Kisumu City, Kenya Destinations

Kisumu City Publice Park, Kenya Destinations 

 Kisumu was formerly called Port Florence and was a landing point on the British flying boat passenger and mail route from Southampton England to Cape Town. Today Kisumu has a population about a half million people making it the third largest town in Kenya and the primary city of western Kenya.  Kisumu has been named the first Millennium City in Africa by the United Nations placing it in the forefront of diplomatic and economic reforms to become a ‘model’ aimed at bettering life in Central and Eastern Africa.

The proximity to Lake Victoria gives the town a special feel and it is fascinating to wander along the shoreline to explore the daily life of the people here. In the afternoon the wind will often pick up over the lake and a welcome breeze can be felt along the shores. Most of the year Kisumu experiences a sweltering heat but during the rainy seasons from March to May and from October to December the weather pattern is prone to strong shifts and sometimes storms occur on the lake and strong winds can cool down things considerably near the shores.

Kisumu is the stronghold of the Luo tribe and Siaya District, not far from Kisumu, became the centre of attention as the American President Barack Obama was elected, as his father was a Luo and came from this part of Kenya. Sarah Hussein Obama, grandmother of U.S. President Barack Obama, now enjoys numerous visits to her house in the village of Kogelo, near the shores of Lake Victoria, and the inauguration of President Obama was celebrated all over Kenya.

Kisumu is a quite pleasant city and there is a much more relaxed atmosphere with much less traffic than in Nairobi. In Kisumu you can enjoy some of the local fish – the tilapia, cooked with tasty spices and served with either ugali – a maize porridge that is the stable food in most of Kenya, rice or chapatis.

A good place for spotting birds is the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary which is a small patch of forest right within the city where you can see impalas and they also have some cages with a leopard, hyena, baboons and other wildlife. Also of interest is the Kisumu Museum which features a display of local traditional customs and crafts. Outside there is a traditional Luo homestead consisting of the husband’s mud and thatch home and separate houses for each wife.

There are numerous small villages around Lake Victoria of interest to the traveler. Dunga Beach, a small fishing village is a wonderful place to experience the traditional lifestyle of the Kisumu fishermen.  Setting out in a canoe or motorized boats early in the morning is a great way to experience Lake Victoria and contrary to many other places in Kenya there are no park fees. The bird list around Kisumu City and Lake Victoria exceeds 100 species and also there are monitor lizards, hippos and sometimes Giant Otters along the lakeshore so remember to bring your camera and a pair of binoculars.

Some excellent fishing trips on the lake or even trips to visit Ndere Island National Park can be arranged. Other fascinating and idyllic islands in the lake such as Rusinga Island, Mfangano Island and Takawiri Island can be visited on boat trips. Kisumu City is also the main hub for visiting other places in Western Kenya such as Kakamega Forest, Mount Elgon, Saiwa Swamp, Kit Mikaye, Siaya, Kericho, Kisii and Uganda.

Among the best places to visit from Kisumu City is a 4x4 Landover or landcruiser trip to the Masai Mara game preserve where you can see lions, elephants, zebras, wildebeest, monkeys, baboons, giraffes and much more wild-life grazing and roaming in natural habitat. Local markets are available with African wood and Kisii soapstone carvings, woven baskets, crafts, clothing and jewelry.

 Why Visit Kisumu City, Kenya.

  • Visit a city on the shores of Lake Victoria.
  • Take a boat ride around the lake and discover its beauty.
  • See, experience and learn about the local Luo community their life style and way of life.
  • Visit some of Lake Victoria's Unique idyllic Islands by boat or air.
  • Fish for Tilapia, Nile Perch and other fish found on the lake.
  • Experience the local culinary delicacies.
  • Shop for African wood and Kisii soapstone carvings, woven baskets, crafts, clothing and jewelry.
  • Take some time to visit some of the unique attractions found in the area.
  • Visit Kogelo the ancestral home of the United States President Barack Obama near the shore of Lake Victoria.

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