Top 24 Kisumu Daytrips and Safaris

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.

Kisumu City Daytrips and Safaris

Top Kisumu Tourist Attractions

On the Oginga Odinga street, a tall clock stands on the roundabout of the road. It was unveiled in 1938 by the then Commander-in-chief and governor of Kenya, HE Chief Marshall Sir Robert Brooke Popham.

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.

Africa’s largest lake and it will be a sacrilege if you don’t visit the lake while you are around. Visiting Lake Victoria isn’t just for anything else, remember the fact that Lake Victoria ranks highly in plenty of Lake Statistics even on a global scale. Amongst others, it is the world’s largest tropical water body and the largest lake by surface area in Africa. With these mentions, visiting Lake Victoria should come with some prestige and appreciation to geography and history.

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.

 

Kogelo, also known as Nyang’oma Kogelo is a rural village in Alego – Siaya District, Nyanza Province, Kenya. It is located near the equator, 40 kilometers West-Northwest of Kisumu City, and the provincial capital. After a visit to the dispensary proceed to the Kogelo market, Kogelo primary school, and Senator Barack Obama Secondary School. You will then enter Sarah Obama’s home behind the secondary school if permitted.  

Kogelo is the ancestral home of Barack Obama, Senior the father of the former United States President, Barack Obama. Barack Obama Senior was buried in the village. Some of their family members, including his paternal grandmother Sarah Anyango Obama, still live in the home. In the homestead, you will find both the grave sites of  Barack Obama Senior and his father. 

Is situated along the Kisumu – Kericho highway. Opened in 1980, the museum disseminates and stores information on scientific and cultural issues, emphasizing Kisumu County and the neighbouring western Kenya.

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.

Kisumu city has a rich history, with ‘Port Florence’ dating back to the start of the 1900. The communities living around the lake have maintained aspects of their culture and learning about it all is an interesting experience. Points of interest where you can learn about the culture include the Kisumu Museum where attributes of the people including dressing, housing, food and farming, fishing and hunting tools are exhibited.

Further afield, a visit to Kit Mikayi, Luanda Magere Site and Grave and Kogelo Village (birthplace of President Barack Obama’s father) are also quite popular day excursions. The prehistoric sites at Fort Songhor and the Kanjira Prehistoric site and hot springs (Bala Rawi) where you can boil eggs might also be of interest to you if your time permits.

Apart from wildlife such as the big five and others that you can find around Kisumu and its environment, birds do exist in plenty. Birding has become a popular past time for those in the know but has started to pick up of late as more and more guests flock to the region for its affordability and unique experiences of flexibility that come with it.

Kenya is home to over 1100 species of birds, and a good number of these birds can be seen around Kisumu and its surrounding environments. over half of which can easily be seen over a period of two weeks on a birdwatching tour of Kenya, making it one of the best birdwatching destinations in the world! The third capital of Kenya, Kisumu, is home to over 250 bird species, a lot of which are easily spotted if you’re at the right place, the right time and of course with the right safari company Oluokos Signature!

Every year between April and May, the lush swamps around Lake Victoria become a central breeding ground for a throng of bird species especially, the passerines. Among the most notable species are the breeding colonies of cranes, herons, storks, cormorants and egret, which are among the numerous species, which flock the Kisumu waterfront especially at Dunga.

On our Kisumu Day Birding itineraries, we shall be visiting some of our elaborative handpicked birding hotspots that are located on the shores of Lake Victoria, the world’s largest fresh-water lake.

By using the most convenient means of transportation, we will explore local riparian zone and look for its birdlife for our major target species. On foot, motorized boats or taking short distance drives we will enjoy the best that the lake region has to offer.

Our chosen bird trails offer opportunities not only for birding but also for bird photography, wildlife viewing, cultural interactions and mind-soothing nature walks. Please engage us further for more details.

MICE tourism has grown in popularity for the fact that conferences and some business meetings are more effective away from their usual locations. Different environments inspire people to focus and be more productive, and Kisumu isn’t an exception when it comes to offering such environment. With plenty of hotels and affordable conference packages the lakeside city welcomes you not only for the business, but also on accommodation, excursions during and after your business, and finally on a well-planned lake Western Kenya Safari.

Kisumu being a lakeside city with Lake Victoria at it backyard offers many cool waterfront points, although most are undeveloped but this shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not enjoying what Kisumu city attractions. The tranquillity that you deserve will find you on most of the beaches whether in the city or in the outskirts. A cool refreshing breeze from Lake Victoria will help you rejuvenate and unwind and you enjoy some local activities around.

While in Kisumu, Hippo Point has a great-open viewing area that is perfect for picnics and the awesome sundowners by the lake. In the same neighbourhood, Dunga Beach is another great spot from where you can go for bird watching, boat riding, view hippos, interact with the Luo fisher folk community and spend some time to learn more on bird species.

For your cuisine indulgence, you are at the right place. Kisumu gives you plenty of reasons to pack up and explore the culinary spectacle and it’s not just about fish… All the best food that you love and other food that you might not have tried or known from home will be on your menu too, but made with passion and a delightful lakeside twist. Remember, you can’t miss the lakeside city’s signature meal, the unusual fish, often accompanied by ugali (maize meal) alongside green vegetables.

It is only natural that you will get plenty of fish and other seafood, made in different ways close to the Lake, but as a foodie, it will help to know where to go. While with limited time and you can’t go wrong with the Sarova Imperial Hotel Kisumu, Jalil’s Grill, Acacia Premier, Ciala Resort, Mill View Hotel, Sovereign Hotel, Vic Hotel, Wigot Gardens Hotel, The Grand Royal Swiss and the lakeside restaurant at Dunga beach. The choices are unlimited!

Kisumu has an active nightlife that starts as soon as the sun goes down. The well-equipped clubs and lounges are modern and hip and their décor, food and drinks selections are impressive. The big names in the clubbing business change over time, but some cool spots include Club Signature, Buccaneer, Samba Marina, Buddy’s and Latitude. Major hotels like the Sarova Imperial Hotel Kisumu, Acacia Premier, Ciala Resort also have an in-house lounge where you can have a drink with friends or colleagues after a long day.

The lakeside city is first becoming an all-time wedding destination. For those who fancy every moment, weddings are the norm nowadays and thankfully, the lakeside city of Kisumu has some ideal spots where you can enjoy your special big day in the most trendiest manner. After your wedding, we can help you to be safely transferred privately for a private retreat at Rusinga Island Lodge or even to the most idyllic; Mfangano Island Lodge both nestled on the islands of Lake Victoria.

Kenyan artists are talented and they make covetable art pieces. Organize for a visit to the Kitengela glass, which is made in the middle of the bush, and products from Ocean Sole, which pays local people to pick up old shoes washed up on the beach and turn them into toys. Also look out for beaded belts and shoes, which are sold across the country. 

Kenya’s only lakeside city of Kisumu is a great holiday destination to go with small groups, families or friends. Kisumu City pace of life is much slower and well paced down, and after weeks of work in the bustling cities, you will want to make the lakeside city to be your getaway for relaxation. With a very inviting tropical weather, that makes Kisumu city irresistible to any holiday goers. On the side, Kisumu City offers plenty of daytime activities for families these range from city excursions to learning a thing or two on the lake region’s ethnography, wildlife viewing and local lakeside cuisine.

This is a six-hundred-acre open viewing land on Lake Victoria. It is well known as a viewing area for its clear spectacular sunsets over the lake as alongside the occasional hippos.

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.

Located in the heart of Lake Victoria, the island is a haven for dozens of bird species. It is covered mainly by grassland and offers breathtaking scenic views of Rusinga, Mfangano, Oyamo, and Mageta Islands when the weather is clear. It’s also to catch a glimpses of Kampala, Uganda to the southwest.

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.

The famous village is an exclusive eco-cultural attraction due to its culturally rich biodiversity and diverse papyrus wetland ecosystem and community.

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.

Situated on the shore of Lake Victoria, the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a beautiful, relaxing place to experience the city’s natural tranquility. The sanctuary is home to amazing birds including some of the Lake Victoria biome restricted bird species, the rare Sitatunga, impalas, Big Cats, buffalos, several primate species, and some free roaming zebras and impalas. Imapala Park is ideal for nature walks, birdwatching, boat rides or you can just relax and enjoy yourself while surrounded by the beautiful nature.

Exploring the lake by a boat or canoe early in the morning or late in the evening is the best way to experience its beauty. Lake Victoria is among the few lakes in Kenya that doesn’t attract any entry fees!

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.

This is an integral Luo cultural shrine with three gigantic boulders pile on top of each other. The site is located about 1 km off the Kisumu-Bondo road and about 29 km west of Kisumu city.

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.

Lake Victoria makes an ideal destination for novice and experienced kayakers and anglers. Perhaps you would fancy a weekend or a long expedition on the wilderness of Mfangano Island and spend time sport-fishing for Nile Perch.

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

Ramogi Hills is a significant attraction in Luo land and beyond. The Luo community believe that the father of the Luo tribe Ramogi Ajwang’ settled on the hills after a long, hard and tiresome migratory journey from Uganda. At this modern time, this settlement region is a reserved forest and has many cultural sites that are important to the Luo community. From the hill top, you are rewarded by spectacular views of the Gangu Rift that includes Lake Kanyaboli and the Yala Swamp.

This excursion allows you to take a sneak peek into Luo history and culture, and for this very reason, Ramogi Hills is definitely the place worth your time. This is a place where you will not only learn more about the history and culture of Luo but also have an adventure as you enjoy the inviting ecosystem.

The secluded hilly terrain is a combination, of a dense forest, and an expansive Yala Swamp on its foot. An easy walk to the top of Ramogi Hills, rewards any visitor with a good view of the vast Yala Swamp below, with its waters that snake through the swamp as it gets filtered eventually before draining into Lake Victoria.

This is one of Kenya’s most important wetlands and therefore a natural
resource for wetland ecotourism. It is Kenya’s third-largest wetland covering over 200 sq. kilometers of land in both Yala and Busia Counties of Kenya.
Both River Nzoia and River Yala empty their waters into Lake Victoria at Swamp. The swamp is an Important Bird Area according to the
classification by BirdLife International and is also home to the endangered semi-aquatic antelope animal by the name Sitatunga. However, this fragile ecosystem is under heavy threat from anthropogenic activities such as land conversions to agricultural farms, industries, and human settlements, among others Lake Kanyaboli within Yala Swamp Lake Kanyaboli on the other hand is a unique geographical feature and tourist attraction within the greater Yala Swamp Complex. It is an ox-bow lake about six meters deep. The Lake is home to rare species of fish that some of which are extinct in the
main Lake Victoria.

Kendu Bay boasts two other diverting attractions. The first is a handsome and surprisingly large Tawakal Mosque, set along the road between the town center and the jetty. The other, about 2 km south of town, is Simbi Nyaima, a green crater lake whose shallows occasionally support large numbers of Lesser Flamingos. Simbi Nyaima means “Village That Sank”, an allusion to the Luo legend that the lake was created when a fearful storm engulfed what was formerly a village, to punish its inhabitants for refusing to help an old woman who had arrived there looking for food and shelter.

Beyond the beauty of Lake Victoria, the colorful tribes and the islands, lies the hidden gem of Ruma National Park – Beyond the beauty of Lake Victoria, the lake region tribes and the islands, lies the hidden gem of Ruma National Park. This is Western Kenya’s only terrestrial park  with promises of undiscovered wildlife treasures and undisturbed peace.

Ruma, is the only sanctuary for the endangered Roan Antelopes in Kenya. While its birdlife is prolific, it plays a vital role in the survival of the globally threatened Blue Swallow and also a bunch of other bird species that are unique to western Kenya.

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, Blue swallows, which depend on moist grassland to feed and roost, arrive in Kenya from their breeding grounds in South Africa around April and return in September.

Kisumu City Trip Ideas

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