- Written by Kenya Safari Hub
Kisumu City, Kenya
Kisumu City is home to Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater lake. Lake Victoria is about the size of Ireland, covering an expansive 67850 sq km and forming a natural boundary between the 3 East African Countries of Kenya Uganda and Tanzania.
Kenya’s share of lake Victoria is the smallest at 3785 sq km. The lake is also the source of the River Nile and boasts of sandy beaches and many small islands. Kisumu is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, on the Kenyan side.
It is largely known as the city of the Luo tribe, who are in turn known throughout East Africa for their love for fish-eating. The Luo are an ethnic group found largely on the shores of lake Victoria, northern Tanzania and Eastern Uganda. They are part of a larger group of nilotic people who inhabit an area in the present Southern Sudan. Some prominent Luo personalities are Barack Obama Snr and Raila Amolo Odinga.
To the south fishing villages line Lake Victoria towards the broad waters of Homa Bay. This area is home to Ruma National Park, a small but attractive park with much unique species.The best way to appreciate the beauty of this region is on the lake itself. The sun shines brightly, and gentle breezes rise from the water.
Major Towns Near Kisumu Town
Other towns close to Kisumu are Kisii at a distance of 120 kms, Kakamega – 80kms, Bondo – 60kms, Homa Bay – 195kms, Migori – 220 kms , Kericho 85kms, Eldoret 80kms .
Getting to Kisumu City from Nairobi
Kisumu is about 350 kilometres ( 217miles ) from Nairobi by road, passing through the town of Nakuru and Kericho. It is about 5 hours drive. Major bus companies ply this route on a regular basis daily basis during the day and also at night.
There are also regular flights to Kisumu airport from Nairobi and Mombasa. Flights between Nairobi and Kisumu takes about 1 hour. Further, the Kisumu airport has been upgraded to an international. This up-grade is expected to boost commerce and enhance trade and travel for everyone. Business people and other travelers will be able to travel into and out of Nairobi without having to fly through Nairobi.
Hotels in and around Kisumu
As Kisumu has grown in size and population a large number of hotels have popped up; Some of the hotels in Kisumu are listed below:
Duke of Breeze
New victoria hotel
Le Savanna Hotel
Things To Do and Places To Visit in Kisumu
Unlike many local museums, Kisumu Museum is an interesting and often informative place. The displays are wide ranging and most are well presented, though some could use some light. There is a very good collection of traditional everyday items used by the region's various peoples, including agricultural implements, bird and insect traps, food utensils, clothing, furniture, weapons and musical instruments.
There is also a fairly motley collection of stuffed birds and animals, including an amazing airborne lion mauling a wildebeest. Outside, a traditional Luo homestead has been constructed, consisting of the husband's thatched mud-house and separate houses for the wives.
Ndere Island National Park
Gazetted as the Ndere Island National Park in 1986, tourism to this small 4.2-sq-km island has never taken off. It is forested and very beautiful, housing a variety of bird species, plus hippos, impalas (introduced) and spotted crocodiles, a lesser-known cousin of the larger Nile crocodile. Tsetse flies can be problematic after the rains.
Unfortunately there is nowhere to stay and chartered boats are your only option to get there. Kisumu Beach Resort charters 20 passenger boats, with typical return trips taking five hours (including three hours on shore) - keep an eye out for hippos en route.
On the road to Dunga is Kenya Wildlife Service's 1-sq-km Impala Sanctuary. Besides being home to a small impala herd, it also provides important grazing grounds for local hippos. You will find a pleasant nature trail and a not so pleasant animal orphanage
Grassy and palm-laden Hippo Point sticks into Lake Victoria at Dunga, about 3km south of town, and is a pleasant spot to head for, though you're not guaranteed to see any hippos. There also used to be a cool restaurant here, but it burnt down years ago. If reconstruction maintains its current pace, it will reopen March 18, 2073.
Widlife Safaris Starting From Kisumu
It is possible to do a wildlife safari to Masai Mara Game reserve from Kisumu. This is a 3 day safari to Masai Mara that starts from Kisumu. Other attractive safari destinations accessible from the city are Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Baringo and Bogoria in the Rift Valley and even the Serengeti National park in Tanzania.
For tailor-made travel and safari services in Kisumu, email us here
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Vernon and Nancy Hawthorne
Jul 12, 2012