(Western Kenya Tours and Safaris, Lake Victoria Safaris, Lake Victoria Adventures, Wildlife Tours in Africa, Kenya Wildlife Adventures, Wildlife Holidays in Kenya and Uganda, Africa Wildlife Holidays, Ecotourism Safaris, Africa Wildlife Tours , Africa Agrotourism Tours)
In Kenya, the western Kenya circuit is the least visited and the most scenic and interesting tourist location. Western Kenya safaris and tours once undertaken by any tourist, can never be left unrepeated again and again by the same visitor year in year out. It is referred to as the Virgin tourist treasure of Kenya, the untapped and unexplored touristic circuit.
Kenya's diverse landscapes
from the coast to the interior offer unique
experiences to the traveller. However in terms
of beauty, scenery and diverse cultural experiences,
the western region far surpasses the rest of
the country. Its diverse landscape is matched
by its rich cultural diversity. The beats
of the tom tom, sparkling spears of the Kalenjin
and the circumcision ceremonies of western Kenya,
the rhythmic vigor of the Isikuti luhya dance
provide warmth to the visitor that is not found
in any other region of the country.
Millions of years ago Kenya was generally a flat plateau which undelated in a series of steps form the Indian Ocean toward the interior. Then violent earth movements began to wreck the land apart and against each other forming deep valleys, high mountains and lakes thus changing the landscape dramatically to what it is today. The Great Rift Valley was formed through the process. This great fissure separated the landscape west and east. To the east is the high plateaus edging away to the central Kenya water from the numerous rivers that drain into it to form Kenya. Uganda and Tanzania to become Lake Victoria, the fabled source of the river Nile.
The western Kenya region is a great region of contrasts. Its eastern border is dominated by the Mau massif, the Uasin Gishu plateau, Elgeyo escarpment and the fine landscapes of the cherangani hill and the picturesque tugen dam, to the north lies the rich farmlands of kitale, Mt Elgon, Bungoma Teso and the many rivers that drain the lake Victoria basin extending steps from the rich tea growing areas of kericho and Kisii higher up, to the lower landscapes of Migori, Ruma and the Islands of Mfangano, Rusinga and the tiny bird paradise of Muholo and Mbasa.
Climate in Western Kenya
The presence of the Lake Victoria watermass
in the region plays an important role on climate.
The areas nearer the lake like Kisumu have annual
precipitation of 1000 -1250 mm with temperatures
ranging from a high of 39c to a low 15 c. Relative
humidity stands at 85% in the mornings and 47%
in the evenings. The region experience two wet
seasons. The long rains come in March and April
while the short rains are in October .This weather
pattern is similar in most of the lake basin
though the amount of rainfall increases to 2000mm
in the kakamega region, Nandi ,Kericho and Kisii
and decreases marginally in the Mt.Elgon, Kitale,
Bungoma, kapenguria , Iten and Uasin Gishu areas.
The region beyond kapenguria is relatively dry
as well as the majority of Baringo, which would
be classified as semi-desert.
Major Towns in Western Kenya
The major towns are Kisumu and Eldoret,
the latter being the centre of Kenya's grain
economy while Kisumu serves the fish industry
and supports the vast sugar belt. The tea industry
in Kericho as well as the increasingly popular
flower industry is served by the Eldoret International
Border control Points into Western Kenya Region
The western Kenya region borders both Uganda and Tanzania. There are five border entry points whose purpose is to control the border points as well as facilitate travellers to and from the other countries. The regional office for immigration is located in Kisumu and Eldoret. These offices provide passports, register aliens, extend visa, etc. The only service that they do not provide is the issue of work permits. For this, one will have to travel to Nairobi. The five border entry points are: - Malaba, Busia, Suam, Lwakhakha and Isebania
Major Attractions in Western Kenya Tourist Circuit
The Lake Victoria and its Islands
The fabled source of the Nile is the second
largest fresh water Lake in the world. It extends
69,000 sq km with depth of 82mts.Kenya only
enjoys 6% of the Lake, while the rest is shared
between Uganda and Tanzania. At least 60% of
the water that flows into the lake is from Kenyas
highlands. The Lake is dotted with interesting
Islands which are quit popular with tourists.
Rusinga Islands, Mfangano and Takawiri each
have unique attractions which include the Rock
paintings of Mfangano, the Tom Mboya Mausoleum
at Rusinga and white beaches of Takawiri. The
areas surrounding this Island provides the best
fishing ground in the Kenyan side of the Lake.
Ndere Island is a gazetted protected park run
by Kenya Wildlife Service. Unfortunately no
development exits on this island.
Rock Formations and Folklore
Kit Mikaye of Seme
The most interesting of these are found in Seme,
Kit Mikayi being the mother of all. Kit Mikaye
literally means the rock of the first wife.
In Luo folklore, there lived once a woman whose
name was Aber and whose husband was Onam. They
lived together in love and harmony for many
years. Onam however married a second wife, Ndiru,
whom he lavished all his love and attention
leaving Aber dejected and unloved. She eventually
pined away and died in misery. She was buried
where the rock now stands. One day there was
a violent storm accompanied by earth movements
which ripped the earth and threw out the bones
of Aber from the ground. It killed all the members
of the Onam’s family and transformed them
The Crying Stone of Kakamega - Khayega
The weeping stone is another interesting rock.
It is found in Khayega near Kakamega. It is
about 40m high with a small rock perched on
top. It is an acid plutonic rock consisting
mainly of quarts, alkali, feldspar and mica.
It is an imposing feature especially when you
get near it. Its most outstanding
feature is the water that runs down its structure
head to toe. It looks like a gowned figure in
perpetual tears. Many other such rocks are found
in Nyangori and Vihiga, all subjects of myth
Thimlich Ohinga in Migori district is an archeological
fortress built by the Luo back in the 15th century
to protect them and their livestock from marauding
enemies. The fortress measures some 150m in
diameter and contains other five smaller Ohingas
(fortresses). The walls round the fortress measure
3m tall and 1.5 m thick. Small entrances placed
strategically around the fortress are capable
of allowing only one person through at a time
and were guarded from a watch tower.
Kisii Soapstone is a unique rock found in only
one place in the world, Kisii. The finest deposits
are found in Nyamarambe Division. There is an
estimated 10 million tons of stone deposits
at Tabaka, Gotichaki, Nyabigena and Itumbe Hills.
This stone has been utilized for arstistic,
decorative and functional products since time
immemorial as seen from pre-historic remains
on rocks at Sameta, Moma etc. The stone occurs
naturally in various colours and Gusii ancestors
used its powder for body shields, wall painting,
traditional ceremonies and rituals. The little
town of Tabaka and the surrounding country side
supplies the entire world with quality carvings
made from this magical stone. The 7 tonne Enyamuchera
(Bird of Peace) soapstone carving at UNESCO
headquarters in Paris was made locally in this
area by one Elkana Ongesa. The easiest way to
reach Tabaka is to approach from Kisii town.
The turn-off to Tabaka is on the Kisii-Rongo
main road at Naybigega market town on the left
side of the road. Tabaka is approximately 4.5km
from the turn off.