Western Kenya Attractions

Western Kenya attractions, include Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and a National Park host to the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelope.

Saiwa Swamp National Park

This lies not far from Mount Elgon and was created primarily for the protection of the rare Sitatunga Antelope, the Saiwa Swamp National Park is a perfect example of how a small area can survive as a complete ecological entity. The semi-aquatic Sitatunga relying on a swamp habitat has evolved to survive in such conditions and despite the minute size of Saiwa Swamp National Park, it seems certain to continue to thrive there. The Sitatunga is a swamp-dwelling antelope found in Central and East Africa. It is about one and a half meters tall and has a water-proof coat that is dark brown in males and reddish brown in females. Their hooves are long and thin to cope with the Sitatunga’s swampy habitat. Males have a mane as well as horns, which are twisted and can reach almost a meter in length. Other small numbers of Sitatunga in Kenya are being conserved in Lewa. The Sitatunga at Saiwa Swamp National Park is sufficiently numerous to ensure seeing them. In addition, there are De Brazza, Colobus and Velvet monkeys and an exciting variety of birds. Some 250 species have been noted in this small area. No vehicles are allowed in the park so this is another bonus as it is one of the few parks in which walking is permitted or in this case mandatory. Saiwa Swamp National Park has over 15 kilometers of walking trails. It also has four observation towers, where African Mecca guests have a bird’s eye view of the swamp. There are platforms built into trees overlooking the swamp, provided of course, for Sitatunga watchers but also a splendid perch in which to contemplate nature’s glory. There are several home stay accommodation experiences in the area.

Lake Kanyaboli

This is located at the north-eastern corner of Lake Victoria. It is one of the most important riparian satellite lakes around Lake Victoria. Lake Kanyaboli is part of the Yala swamp, which forms the mouth of both Rivers Nzoia and Yala. The lake is a freshwater deltaic wetland arising from backflow of water from Lake Victoria as well as the rivers’ floodwaters. It provides a very important habitat for refugee populations of certain fish species, which have otherwise disappeared from Lake Victoria.

Ndere Island

This is a small island in Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria in Kenya. It was gazetted as the Ndere Island National Reserve in November 1986 and has since that time been uninhabited. Ndere means “meeting place” in Dholuo. According to Luo folklore, early tribal migrants rested up near Ndere after their long journey south up the Nile River Valley. They found the lush shoreline so pleasing that they stayed. Notable fauna associated with the island include African fish eagles, swifts, hippopotamus, the rare Sitatunga, Nile crocodiles and is a breeding ground for many species of fish. About fifty impalas have been introduced to the island. According to the Luo folklore, Kit Mikayi, mother of the tribe, rested up near Ndere after her long journey south down the Nile valley. She found the lush shorelines so pleasing that she and her people stayed. Dotted with walking tracks, the island offers a panoramic view of the main land and the lake. Hiking, walking, camping, team building, bird watching and boat rides, picnicking are some of the possible indulgencies in the park.

Mbita Point

This is a rural community in the province of Nyanza, Kenya, on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is home to the Thomas Odhiambo campus of the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). The main income generating activity in Mbita is presently fishing, but tourism is becoming a new trade as the road connection to the rest of the country is being improved. There is a tourist resort on the beach about 3 km to the south of the town, Lake Victoria Safari Village. Ruma National Park is 40 minutes drive from Mbita. A causeway links Mbita to nearby Rusinga Island.

Ruma National Park

The park was established (initially as the Lambwe Valley Game Reserve) to protect its indigenous population of rare roan antelope, which exist nowhere else in Kenya. It lies on the flat floor of the seasonally watered Lambwe River Valley and is the last refuge of the roan antelope, one of Africa’s rarest antelopes and the third largest of Kenya’s antelopes (Korongo in Swahili). This is a large, grey antelope with distinctive black and white face. The park is a mosaic of landscapes ranging from riverine woodland and rolling savannah to magnificent escarpments and towering cliffs. Ruma’s bird life is exceptional. The park is also the only protected are in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant is regularly recorded. Blue swallows, which depend upon moist grassland for both feeding and roosting, arrive in Kenya from their breeding grounds in Southern Tanzania around April and depart again in September. Ruma offers the visitors an opportunity to see various wildlife species including the Rothschild’s giraffe, serval cat, hyena, impala, vervet monkey, roan antelope, Oribi, Bohor reedbuck, leopard, buffalo, Jackson’s hartebeest. The roan antelope, Oribi and Jackson’s hartebeest are easily spotted in Ruma than anywhere else in Kenya. Easily spotted snake species include the African spitting cobra, forest cobra, eastern green mamba, black-mouthed mamba and puff adder.

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

Mostly referred to as Kisumu City’s best kept secret, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is situated on the gently sloping shores of Lake Victoria. The sanctuary is a holding area for animals which require special protection in this densely populated area. The sanctuary whose previous focus was on a small herd of impala has now undergone a massive make over and now boasts of a variety of new species which include caged lions, leopard, cheetah, baboons, hyena, jackals, bush duikers, buffalo and roaming zebra. This attraction now includes a sundowner terrace overlooking the lake and several picnic sites. These sites are suitable for parties, photo shoots, team building & small corporate events. The State House Lodge campsite situated within a fortified royalty includes modern amenities that will ensure you have comfort.