Northern Avenue, the British had Lincoln Hotel on Southern street in the town that was split into two by the now Uganda road.

Though the Boers left in the 1960s, the hotel remains as one of the oldest buildings in Eldoret and has retained its wagon shape feature.

PRIVATE CLUB

The hotel was built as a private members’ club for mainly senior railway staff as well as the Afrikaner farmers.

It has pictures of the wagons of the Great Treks — as the journeys from South Africa to Kenya were known then.

The dining area itself is in the shape of an elongated railway wagon with a looped roof.

“This dining room has a sitting capacity of 120. We have maintained it in its original form as it is our trademark,” says hotel manager Hesbon Kinuthia.

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