Homa Bay County covers an area of 3,183 sq km stretching over the planes between Mt. Homa and Lake Victoria. It’s a county with many natural attractions with a big chunk of the area covered by the waters of Lake Victoria. Next time you’re in Homa Bay, here are the top 10 places to visit.
1) Simbi Nyaima
Lake Simbi Nyaima is a crater lake found in Karachuonyo, Homa Bay. It was formed as a result of an earthquake accompanied by a volcanic eruption. The lake supports a substantial bird population that includes flamingoes and egrets. The locals also believe that the water from the lake has medical value. People have in the past claimed to have been cured after bathing in the lake.
2) Homa Hills Hot Springs
The Homa Hills Hot Springs are scenic and also so hot that it is said, you can build an egg there in less than 15 minutes. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind salt scum known as ‘bala’ in Luo language. ‘Bala’ is used by locals as salt for their livestock. You find it being transported and sold to livestock farmers across most of the western part of Kenya. Locals also believe that the water from the springs can treat skin diseases.
3) Mfangano & Rusinga Islands
Both of these islands are found in Lake Victoria. At Mfangano Island Camp, you can enjoy bird watching and sport fishing. You get fully equipped boats plus a guide to help you out. At Rusinga Island, there is the annual Rusinga Cultural Festival which is a two-day celebration of the culture of the Abasuba community. The festival is quite popular and is held on the last Thursday and Friday before Christmas.
4) Takawiri Island
The Mfangano Island comprises a group of islands, one of which is Takawiri Island. To get to the island, you can use a speedboat or a water bus from Mbita Point. The island is like a little piece of heaven with its tranquil atmosphere and a small stretch of white sandy beach. While on the island, you can; fish, swim, bird watch, and take boat rides around the Mfangano Islands.
5) Ruma National Park
Ruma National Park is found in Lambwe Valley, close to the shores of Lake Victoria. The park covers an area of 120 sq km and the topography consists of scenic hills, open grassland, and riverine forests. It was established to protect the rare roan antelope that are only found in this park in Kenya. The park is also home to buffalos, hyenas, leopards, impala, lions, and over 400 species of birds. The park is an ideal destination for camping, game viewing, and team-building activities.
6) Karungu and Sori towns
Karungu village is the home to Karungu Bay which was set up to become a port on Lake Victoria. In the late 1800s, malaria struck the village and halted the progress of the port. Soon after, Sori, a neighboring village, took over as the main market town. Both towns played significant roles in the area’s history and in 2001, the former Government Rest house in Sori was declared a national monument.
7) Abasuba Community Peace Museum
The museum was established in 2000, in Ramba, Waware, Suba North district, Homa Bay. Over the years, the Abasuba have been assimilated by the Luo and so, through a community initiative, the museum was set up to protect and promote the culture and heritage of the Abasuba community. The museum serves as a hub to learn the history and culture of the Abasuba.
8) Mawanga Rock Art
Mawanga Rock Art is one of the main rock art sites in the Lake Victoria basin and is found on Mfangano Islands, a few meters from Mawanga village. The rock art consists of geometrical paintings that were made somewhere between 2,000 to 4,000 years ago by the Twa hunter-gatherers who inhabited the place. It’s a unique look at how communities of the past used to live. Another rock art site you can explore on the island is the Kwitane Rock Art Site.
9) Kanjera Archeological Site
Kanjera Archeological Site is a prehistoric site found on the southern side of the Winam Gulf. Excavation on the site began in 1989 and since then, several pieces of evidence pointing to early human activity in the area have been found. Some of the items found include animal fossils and stone tools.
10) Tom Mboya Mausoleum
The late Tom Mboya was an independence hero and a brilliant son of the land who spearheaded the negotiations for Kenya’s independence from the British. The mausoleum was built two years after Tom Mboya was assassinated in 1969. In 2001, it was gazetted as a national monument in honor of the Kenyan Hero. It contains pictures and other memorabilia that he collected during his travels and political career.
I am a charismatic 23-year-old student at the University of Nairobi. I enjoy traveling be it planned or impromptu. I also enjoy partying. I'll be there with a drink in my cup all through the night, chasing the sun. Life's too short not to choose the fast lane. Carpe diem!