6 Reasons Why You Should Explore Western Kenya – If you are requested to choose one between dancing with the setting sun and following the trails of the migrating wildebeest… What would you choose? Welcome to Western Kenya! Like I have said so many times that this is Western Kenya and not Wasted Kenya

To those of you, who think that Western Kenya is the bottom-end destination, be advised politely once again. It isn’t. In fact, Sarova Group of hotel acquired the former Imperial Hotel Kisumu and we can’t wait to taste Sarova’s warmth and expertise for the first time in Western Kenya. Sarova isn’t cheap at all and equally, it isn’t expensive too. I am honored to say that they will help to shape up the hospitality sector in this part of the world where sometimes we get the worst when it comes to service but we just have to swallow our pride by keeping quiet.

Back to the broader Western Kenya as a guest. Would you consider this side of Kenya first before other parts of the same Magical Kenya country? Believe me, I could have chosen not to respond to my very own question but I remain contented that it doesn’t require a straight answer right away.

Geographically, like the tiers of a great amphitheater, Western Kenya slopes away from Nairobi, the premier wildlife parks, a channel of lakes in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, and the traditionally touristic coastal belt where every beach spot translates to the same language to any investor who thinks that the returns shall always remain to be lucrative.

Let’s be honest for a day as we fall in love with the rising sun. Usually, it rises from the east so let’s begin our 800 km or so while we follow the sun for it to set… Yes, this is what makes Western Kenya an awesome destination. Past the vast floor of the Great Rift Valley to the vast tea field of Kericho where sipping a cup of freshly brewed tea is worth the stopover.

Down the escarpment, the stage is set for Lake Victoria for as far as your eyes can meet the horizons. On the other side, Nandi Hills stands like a sentinel overlooking the Kavirondo plains below. From these escarpments of the Great Rif Valley, rivers are rushing and swamps are formed as they snake their way into the world’s second-largest freshwater, Lake Victoria.  

Should you cut your way and either head towards Eldoret, you would still meet the Mau and Elgeyo escarpments. This region of dense agricultural farms, rolling green valleys, with fast gushing rivers and waterfalls, pockets of thick jungle, and fog-hugging hills is one of the parts of the country least known by old and even the new travelers equally.

Western Kenya is more accessible than the far north, or even some of the major parks in the country of Magical Kenya, but major tour operators have contributed to utilizing our good infrastructure only while their guests are in transit.

Just a quick reminder about why you should come to Western Kenya. It’s possible and in fact even quicker to reach the world’s famous Masai Mara from Kisumu. It also takes a much shorter time to visit Tanzania’s game park the Serengeti and above all, from Kisumu which is a part and parcel of Western Kenya, you can still do your safari by road to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and even to the eastern part of the new EAC member the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Having put a few facts straight, let’s take a moment and appreciate that beyond Lake Victoria we have Takawiri, Rusinga, and Mfangano Islands just to mention a few. We also have the only island that’s a national park in Lake Victoria Kenya, Ndere Island the towering Gwassi and Gembe Hills, vast swamps, the equatorial rainforest of Kakamega, and the Nandi Forests among numerous rivers that all crisscross our beautiful Western Kenya countryside.

We all know about Mount Kenya and possibly Mount Kilimanjaro as much as the latter being in Tanzania. However, the good news is that the second-highest peak in Kenya is in western Kenya. Yes, this is Mount Elgon with its breathtaking waterfalls, overwhelming volcanic lava tubes, luxuriant forest, and the rare cave-going elephants.

Once you have conquered the peak of Mount Elgon, you will be motivated to explore even further.  Feel free to visit the Kakapel in Ateso land for the ancient rock paintings, the pyramid hills of Samia and climb the historical Ramogi Hills, visit the 44th US President Barack Obama, Grandparents’ home in Alego Kogelo and don’t forget to make a date with Kit Mikaye or enjoy taking photos at all equator signs in western Kenya. For your love for the water, sample some water sports at Lake Kanyaboli or do big fishing in Lake Victoria as you explore more rock paintings on Mfangano Island.

Further south a day or two in Ruma National Park won’t be in vain as the whole park could be just for you. Thanks to the low number of visitors who come here. You could still find your way to Lake Simbi for its nomadic flamingos or to Homa Hills for the hot springs and then a tour to the UNESCO Heritage site at Thim Lich Ohinga on your way to the soapstone artisans at Tabaka Kisii.

For those with unlimited time, the remote quiet beaches and the gigantic boulders that resemble Kit Mikaye are on your way if you are heading to the Serengeti in Tanzania or driving to the Masai Mara, Kenya through Muhuru Bay.

I am aware that most of my readers are already red marking all those small attractions that I didn’t mention. It’s well with me. I believe that if you also write what you know that I now don’t know because I have omitted them then, we could end up having a perfect Guide to Western Kenya. I choose to live it here as I look forward to showing you around soon #ExploreWesternKenyaWithOluokos  Please read more