Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Set on the Shore of Lake Victoria.
Set on the shore of Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, and the source of the Nile, the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a peaceful, relaxing place to enjoy the natural beauty that abounds here. The sanctuary hosts impalas, the rare Sitatunga antelope as well as big cats, buffalos, giraffes, cheetahs and several primate species. The sanctuary is also home to five campsites all with spectacular views of Lake Victoria. Bird watching, nature walks and glass bottomed boat rides compliment the activities availed at the sanctuary. In addition, Impala Sanctuary Kisumu is paradise for bird lovers because it boasts of over 100 recorded bird species. Nature lovers have a lot to do such as discovering exotic trees and exploring species of herbs and viewing hippos, impalas, zebras, Sitatungas etc that live freely in the park. This animal haven hosts an annual boat race to create awareness about conservation of impalas. This event also raises funds to enable the conservation of sitaitunga antelope, which is an endangered species.
Hidden just outside Kisumu is a gem that many Kenyans have never heard of. Kisumu Impala National Sanctuary is a serene park located on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is three kilometres from Kisumu Town centre and 355 kilometres from Nairobi. A large herd of impalas roam about the park freely. At the entrance is a sign “Lake Shore Walk With Impalas”, which means exactly that. On each side of the footpath the graceful animals are either grazing, sleeping or frolicking. The usually shy and discreet animals seem at peace with the environment. Other animals such as lions, leopards, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras and hippos are enclosed to prevent them from preying on the impalas.
The sanctuary is also a bird watchers’ paradise. There is a variety of species. Deep inside the sanctuary is the Impala Lake Victoria Ecolodge, a hotel blends in perfectly with nature. The hotel, which is surrounded by a forest, balances modern luxury with nature and ethnic design. It features authentic African designs in its furnishings and architecture. At Lakeview Restaurant, you can enjoy the beautiful sunset, while watching hippos play in the lake. As guests enjoy their drinks in the evening, they can watch as the hippos emerge from the lake to graze. The nocturnal grazers spend the day in the water.
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is accessible from Nairobi, the Great Rift Valley or from any part of Nyanza Province. It is 355km from the capital city and only 3km from Kisumu’s city centre. A flight from Nairobi or any airstrip in the country takes you to Kisumu International Airport where you then board a road transfer vehicle to the park. The Kenya Wildlife Service collects park entrance fees. Game viewing is the main activity in this park but you can also enjoy a boat ride, bird watching excursion, nature walk or host a picnic there.
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is about 3km from Kisumu City and it houses both free animals and caged species. It is a haven for the big five safari species. The only big five species you will not see here is the elephant. The caged wildlife includes panthers, spotted hyenas, blue and patas monkeys, the big five, grey duikers etc.
While enjoying a tasty meal of tilapia, the sun’s golden rays on the lake is a sight to behold.A wooden bridge constructed from the hotel near the lake gives visitors a better view of the magnificent surroundings. The sights and sounds enhance a blissful solitude. The hotel has 12 self-contained thatched cottages. These include two family suites, six executive luxury suites and four deluxe suites. The cottages are also designed in African style, and they feature African sculptures and artworks, the cottages can host up to 24 guests at a time. Though most of the time they are usually booked by families, couples or individuals.
Stay in hotels within Kisumu City such as Imperial Hotel Kisumu, Royal City Hotel and the Sunset Hotel Kisumu. Alternatively, you can within the park, at Impala Lake Victoria Ecolodge. This lodge sits on the banks of Lake Victoria. It has standard luxurious and family rooms. You can also spend the night at the State Lodge Campsite within the sanctuary. This attraction is one of the reserved parks in the country so you will enjoy a quiet, worthwhile holiday.