Kisumu City – 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.
Set on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya’s Western Tourism Circuit, Kisumu city is a destination not only for business travelers but also for tourists. It is easily accessible by road, the recently revived meter gauge railway and by air through Kisumu International Airport, which is about 10 minutes from Kisumu’s Central Business District.
For those who would like to do a combination of Kenya’s wildlife safari with Gorilla Tracking in Uganda, air travel is possible for your onward travel to Uganda from Masai Mara to Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport via Kisumu on a daily basis through Air Kenya. Connections to Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo can be done by road through the Busia border point between Kenya and Uganda.
Kisumu is beautiful and you will get plenty of breath-taking shots especially if you know where to look. Spectacular photos of the sunset in Kisumu may not be enough to so you need to keep your eyes open for other reason to visit Kisumu.
Having graced some modernity, Kisumu still maintains the old town feel especially on its outskirts and the fusion of the Asian and Luo culture is still very ingrained.
Excursions and Safaris from Kisumu City – In Kenya, wildlife viewing remains the most popular activity for first time visitors and Kisumu isn’t an exception when it comes to showing what Kenya has to offer. Minutes away from the city, is the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, and as per its name, it hosts herds of impalas,, and over 200 species of birds. There are also other animals including lions, zebras, cheetahs, buffaloes, baboons, hyenas, leopards, jackals, Duikers and Bush Bucks.
Away from the city, Western Kenya’s only terrestrial park, Ruma hosts plenty of animals including Roan Antelope, Black and White Rhinos, Rothschild’s Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Oribi, Vervet Monkeys, Burchell’s Zebra, Topi, Impalas and over 300 bird species amongst others.
Ruma park is tucked away in valley with the rolling savannahs on the base of the towering Kanyamwa escarpment and the magnificent Gwassi Hills. Back to Kisumu, Ndere Island National Park is popular with nature lovers thanks to the good network of nature trails. On a guided nature walk, it’s possible to watch hippos, impalas, crocodiles, Burchell’s Zebra, Impalas, and plenty of birds both by boat and on foot.
While at Hippo point, you can enjoy a boat ride as you view the birds and hippos in their natural habitats.
Hippo point is quite popular during the holidays and weekends, when foe, friends, and merry-makers from other parts of the country gather for the sunset or simply for the local delicacies. It is the ideal getaway in the outskirts of Kisumu.
The lakeshore supports hundreds of animals, including Nile Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, snakes, hippos, impalas, baboons, waterbucks, zebras, warthogs, and the rare Sitatunga antelopes.
You can also view over 180 bird species here, including the Pied Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kite, Hammerkop, Grey Headed Kingfishers, African Fish Eagles, Black Headed Gonoleks, Little Egret and the unmistakable African Fish Eagle.
Dunga Beach and Wetlands aim to empower the local community and improve the security of this region through bird watching and other tourism-related income-generating activities.
You can undertake many activities from boating, birdwatching, kayaking, village tour and even fishing.
Dunga offers some of the best fish-eating experiences around Kisumu as you enjoy the cool lake breeze.
With Spot-necked Otters, bold Monitor Lizards, the energetic pods and over 200 bird species along it shore the lake offers some of the best outdoor alternatives while you are in Kisumu.
The best way to explore to enjoy Lake Victoria on a motorized boat. Your itinerary can be designed in a manner that you could explore the lakeshore or hip-hop on various island while trying your luck with fishing. The calmness of the lake is best at dawn time till mid-morning before the strong winds pick up for the rest of the day.
It the tallest rock structure in the Kangeso locality standing at about 80 feet while resembling a lady with a load on her back.
The cultural shrine has lots of myths and stories surrounding, and you will be amazed to hear these folklores and even get a chance to visit the caves. They area often used as worshiping sites of the Legio Maria and other denominations.
You can also accompany the fishermen for the authentic sight of night-fishing off the easily accessible Rusinga Island. The fishing expedition is best under the darkness among thousands of paraffin lanterns creating a mythical floating city in the night as fisher cast and pull their nets of Omena fish attracted to Lake Victoria’s flies.
Kisumu, Kenya’s only lakeside has many popular attractions. Set on the sloping shore of Lake Victoria’s Winam Gulf, Kisumu is the third-largest city in Kenya, but with relaxed atmosphere compared to Nairobi and Mombasa.
Kisumu is a thriving city, and though it was declared a city during its centenary celebrations in 2001, it remains a pleasantly laid-back place with a number of interesting sights and activities nearby.
The Town Clock was erected in memory of Kassim Lakha, who came to East Africa in 1871 and died in Uganda in 1910. It was built by his sons Rahimtulla, Hassan, Alibhai, and Mohamed Kassim, as the writing on the clock reads.
In Egypt, the talk about the Nile River is big yet Nile waters comes from Lake Victoria that seems to be our ordinary backyard. In Kenya’s former western province lies the beautiful Lake Victoria. This vast lake is twice the size of Wales and creates a natural boundary between Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.
The lake is the engine of the African continent and the origin of the amazing Nile River. This considerable body of water is full of fish, with shimmering shoals of beautiful cichlids and large Nile Perch.
Fishing brings many people to this lake, primarily to search for Nile Perch, a world-class game.
The primary features of the museum include a collection of fauna and flora species the western region.
The main notable animals include amphibians and reptiles collected from western Kenya. You also experience a traditional Luo homestead and other traditional artefacts from the Luo and other communities within the rgion.
Kisumu museum is also an excellent destination for local and international workshops and seminars. Attached to the museum are a few monuments and sites of historical importance, including the Kanjira, Rusinga Islands, Fort Tenan, Thimlich Ohinga, and Songhor.
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.
In Kisumu, tourists can access a variety of activities that are quite engaging. One can avail a classic bike ride offered by local canoe boat operators. You can also indulge in cycling around the city when you have time. Kisumu also offer walking tours along with different scenic sections. Moreover, for fitness enthusiasts, it is a smart way to exercise their legs. Travelers can even hire other modes of transport such as bodaboda bikes or tuk-tuk.
For all the nocturnal animals who wish to stomp the dance floor, there are several clubs and lounges in Kisumu city, which can be visited. The nightlife is very alluring that will allow the tourists and natives to acquire an excellent feel of the Luo Benga and Rhumba music alike. Live bands also perform at some of the locations creating a gripping feel of the lakeside city.
For those who have an eye for shopping, the city has several open-air markets and malls. These are as basic as the popular flea markets of Oile and Kibuye which are accessed by locals as well as tourists. Kibuye market is crowded with buyers mainly on Sundays; you can easily bargain for a good deal on a wide variety of items. This market is mainly known for its cheap second-hand clothing where you can try what is trending locally. If you have a taste for food, you can also explore the numerous green groceries section of the market and learn some lessons about the regions agricultural produce.