Kisumu County is home to Kisumu City which is the third-largest city in Kenya. It’s also a port city that sits on the shores of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world). The county is rich in culture and unique tourist destinations. Here’s a list of the top 10 places to visit in Kisumu County.
1) The Hippo Point
The Hippo Point is located near Dunga village, only 3 km southwest of Kisumu City. It’s an open viewing point for the hippos of Lake Victoria. Besides seeing the hippos, there’s also a campsite and a fishing port in the area. You’ll also get to see one of the most breathtaking views of sunsets over the lake. It’s the ideal destination for picnics with friends and family and sundowners.
2) Kit Mikayi
Kit Mikayi is an eye-catching rock formation towering over the surrounding boulders. It’s found in Kangeso village, approximately 30 km from Kisumu City. Kit Mikayi means ‘Stone of the first wide’ in Luo language and it’s said the rocks pose like a woman with a load on her back. It’s a sacred site for the locals who frequent the area to pray. While there, you can climb the rocks and get a viewpoint of Lake Victoria and Kisumu City. There’s also a picnic site right next to the rocks.
3) Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is located approximately 3 km from Kisumu CBD and was set up to protect the threatened population of Impalas in that region. It’s one of the world’s smallest wildlife reserves but boasts of having all the big five except elephants. The sanctuary is also home to vervets, zebras, cheetahs, rare sitatunga antelopes, and a variety of birds and snakes. There are also 5 campsites on the grounds with the most spectacular views of Lake Victoria.
4) Ndere Island National Park
Ndere Island is a scenic island located off the northern shore of Lake Victoria. To get to the island, you take a 40-minute ride on a speed boat. The island is home to Ndere Island National Park which is a bird-watching paradise with over 100 different species of birds. The park is also home to hippos, impalas, baboons, monitor lizards, antelopes, waterbucks, and Nile crocodiles. You also get a majestic viewpoint of Homa Hills and Mageta Hills.
5) Dunga Beach
Dunga Beach is one of the more popular beaches in Kisumu, found on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria. It’s the ideal chilling destination that’s perfect for picnics and sundowners. You can also go for boat rides on the locals’ kayaks (at a small fee). There are numerous restaurants within the area that serve the most delicious fish at affordable prices.
6) Kiboko Bay
Kiboko is Swahili for hippos and the resort is named that way owing to the population of hippos in that part of the lake. Kiboko Bay has been consistently rated as one of the best resorts in Kisumu. It has the perfect blend of adventure and luxury. It’s also in close proximity to Impala Park, and Dunga fishing village. While staying in Kiboke Bay, you get to enjoy excellent service and accommodations, boat rides, and excursions to Dunga fishing village.
7) Kisumu Museum
The museum is located along the Kisumu-Kericho highway and features an elaborate gallery displaying the rich culture of the people of western Kenya, specifically the Luo. It’s in a garden setting with paths leading to traditional Luo homesteads that house traditional artifacts and elaborate descriptions about them. Then there’s the main museum building displaying numerous aquaria, life-like animal sculptures, and various species of butterflies. There’s also a snake park on site.
8) Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is found in Western Kenya and is shared by 3 East African countries; Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It’s Africa’s largest lake and the world’s second-largest freshwater lake. It’s home to a number of islands like Ndere Island and Rusinga Island. On its shores, you find picturesque sites like Kendu and Karungu bays. It’s a great destination to indulge in; boat riding, fishing, competitive water sports, and picnics.
9) Luanda Magere Site and Grave
Luanda Magere was a traditional Luo warrior who led the Luo community to numerous victories in battle. Legend has it that Luanda Magere could not be killed in battle unless someone stabbed his shadow. The site is in Sidho, 12 km off the Awasi-Chemelil road, and is said to be the place where Luanda Magere died. It’s a sacred site for the locals with some traveling from far to come to pray and perform rituals.
10) Kisumu Market
There are two major markets in Kisumu; Oile market and Kibuye market. Kibuye market makes up one of the biggest markets in East Africa. You can find almost anything there from groceries, fish, ground spices, suveniors, and second-hand clothes. It’s truly mind-blowing to experience the energy in these markets and definitely a place worth visiting.
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!