The 20 Best Things to Do in Kisumu

Kisumu's Top Safaris

Discover Kisumu City
Best Day Trips

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 Maasai 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.

Luxury Day Trip Options In Kisumu

#1. Impala
Park Sanctuary

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.

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.

#2. Hippo Point

#3. Ndere Island National Park Safari

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.

#4. Dunga
Beach Community
and Wetlands

#5. Luxury Boat
Safari On Lake Victoria

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 woman 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. The area often used as worshiping sites of the Legio Maria and other denominations.

#6. Kit Mikayi

#7. Luo,
History and Culture

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.

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.

#8. The Town Clock

#9. Lake Victoria,
Kenya Safari

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.

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.

#10. Kisumu Museum

Keen on Luxury Kisumu Wildlife Holidays Trip Ideas?

Luxury Safari Options from Kisumu
Luxury Safari Options from Kisumu

Entrust our experts to plan for your Kisumu safari experiences

Are you in or planning to visit Kisumu for a business meeting, leisure or one of those big conferences? Oluokos Signature team is available to organize for you customized memorable Kisumu, Kenya luxury excursions and safaris. You can also explore other parts of Kenya and beyond with us.

Text/Call: +254755124643

For any further assistance, be it photography, cultural tours, wildlife safari, where to watch birds in Kisumu or even more information about us, or anything else, kindly do not hesitate to get in to reach us on +254755124643 or via our website Oluokos Signature

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