5 Top Reasons to Visit Kisumu – Kenya’s Only Lakeside City lying on the northeastern shore of Lake Victoria, Kisumu also well known as Kisumo, is Kenya’s only lakeside city. The city serves the commercial, industrial, and transportation hub of western Kenya, serving a hinterland populated by almost four million people.
This is the third-largest city in Kenya after the capital, Nairobi, and the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu is also the only lakeside city by the shores of the world’s largest freshwaters of Lake Victoria. Being the economic hub of Western Kenya, Kisumu isn’t far from Kogelo, a village known for being the hometown of Barack Obama Sr., the father to the 44th president of the United States.
Culturally, Kisumu serves as the headquarters of the Luo-speaking people of East Africa. It was the most prominent urban center in the pre-colonial, post-colonial, and modern era for natives of the Kavirondo region.
The lakeside city has some of the most significant political events that have shaped the trajectory of Kenya have happened in Kisumu including the famous political spat between the founding president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta and founding vice president Jaramogi Odinga during the opening of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in 1969.
Apart from being an important political city, it is one of the premier industrial and commercial centers in Kenya. The city is currently undergoing an urban rejuvenation of the downtown and lower town which includes modernizing the lakefront, decongesting main streets, and making the streets pedestrian-friendly.
Known for its spectacular photos of the sunrise and sunset, the lakeside city of Kisumu calls for more than a couple of days during your visitation. From its humid temperate climate to its laid-back city life where its community is well reputed for its warm hospitality, Kisumu offers more than just an urban city.
Having accepted some modernization over the years, Kisumu still maintains that the old town feels charmed especially on the outskirts and the culture is still very much ingrained. If you are looking beyond its intriguing city life, then you won’t be disappointed by the available options.
Historically, and by some good margin, Kisumu has remained an important link in the trade route between Lake Victoria and Mombasa because of its water and rail connections with the neighboring countries notably Tanzania through its Mwanza Port and Uganda through Port Bell.
At an altitude of 1,134 meters above sea level, and covering 69,484 square km, Lake Victoria is the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, only exceeded in size by Lake Superior in North America.
With its greatly ascertained depth of about 85 meters, Lake Victoria is home to numerous archipelagos contained within the lake, as are some least known reefs, often just below the surface of the clear waters. From a collection of more than 84 islands commonly known as the Ssese Islands in Uganda to the largest island in Lake Victoria, the Ukerewe in Tanzania, and without forgetting the paleontologists’ paradise of Rusinga Island and the Rock Painting on the Mfangano Island both in Kenya.
For real nature lovers, the lake is home to over 220 bird species, plus more than 200 species of fish, a dozen of reptiles, and of course some dense papyrus reeds, especially around its so many river mouths. When the weather is fantastic, some of the most beautiful floating ‘cities’ can be witnessed against the star-studded African skies.
Having heavily dwelt on Kisumu’s main attraction, Lake Victoria we are sure that you have refreshed your geography well. We are very convinced that you must be asking what activities could be done in the lakeside city. Apart from being humid for the better part of the day the city itself is a very welcoming one. It’s known for the most friendly Luo community who will be more than willing to share with you the inside out from the best coffee cafes in the city to the open restaurants on the beach.
If you love fashion and design rest assured that the malls in the city have something to catch your eyes. Away from the malls, Kisumu has some very inviting street vendors where you can learn and enjoy bargaining for some of your treasured souvenirs. You are more than welcome to enjoy the city on a three-wheeler (Tu Tuk), take a stroll to some of the easily reachable attractions, cruise the lake on a boat if you want to capture the city from the lake and if your time permits, we can organize for you more excursions out of the city for the day.
Attractions that are not to be missed include lakeside’s numerous shopping malls, the spectacular viewpoints at Dunga Hill Camp and Hippo Point. The populous community experience at Dunga Beach, the flea market of Kibuye and, Oile, Kisumu Museum with its fantastic display of artifacts related to the people of the lake region and the nearby highlands, the intriguing Dunga Community Boardwalk situated in Dunga swamp. If you have time a stroll to the breathtaking Riat Hills will give you some bird’s eye view of Kisumu. You may also spend a moment with nature while on foot at the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary that shelters herds of impalas and zebras alongside other wildlife the city’s. Further in the field just outside Kisumu, the nearby Kit Mikaye and Ndere Island National Park, fisherfolk communities alongside the many beaches on the shores of Lake Victoria and without missing the equator point at Maseno. Talk to us for a lakeside city experience Read more
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