Saturday, 6 September 2014

Top 10 Places to Visit in Kisumu

Kisumu City is part of Western Tourism Circuit in Kenya. There are many places to visit in the city since there are various forgotten areas in the country. Located in Kisumu County, the city is endowed with great natural, cultural and cultural diversity. Below are the top 10 tourist destinations in Kisumu. The list is neither exhaustive nor does it follow a specific order.
        1.      Impala Sanctuary

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

The Impala Sanctuary in Kisumu occupies an area of approximately 38 hectares. It was established with the intent of providing a home especially for threatened Impalas in Kisumu County as well as its surroundings. Over time, Impala Sanctuary has grown into a reputable wildlife preserve. The sanctuary also provides the safest grazing area for the hippopotamuses from Lake Victoria. The Impala Sanctuary is one of the best and most fascinating tourist destination not only in Kisumu but also in the entire country.  

Impala Sanctuary is only one kilometer away from Kisumu Central Business District (CBD). Located near Hippo Point, the sanctuary features about 3km of picnic sites and nature trails. The walking sanctuary is a home for animals that require some kind of special protection in the densely populated Kisumu City. Zebras and impalas roam in the sanctuary freely. It is both a peaceful and a shady place full of picnic areas and birdlife. The sanctuary is open throughout the year and provides refuge from the city. The sanctuary provides venues for functions, corporate events and weddings too. Lastly, Impala Sanctuary is opened 6am everyday to 6pm. Only cash payments are acceptable. You can also walk into the sanctuary on foot.
       2.      Dunga Hill Camp

Dunga Hill Camp

Dunga Hill Camp is located at Lake Victoria’s shores. The camp provides the one of the best leisure destinations in this area. Most importantly, the place is essential for picnic, camping as well as other leisure activities. There are also kayakas that gives Dunga Hill Camp a sporting feeling. The sunset is also observable at Lake Victoria’s horizon. Indeed, this is the best place to relax in Kisumu City away from the noisy CBD.  

Additionally, it is possible to catch boat rides especially for those who cannot use kayaks. This way, you can enjoy Lake Victoria’s interesting scenery. Dunga Hill Camp provides the most beautiful place to camp. In this serene location, you will watch amazing sunsets and hippos. You don’t know what you are missing if you’ve never visited Dunga Hill Camp!
          3.      Hippo Point

Hippo Point
      Hippo Point is located in a 600-acre piece of land viewing Lake Victoria. In spite of its name, Hippo Point is known since it provides an unobstructed view of sunset over Lake Victoria. Additionally, the occasional hippopotamuses make Hippo Point one of the fascinating places in Kisumu. Hippo Point is located near Dunga village and South West of Kisumu. Dunga village has both a camping site and fishing port. 

In Hippo Point, you can enjoy some boat rides while checking out birds and hippopotamuses in their respective natural habitats. You also get an opportunity to fish and enjoy Kisumu’s scenery from deep waters. Hippo Point is popular especially during the holidays and weekends. Foes, merry-makers, friends and fun-loving people converge to enjoy themselves.
         4.      Kit Mikayi

Kit Mikayi

In Kisumu County, there is a big rock - Tor, which has three rocks on top of it called Kit Mikayi. It is located 29km away from Kisumu. Kit Mikayi is approximately 1km from Bondo-Kisumu road. Located at Kangeso village, Kit Mikayi provides one of the most fascinating area. The 70-80ft rock is commonly known as the weeping rock. It has a posture of a woman carrying a big load on her back.  

There are so many myths and stories about Kit Mikayi. Some of them are very interesting and provide an entertainment for visitors. You will also visit the many caves, which are now worshipping places for Legio Maria sect. The sect pays pilgrimage for fast and prayers. You will also get a chance to climb Kit Mikayi to get a good span and breadths of Lake Victoria, Kisumu International Airport, Kisumu City and the beautiful rolling plains. You can do picnics in this place too or even engage in football matches with the local people. You will get a totally different experience.
        5.      Kisumu Museum 

Kisumu Museum

Kisumu Museum is a comprehensible but small exhibit displays and gallery of cultural materials both in Nyanza and Western regions. This comprises adornment, clothing, fishing gears, hunting weaponry, agricultural tools, dioramas and basketry. Moreover, there are also monkeys, fishes and lions in Kisumu Museum.  

The museum has numerous pavilions. Some of these pavilions contain aquaria, live animals, weaponry, mambas, puff adders, snakes, spitting cobras, crocodiles, jewelry, fish, birds, artifacts, stuffed animals and rock arts. When you visit Kisumu Museum, you will get an opportunity to enjoy the traditional Luo culture.
          6.      Kiboko Bay

Kiboko Bay

Kiboko Bay is located on the shares of Lake Victoria. The resort provides a magnificent jogging distance from Dunga Village, Impala Park and the high street. Kiboko Bay is rated the best resort in Kisumu. You will experience the luxury of enjoying the safari feel of the African adventure. The sandy soil and quarry-harvesting rocks from Lake Victoria’s shore makes Kiboko Bay a friendly tourist attraction for leisure and business travelers. The lakeside setting is idyllic.  

Kiboko Bay is a resort endowed with fascinating natural attractions and charms. The lake’s sheer expanse is important in making it a major tourist destination. The resort has a vibrant birdlife. You also get an opportunity to see mangrove forests and unspoiled wetlands. It also has the splendid sunsets in the iridescent and glistening sweet waters.
          7.      Flea Market

Flea Market

      The Flea Market is served with two main flea markets, that is, Oile and Kibuye Markets. Kibuye Market is the largest open/flea air market in Easter Africa popular especially on Sundays. Here, you will get a good opportunity to buy and sell products. Cheap second-hand clothing is very prominent in Kibuye Market. You will also shop for groceries in the numerous green groceries located in the surrounding areas.  

Oile Market is located near Bus Park, which was once a very nice public park. Unfortunately, hawkers have invaded the public park. Oile Market is usually open throughout the entire week. Here, you will buy green groceries and second-hand staff.
           8.      Kisumu’s Nightlife

Kisumu Nightlife

For those who are nocturnal animals and love to dance and groove, there are over 25 lounges and clubs in Kisumu City. Kisumu’s nightlife is full of dance shows and musical entertainment. Live bands are also many in Kisumu. These live bands will thrill you if you are to visit Kisumu City. 

Inside the town, all the way to the Kisumu International Airport and Mamboleo, you will get entertained throughout the night. Security in Kisumu City is tight. However, BEWARE OF DRUGGING IN CLUBS! Mind your drinks too while in clubs and lounges. Some clubs can be notorious.
           9.      Starflix Cinemas and Planet Media

Starflix Cinemas and Planet Media

For indoor people and movie junkies, Starflix Cinemas and Planet Media are the best destinations. Here, you will get the latest blockbuster movies from Bollywood and Hollywood. Planet Media is near Nakumatt Holdings. It is the premier movie theatre in the country and has adopted newfangled digital film-screening standard. 

Starflix Cinema and Planet Media have superior and smoother sound clarity. This will give you the best movie experience in the lakeside city. Both Starflix Cinema and Planet Media  are located in Mega City Mall, which is along Kisumu-Nairobi highway.
      10.  Bike Rides

Bike Rides in Kisumu

A visit to Kisumu City gives you an opportunity to enjoy tuk-tuk, bike ventures and bodaboda tours. With only $4, you can hire a bodaboda services by Bike Ventures. Here, you will sufficiently tour Kisumu City as well as its environs. Moreover, you can exercise your legs around the city.  

You can also tour Kisumu City riding on a bodaboda and tuk-tuk bikes. However, the charges are higher.  

There are many other fascinating tourist attractions in Kisumu City. Maasai Market and Kisumu Art House are also some of the interesting places this area. However, in my opinion, the article summarizes the top 10 places to visit in Kisumu.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Kenya

Kenya is a country endowed with innumerable tourist attractions. The country remains the topmost breathtaking places to visit on Earth. We have gathered information on Kenya’s 10 most attractive safari destinations.

1. The Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara

Most people visit the Maasai Mara with the intent of seeing many various animals, which roam around the wild. The Big Five – Buffalo, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Elephant- are all in the Maasai Mara. Moreover, a host of other incredible creatures like antelopes, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, wild dogs, warthogs, hyraxes and aardvarks are found in the Mara.

The Maasai Mara is also endowed with the richness of culture. Here, you find the Maasai people donning their traditional multihued beaded jewellery and red blankets. You also see their traditional homes, the manyattas. The best time to visit the Maasai Mara is between July and October. Do not miss the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle when millions of wildebeests migrate from Serengeti, Tanzania into the Maasai Mara cross the Mara River averting crocodile jaws who lay in river waiting!

2. Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park

The second of the top 10 tourist attractions is the Nairobi National Park. The park is just a measly 15 minutes drive from the Nairobi metropolis. Nairobi National Park is surrounded by fence that separates the wildlife from the city.

From the park, it is possible to see Nairobi’s skyscrapers. In spite of its proximity to the metropolis and is relatively small size, Nairobi National Park boasts a varied and large wildlife population. Zebras and migrating wildebeests gather in Nairobi National Park during dry seasons. The park is the country’s major rhinoceros sanctuaries.

3. The Coast

The Kenyan Coast

The Kenyan coast is one of the most attractive safari destinations. It remains a preferred place to unwind and relax. It is possible to see camels walking in the sandy shorelines. It is an exotic tourist destination. The coast is endowed with beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Additionally, there are snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, surfing as well as other many water sports.

The coast has fantastic scenery. It is also has a rich exotic history of the Swahili and the Mijikenda. The coast also has very beautiful architecture. You can also visit the old coastal such as Lamu, which was settled by the Swahili around 700 years ago. Here, there are no mini-buses or matatus, just oceans waves and donkeys! The airport in Malindi makes transport to the coast easy.

4. Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya

Another one of the top 10 tourist attractions in Kenya is the Mount Kenya, which is the highest mountain in the country. Moreover, the 5,1990 meter mountain is the second-largest in the entire Africa. It has an assortment of peaks covered with snow and slopes crowned with forest. Mount Kenya provides a very beautiful sight. Technically, it is impractical to reach the highest summit. However, for fit trekkers, reaching some lower peaks is easier.

Only few people have climbed the mountain on Earth. Mountain climbing is both a breathtaking and a lush scene. Batian is the highest peak at 5,200 meters followed by Nelion at 5,188 meters, then Lenana at 4,985 meters. Nelion requires technical climbing. The slopes are cloaked in moorland and forest that gives way to snow, ice and rocks. It is located in Central Kenya. It is more convenient to climb the mountain between July to October and January to February. There are many campsites and lodges inside the park. Mount Kenya is a four-hour drive away from Nairobi though you can get a flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

5. Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is another safari destination in the top 10 tourist attractions in Kenya. It has flocks of flamingoes, which enjoy the soda lake’s alkaline water. There about one million flamingoes as well as other many bird species in Lake Nakuru National Park, which also is the home to lions, warthogs, hippos, giraffes, ostriches and white rhinos.

However, the lake is still recovering from the 1990’s environmental pressures that led to decline in flamingo population. You can visit Lake Nakuru National Park all year-round. It is the Earth’s greatest and most beautiful bird spectacle. In the site, there are three major lodges as well as other several private and public campsites within the park. From Nairobi, Lake Nakuru National Park is a three-hour drive away by road.

6. Tsavo National Parks

Tsavo National Parks

The Tsavo National Park is divided into Tsavo West and Tsavo East. It is the largest park in Kenya. These parks are vast. Moreover, Tsavo’s landscape is both wild and interesting. Tsavo West is more developed and more accessible in comparison to Tsavo East. In the Tsavo National Park, you can see elephants bathing amongst crocodiles and hippos in some under-water glass tank. Moreover, the Big Five - Buffalo, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Elephant – are also found here.

The best time to visit the Tsavos is between May and October. The proximity of the Tsavo to Kenya’s coast makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is also endowed with diverse landscapes ranging from wooded grasslands, scrubland, mountains, lakes and plans. In Tsavo West, we have Mzima Springs, which is an oasis. Chaimu crater and Shetani are also interesting places to visit. The Tsavos have an expansive and unspoiled wilderness. It is best to visit the Tsavo between may and October. It is 10 hours from Nairobi but 3-4 hours from Mombasa.

 7. Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha

 From Nairobi, Lake Naivasha is a 1-hour drive. It provides a spectacular view for both wildlife and game. In Lake Naivasha, you can see Kenya’s large beasts such as the lion, the leopard and the rhinoceros amongst other many others. Naivasha is synonymous to the Happy Valley in 1940 where the colonial bourgeois become famous due to their debauched and decadent lifestyle. Lord Delamere also lived in Naivasha.

There are many various things and outings in Lake Naivasha. For instance, in the Crescent Island, it is possible to walk safely amongst non-dangerous and wild animals. You can also climb Mount Longonot. Moreover, you can visit the geothermal project, which is located in Hells Gate National Park. In the lake, you can take boat rides. There are many swanky 5-star hotels and private ranches in Naivasha. From Naivasha, it is equally easier to see the Aberdare Ranges.

8. Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park

Like no other tourist destination on Earth, Amboseli will provide you with that magical perception of Africa’s grasslands. Mount Kilimanjaro is the snow-capped mountain, which provides a wonderful setting for bird and wildlife watchers. The terrain in Amboseli is diverse. It ranges from ravine forest, desert to swampy. Storms and African sunsets make Amboseli one of the finest tourist destinations on earth. Amboseli is a small park positioned close to the Tanzania border, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.

While in Amboseli, you see free-ranging elephants. Other attractions in this national park include the Maasai culture and spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro views. The Amboseli National Park is located around the Observation Hill. This provides fantastic plains view. The Maasai people live around the Amboseli, which is the home of 400 bird species and 50 mammal species. You see leopards, elephants, leopards, cheetahs and hippos amongst many other animals. The best time to visit the Amboseli is between June to October. There are many campsites and lodges in Amboseli. The park is a 4-hour drive from Nairobi by road.

 9. The Aberdare Ranges

The Aberdare Ranges

For an opportunity to see Kenya’s highlands, you can visit the Aberdare Ranges. It is cooler in comparison to low-lying areas in the country. There are fantastic forest reserves that are nice for exploration. In the Aberdares, you will see both animal life and wildlife.

There are volcanic outcrops, waterfalls and moorlands. Indeed, it is an amazing tourist destination in Kenya. The Aberdares will provide you with a cooler experience in a virgin forest reserve. Deep valleys and dramatic waterfalls contrast the volcanic outcrops and undulating moorlands. The richness of the birdlife is also amazing. In treehouse hotels like The Ark and Treetops, you will see animals wandering to adjacent bushbabies and waterholes.

10. Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana’s lunar landscape is a fantastic spectacle in Northern Kenya. This lake is the biggest permanent desert in the world. It is packed with very big Nile crocodiles. Turkana’s desert landscape remains the dream of any paleontologist. Moreover, it is the home of hominid remains in Koobi Fora that were unearthed by the Leakey family.

Lake Turkana is a iridescent entity, which changes its color with the flow of wind. The best period to visit Lake Turkana is between June and October. Oasis Lodge, Desert Lodge and Turkana Lodge are some of the best places to stay. More importantly, getting to Lake Turkana is easier through charter flights from Nairobi.

There are many other interesting tourist attractions in Kenya including Lakes Baringo and Bogoria, Shimba Hills, Lake Victoria, Lake Magadi, Laikipia, Lewa Conservancy and Kakamega amongst many other tourist destinations. However, the Maasai Mara, Nairobi National Park, the Coast, Mount Kenya, Lake Nakuru National Park, The Tsavos, Lake Naivasha, Amboseli, Aberdares and Lake Turkana are the top 10 tourist attractions in Kenya.