Eldoret is a town in western Kenya and the administrative centre of Uasin Gishu District of Rift Valley Province. Lying south of the Cherangani Hills
, the local elevation varies from about 2100 metres above sea level at the airport to more than 2700 metres in nearby areas (7000–9000 feet). The population was 193,830 in 1999 (census), is the fastest growing town, and currently the 5th largest in Kenya.
The name "Eldoret" is based on the Maasai word "eldore" meaning "stony river" because the bed of the nearby Sosiani River is very stony. The white settlers decided to call it Eldoret to make it easier for them to pronounce it. At start of the colonial era, the area was occupied by the Nandi, before that by the Maasai and before that the Sirikwa.
The town is now home to a large market, Moi University and Eldoret International Airport. It is also known for its cheese factory. Major industries include textiles, wheat, pyrethrum and corn. The town has a number of factories.
Eldoret is home to Moi University with a student population of 14,855 as of 2006. The second medical school in Kenya, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), is also located in within the city limits of Eldoret Town.
Eldoret Polytechnic, the third national polytechnic, is also located in the town.
Eldoret is the hometown of numerous legendary Kenyan runners, the most renowned of whom is Kipchoge Keino. The high altitude is an ideal training ground for many middle and long distance athletes. The runners from Eldoret have contributed significantly to the economy of Eldoret town from their winnings in races all over the world.
Eldoret is also surrounded by a very agricultural area, and for this reason is home to many farmers, some of whom carry a lot of political and economic clout, including the Kibogys and the Chemwenos.