Homa Bay and Lake Victoria Best Tourist Attractions

Top 10 Reasons for Visiting

Homa Bay &
Lake Victoria
Luxury Travel Ideas

Homa Bay and Lake Victoria Best Tourist Attractions – Homa Bay and Lake Victoria, both nature jewels found in the Western Kenya are elegantly beautiful. The volcanic plugs and the peninsular have offer so much to behold and would spice up your holiday experience not only for a day but also for a couple of days.

Homa Bay town is sandwiched between the Homa Hills that is also known by the native Luo community as God Huma, which means the famous mountain in English. The town and its spectacular waterfront has other hills in the vicinity namely Ruri and Asego. For the adventurous ones, these hills offer rewarding hiking experiences should you have some time to spare.

The town’s population is growing rapidly and is inhabited by mainly the Luo and Abasuba, quite an interesting lot of people that you need to interact with and learn a thing or two about their culture. The lakeside culture uniquely stands out, and their values are to be adored and enjeyod at the same time with equal measure.

Getting to Homa bay is quite direct whether you’re coming from the coastal city of Mombasa or Nairobi. It’s only two hours away from Kenya’s only lakeside city of Kisumu while you can also visit many other tourist attractions in the surrounding from Homa Bay either on vehicle or water-based transport.

For your own convenient and enjoyment, you could rent a car and pace down your journey as you soak into this beautiful destination. Alternatively, you can travel by air to Kabunde Airstrip that is located about 7 km away from the lakeside town. Ensure that you know the flight’s timetable at the time of booking.

Homa Bay &
Lake Victoria’s Top Tourists Attractions

#1. Bala Hot Springs
on Homa Hills

Trails, swamps, reasonable waterfalls and hot springs are among the splendors in this sector of Lake Victoria.

For those who are familiar with Lake Bogoria, Bala hot springs are a similar replica.  Here, the process of evaporation leaves at the site leaves behind a salt scum called ‘bala’, that locals use as salt for their livestock. Locals also believe that water from the spring can be used to treat skin diseases.

These hot saline springs where eggs can be boiled in under 15 minutes is where Doctor Louis Leakey in 1932 found cranial and funeral fragments of hominids. These were estimated to be 500 years old. Local people collect salt from the evaporated salt water.

The small roadside/lakeside town of Kendu Bay is another good place to watch the fishing dhows in action. Situated about an hour’s drive south of Kisumu and 20 minutes from Homa bay town, Kendu Bay offers an ultimate lakeside experience. To capture this moment, always try to be at the out-of-town jetty by noon, when dozens of dhows land there, complete with the day’s catch.

The town boasts two other diverting attractions. The first is the awe-inspiring 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 flamingos when the water chemical composition allows.

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.

Geologically, it’s a volcanic crater lake that was formed 6 centuries ago after an earthquake that was accompanied by a volcanic eruption. Locals believe that water from the lake has medicinal value and can be used to cure various skin conditions.

#2. Kendu Bay & Lake Simbi Nyaima

#3. Kanjira
Archeological Site

The site of Kanjera occurs on the Homa Peninsula of Western Kenya. It’s located in the beautiful rural countryside, surrounded by eroded volcanic edifices, on the southern shore of the Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria.

Excavations by a Smithsonian – National Museums of Kenya team began in 1987, and have continued under the leadership of Dr. Tom Plummer, who is now chairman of the Anthropology Department at Queens College, City University of New York. Tom’s most recent excavations have focused on Kanjera South, where he, Rick Potts of the Smithsonian, and other members of the team have discovered the oldest archeological evidence of early human activities in a grassland environment, dating to 2 million years ago.

Study of the excavated sediments, fossil animal remains, and stone tools included chemical analyses that enable scientists to determine the kinds of plants that occurred in the ancient habitat. The analyses showed that the excavated archeological sites at Kanjera South – which preserve Oldowan tools, the oldest-known type of stone technology – were located in a grassland-dominated ecosystem from the crucial time interval.

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 a bunch of other bird species that are unique to western Kenya.

According to the Birdlife International, 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.

The park is home to three members of the BIG 5 namely, Black and White Rhino, Buffalo and the Leopard. This park was established as Lambwe Valley game reserve in 1966 to protect its indigenous population of rare Roan antelope, which exist nowhere else in Kenya.

It acquired national the park status in 1993 and renamed Ruma National Park on the request of the local community in honor of one of the most powerful Kenya’s wizards, the much-feared Gor Mahia.  Gor Mahia was living high on a hill which now forms part of the Kanyamwa escarpment, from where he could watch over all people because his magic was so powerful that he controlled not only South Nyanza, but far beyond.

The classic image of Eastern Africa wildlife safari can be realized at Ruma National Park, a land of rolling savannah dotted with picturesque acacias and balanites and backed by dramatic hills, intriguing volcanic plugs and the towering escarpments.

#4. Ruma National Park

#5. Mfangano Island,
Lake Victoria

Surprisingly not known to many, Mfangano is the undisputed largest island in Kenya. This makes it to be the perfect getaway if you are looking for romance and the local Abasuba and Luo community vibes. Away from the busy tourist destinations, you could immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

With stunning views across Lake Victoria, while you sample unlimited cruises along the lake on a speedboat or let your taste of adventure take you on a sailboat. For nature lovers, bird watching keep, you busy as you enjoy the therapy, numerous waders and other bird species inhabit the island. The most iconic bird here is the African Fish Eagle with its iconic call every 30 minutes or so.

An informative guided beach tour along the shores of Lake Victoria will present you with great personal encounters with anglers while they undertake the daily fishing activities that are an integral daily part of life on the island, and what’s more, you can have the fish specially prepared to suit your taste.

Activities on the island include; sailing on traditional lateen rig sailing boats, fishing, mountain biking or village walks – or just enjoy the tranquility with a good book and a nice cold drink the swimming pool. Mfangano Island provides a unique opportunity to see the colourful life on the lake, where enchanting Abasuba and Luo fishing villages and fishing boats haven’t changed very much over the centuries.

Mfangano Island is home to the famous rock art and it’s possible to visit the Mawanga and Kwitone sites giving you another reason why exploring the island is worth your time and resources.

Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya (15 August 1930 – 5 July 1969) was a Kenyan trade unionist, educator, Pan-Africanist, author, independence activist, and political leader. He was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Kenya.

He led the negotiations for independence at the Lancaster House Conferences and was instrumental in the formation of Kenya’s independence party – the Kenya African National Union (KANU) – where he served as its first Secretary-General He laid the foundation for Kenya’s capitalist and mixed economy policies at the height of the Cold War and set up several of the country’s key labour institutions. Mboya was Minister for Economic Planning and Development when he was assassinated

Located in Kasiwanga village, just a few kilometers from the busy Mbita town is the final resting place for Tom Mboya. The mausoleum was built after his assassination in 1969 in honor towards the works he did. Being one of the few literate people at the time, he made sure to carry out negotiations with the British government on behalf of his people.

He also helped form political groups and rallied people to fight for independence. The mausoleum has his personal belongings like pictures and some of the status reminders he collected on his political journeys.

#6. Tom Mboya Mausoleum

#7. Gwassi Hills

Rising abruptly from Winam Gulf to 2271 meters, the dissected massif of the Gwasi Hills, partially forested, covers 1,048 km2 at the northwest corner of Homa Bay County just south of Mfangano Island. Only along the upper reaches and hilltops of the steep-sloped Gwassi Hills do the deciduous seasonal forests occur, and much of the lower regions are outgrown with thickets and savanna type vegetation which eventually merges with Lambwe Valley immediately south and south east.

The outer extent of the Gwassi Hills are marked by steep, gullied stack ridges of volcanic rocks called Kisingiri with high points at Gembe at 1899 meters, Sumba at 1839 meters, Gwassi at 1946 meters and Usengere, also known as Kwirathia at 2272 meters. The Gwassi’s form a magnificent backdrop at Mfangano, Rusinga, Takawiri islands, and at the Ruma National Park that sits east of these hills. Locally known as the Usengere Hills, meaning ‘the revered and sacred shrine’, the steep-sloped Gwassi Hills are endowed with a pleasant diversity of both biota and scenery.

Lake Victoria is the second biggest lake in Kenya after Lake Turkana.  The lake is shared by shared by Tanzania and Uganda while at the same time it is the largest fresh water in Africa and chief reservoir of the world’s longest river, the Nile.

With an are covering 69,484 square km, the lake has an irregular quadrilateral shape. Its waters fill a shallow depression in the center of the great plateau that stretches between the Western and Eastern Rift Valleys in the Kavirondo valley.

Lake Victoria has more than 200 species of fish, of which the Tilapia is the most economically important; there are birds, mammals, reptiles and other diverse wildlife.

Geologically, the lakeshore is highly indented, and there are many islands in the lake, some of which, especially the Sesse Group of islands that are known for their beautiful landscape health resorts and sightseeing places.

Abundant prehistoric remains found around the lake indicate the early development of agriculture. There are a number of coastal towns such as Kisumu (Kenya), Entebbe (Uganda), Bukoba, Mwanza and Musoma (Tanzania), connected with each other by ship routes and also to the cities of the Indian Ocean coast by railways. The dam constructed in 1954 at Owen Falls on the Victoria Nile supplies electricity and water for various uses in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Surprisingly, Lake Victoria is not only the largest lake in Africa, but also the second-largest freshwater body in the world.

#8. Lake Victoria

#9. Rusinga Island

With an elongated shape approximately 16 km from end to end and 5 km at its widest point, lies in the eastern part of Lake Victoria at the mouth of the Winam Gulf. Part of Kenya, it is linked to Mbita Point on the mainland by the new Rusinga-Mbita bridge which replaced the old causeway.

The local language is Luo, although the ancestors of the current inhabitants were Suba people who came in boats several hundred years ago from Uganda as refugees from a dynastic war. Many Rusinga place names portray Suba origins, including the island’s name itself and its central peak, Lunene. There was an extinct language of Uganda called Singa, alternatives Lusinga and Lisinga, spoken only on Rusinga Island (which, of course is in Kenya). It belonged to the same group of Niger–Congo as Suba.

Most residents of Rusinga make their living from subsistence agriculture (maize and millet), as well as fishing. The native tilapia is still caught, though this species (like all others native to the lake) has been decimated by the voracious Nile perch that was introduced into the lake in 1954.

The brightly glittering black sands of the beaches are made of crystals of melanite garnet, barkevikite hornblende, and magnetite eroded from the uncompahgrite lava fragments in the agglomerates that overlie the fossil beds.

The island is also notable as the family home and burial site of Tom Mboya, who before his assassination in 1969 was widely pegged as Jomo Kenyatta‘s successor as President of the new nation of Kenya.

Rusinga is widely known for its extraordinarily rich and important fossil beds of extinct Miocene mammals, dated to 18 million years. The island had been only cursorily explored until the Leakey expedition of 1947-1948 began systematic searches and excavations, which have continued sporadically since then. The end of 1948 saw the collection of about 15,000 fossils from the Miocene, including 64 primates called by Louis Leakey “Miocene apes.”

All the species of Proconsul were among the 64 and all were given the name africanus, although many were reclassified into nyanzae, major and heseloni later. Mary Leakey discovered the first complete skull of Proconsul, then considered a “stem hominoid”, in 1948.

Many thousands of fossils are now known from five major sites, with abundant hominoids including an almost complete skeleton of a second species of Proconsul, as well as Nyanzapithecus, Limnopithecus, Dendropithecus and Micropithecus, all of which show arboreal rather than terrestrial adaptations. The first true monkeys do not appear until around 15 million years ago, so it is widely supposed that the diverse Early Miocene African catarrhines like those found on Rusinga filled that adaptive niche. The phylogenetic position of these primates has been debated. It has been theorized that Proconsul is a stem catarrhine and therefore ancestral to both Cercopithecids (Old World monkeys) and hominids (great apes and humans), rather than a stem hominoid. 

Get mesmerized at the alluring Takawiri island; white sandy beaches, palm trees, blue skies and blue waters of Lake Victoria. The island is a unique magnet with a small stretch of pristine sandy beaches that will instantly allow you to indulge into it inner beauty.  

The top activity on the island is relaxation and watersports, boat riding and fishing expeditions. Alternatively, you can choose to chill and taste the true magic of Lake Victoria for the ultimate experience.

Swimming is also highly recommended, where you lose yourself in the thrills of the cool waters.

If you wish to do something less physically engaging, try bird watching, since the island is constantly flocked by hundreds of different water bird species and colonies of weavers.

#10. Takawiri Island

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