Have you ever found yourself in a destination that you have been to hundreds of times before but then realize you have never truly experienced what the place has to offer? This is what happened when I was in Kisumu last year. See Kisumu for me has always been a stopover town on my way upcountry where my my interaction with the city was limited to shopping at Nakumatt Mega or grabbing a quick lunch before heading out. Granted, I did spend a couple of my early years in this city, when I was about 2 years old and so I obviously have no recollection whatsoever of my experiences of this city beyond the excessive heat, constantly battling mosquitoes and swimming at the Imperial Hotel. I can never seem to forget those.
So here I was in Kisumu with a couple of friends on a somewhat official trip when on our last day, decided to spend the last precious moments before heading back to Nairobi down by the lake. We didn’t have any definitive plan, just that we wanted to be by the water. Lucky for us we had made a couple of friends who were natives of Kisumu who offered to be our guides for the day.
Once at the lake, we took a boat out on the water after haggling with the captain over the price. See our friend here wanted to charge us exorbitantly for a boat ride so short that it wouldn’t make sense to get into the water in the first place. His idea was to take us along the shore line, while we wanted to ride out to the point where the sun kissed the waters. We had our way in the end and set out.
No matter where I am, I can never truly tire of watching the sun set over the water, nor can I truly ever tire of writing about beautiful sunsets. There really is something indescribably beautiful about the sun setting over the water in that almost poetic way that makes you want to silently revel in awe at the magic unfolding before your eyes.
One thing that he neglected to mention was the presence of hippos on the lake which we started spotting as we ventured out into the waters. To be fair, they appeared completely harmless, swimming completely unbothered with our presence with the occasional mouth-wide yawn that made us want to turn the boat back and head to shore.
DUNGA HILL CAMP
We ended our trip with a short drive and hike up Dunga Hill Camp, which is a little camping spot on top of a hill on the shores of Lake Victoria with equally stunning views of the lake. There is a bar/restaurant area here, where you can enjoy a meal and a sundowner, no pun intended :D.
Despite all the press that Kenya gets about being a travelers paradise, there are quite a number of places that hardly ever come up when you mention tourism. While the Mara and the Kenyan coast are amazing in their own right, Kisumu really should be marketed more as a budget location for travelers and tourists, local and international alike. Besides, Lake Victoria has quite a number of islands that are really worth exploring. Sometimes what someone may be seeking is something as simple and profound as the sun setting over a beautiful lake, never mind that it is the second largest freshwater lake in the world.
*Any fun activities you have undertaken at Kisumu at the Lake and beyond? Let me know in the comments and dont forget to subscribe to the blog 🙂