Mwea Game reserve… a Hidden Gem in Embu County..

 

 

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crossing Thimba River

I have been to places but never been to this park so when a chance arose a decision was made quickly and I found myself and my Travel buddies depart Nairobi at 18:30 hrs for Embu so that we can spend more time in the reserve. we spent a night in Embu and decided to try local delicacies and of course some nyamchom but the guy grilling our nyama was in cloud nine and at some point we wondered did he even get our order right?? Anyway the nyama was on point..

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The following day we departed for Mwea very early in the morning. The landscape, the little towns and the rivers on the way were very panaromic, we got to Mwea NP within an Hour and the road was good even the 10km strecth all weather road to the park from the main highway. The warden welcomed us to the park and he gave us a history of the park.

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The Mwea National Reserve is located within Mbeere District, in Eastern Province, a distance of about 200km from Nairobi.  The savannah ecosystem comprises of small hills with bushy vegetation and scattered large trees. Other areas are open grasslands while along the main rivers, large trees with thick undergrowth are found. Trees mainly found within the ecosystem are the different Acacia species and baobab trees.  The ecosystem’s main features are the meeting point of rivers Tana and Thiba, Kamburu and Masinga hydro-electric dams, which harbour variety of biodiversity.

The Residents

Major wildlife attractions include the  elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Common zebras, Lesser kudu, Buffalo, Water Buck, Bush buck, Impala, Vervet Monkeys, Aardvark, Yellow baboons, Grants gazelle, Dik dik, Cape hare, Warthog,  Black backed jackal, Duiker, Sykes monkeys, Genet cat, Slender mongoose, Stripped ground squirrel, Dwarf mongoose, Crested porcupine, Rock Hyrax, Tree Hyrax and tortoise. Hippos and crocodiles are also found in the dams and rivers. Different birds and reptile species have been recorded in the reserve.

The visitors

you can engage in other activities like boat rides and camping besides Gamedrives and nature walks.

We would recommend this park to all those looking for some quiet time out in the wilderness and KWS should market this park especially to residents of Embu county and the surroundings as it is within reach. There are soo many other places in this county that Travel agencies can combine and create packages off the already known  and give travelers new experiences…..as we bade Mwea Goodbye we cant help but think how much God has Blessed us with a gorgeous Country that we have just assumed its normal… Lets  #TembeaKenya , #LiveTheMagic and #ExploreMore  so that we can be ambassadors of our own products..

The Goodbye was loong as the one giving it..

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Need to go to Mwea or you have been there? Engage Us…. its always good to hear from you.. Keep it to our blog as we continue to encourage Domestic tourism through our own travels…

A stay at Rusinga Island Lodge Exposed us to the most beautiful Islands of Lake victoria..

 

IMG_9067As our journey continues from Luanda Kotieno we landed in Mbita where we proceeded to Rusinga Island The sunset was quite welcoming and so was the Rusinga island lodge team where we were going to spend a night. Rusinga Island is on the eastern part of Lake Victoria on Winam gulf.

 

In 1948 Rusinga Island came into the history books when Mary and Louis Leakey made their discovery of the last common ancestor of the great apes,  proconsul heleloni, which was purportedly an early genus primate that existed around 27 million years ago. Since the Island is at the crossroads where Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania meet, it has been influenced by the three countries’ traditional cultures. This is seen as many cross the Lake and live in other islands where traditional Ugandan or Tanzanian foods can be found in the local menu such as Matoke (rabolo-plantain) as well as all fish and vegetables dishes. Luos from the Northern and South Nyanza mainland also bring their rumba-style music, their round thatched house model of homes and their love of partying to add to the mix. We visited the litare fishing village got to learn and participate in fishing with the local community

 

Rusinga Island also hosts the mausoleum of the late Tom Mboya, who is one of the most prominent personalities in Kenyan history. He was born Thomas Joseph Mboya on 15th August 1930 and was assassinated at the tender age of 39 on 5th July 1969.

TJ mboya grave Rusinga.jpgIt is widely believed that his profile and illustrious career as a brilliant and charismatic leader, which was seen as a challenge to the then political establishment, led to his assassination.

Our two nights stay here were spent relaxing, bird watching, Island Hoping, swimming etc. This place was truely magical as the images below showcase that stay.

 

You can check more about Rusinga Island on this link >>>>>

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Birds island is a protect birds area full of birds and monitor lizards 

During our stay here we got to visit the magical Takawiri Island  This a haven for hippos and a vast array of bird-life and one of the most unspoilt islands on Lake Victoria. Takawiri Island also goes by the names, Takavire, Takawiri Island, Takivere Island, Takiwiri Island.

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Takawiri Island

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Takawiri Island
Takawiri Island

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well Good luck to all of us and as the sun sets on Rusinga Island Lodge so does our journey get to a close. we can only Thank the team here for the warm hospitality, delicious food and a very spacious extr-comfortable Room I had.

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Kisumu County as I Experienced it and fell in love..

A journey that took us a few hours from Kakamega  landed us  in Kisumu city, Kenya’s third largest city and the main urban center in Western Kenya, Kisumu has a lot to offer the to business and leisure traveler. In recent years, Kisumu has transformed from a provincial town to an attractive investment destination.

 

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The green patch is the View of lake victoria from Acacia Premier Hotel in Kisumu

As the East-African member countries are working more and more closely together, Kisumu is ideally located to play a significant role in this collaboration. Its location on the shores of Lake Victoria and its proximity to tourist attractions such as Kakamega Forest, Ndere Island and Ruma National Park, make it an increasingly popular base from which to explore Western Kenya- The main reason we were here.

We arrived to Kisumu city by road if you were following us you must have already read our previous post  we were coming from Kakamega and I must say I was impressed by how much the city has modernized but then again Our Luo brothers are known to have a FIIINE taste.. they say Luo is not a tribe but a lifestyle, and our Hotel proved all this. The Sovereign suites was nothing but incredible the staff was friendly and the meals delicious. Our rooms were quite spacious and comfortable you would just leave here.

 

 

While in kisumu we also took the liberty to check other properties like, victoria suites, Acacia premiere and jambo Chester inside Impala animal orphanage.  . Big ups to the manager of Acacia Premier Kisunu for a wonderful hospitality. You have truely set the bar high for Bleisure in Kisumu city.

 

Well after an overnight in kisumu city we reluctantly woke up to continue with our journey of west coast. Too bad we couldn’t trace the magical sunset and sunrises with rays reflecting over Lake victoria as the Hycnth has really covered this part of the lake and it looked like one green lake. we started by visit The impala Animal Orphanage. Set on the shore of Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, 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.

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A Shot on the movie LOST lol.. anyway on the old railway line at Impala Sanctuary Kisumu.

 

There after we headed to Ndere Island and on the way we stopped at Kiti mikayi  According to the Luo folklore, Kit Mikayi, mother of the tribe, rested up near Ndere Island, The smallest game reserve in Kenya after her long journey south down the Nile valley.,She found the shore lines so pleasing that she and her people stayed.

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Forklore time with an elder at Kiti Mikayi Shrine

Folklore also exists about the cause of the rock weeping. It’s believed that Mikayi, “the first wife” went up the hill to the stones when her husband took a second wife, and has been weeping ever since. imagesAnother legend about the weeping rock exists of a man who was in love with the stone. He could wake up in the morning and walk into the cave inside the stone and stay there the whole day forcing his wife to bring him breakfast and lunch every day. The old man become passionately in love with this stone to the extent that if somebody asked his wife the of his whereabouts , the wife would answer that he has gone to visit his first wife-Mikayi hence the stone of the first wife is Kit Mikayi.

 

After Kiti Mikayi we headed to Ndere Island. The rocky features full of kopjes as we descended to board our boat was kind of interesting to the eyes and photographers alike. Located on Lake Victoria, this island is a haven for birds.

Covered mostly in grassland, Ndere Island provides beautiful scenic views of the Homa hills to the south, Mageta Island to the east and the glimpses of Kampala in Uganda beyond the south west horizon. The lake shore supports a wide variety of animals including hippos, monitor lizards, Nile crocodiles, several fish species, snakes, baboons, impalas, the rare sitatunga antelopes, water bucks, zebras and warthogs. Over 100 different species of birds can be seen here including African fish eagles, black headed gonoleks and grey headed kingfishers.

 

The community around Ndere island were very hospitable and we learnt quite of interesting things at-least I learnt how to mend fishing nets lol..

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learning how to mend fishing nets.

Our journey to Luanda Lotieno for our ferry to Mbita was filled with fertile farmlands and interesting landscapes and fewer Matatus lol…

We got at the boarding port quite early and trust Kenyan Travelers the first thing they look for in a new place… Nyamchom but in this particular area FishChom lol too bad…but they Got something else.. hehe!

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The CEO of Lake Victoria tourism Mr.Antony Ochieng acting as a translator to a local Dholuo elder during preaching.  Apparently they do this before boarding the ferry  to calm the sea.

That is a story for another Because someone started calling all travelers for a spiritual session. Apparently Before boarding the ferry all passenger must gather prayer and read the bible together to ward bad spirits away…. and the preaching were in Dholuo wee! But Antony our fellow Tourism Ambassador were there to safe the day and do the interpretations hehe…. It was kind of interesting. One thing travel has taught me is to mingle and fit in with the locals as much as possible you will learn a lot of things not on any map or book.

 

The ferry was still taking sometime and some of us decided to put on a show and dance on the shows of lake Victoria. Tip; while on a long journey; sometimes just looking through the window can be exhausting carry a book, Great company or some music with you. It will break the monotony. But I must say Kisumu county is quite Gorgeous… and the residents quite fun to be around.

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At Luanda Kotieno waiting for our ferry

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Our “Vifarus” also waiting to board the Ferry.
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All Boarded to Mbita.
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The magical sunset that welcomed us to Mbita.
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Karibu Rusinga Island..

We got to Rusinga Island quite late and my #TwendeWestern Tale continues…….

If you have attractions and interesting things to do in Kisumu and its environs kindly share with us…