Kenya
Kisumu

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kisumu. Discover travel destinations in Kenya of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

5 travelers at this place:

  • Day125

    Kisumu, Kenya

    September 8, 2017 in Kenya ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    Crossed into Kenya easily with a straightforward border-crossing. A few hours’ drive took us to Kisumu, another town on huge Lake Victoria. Similar to Jinja, the town was bustling, had a very colonial feel and was easy to navigate. We spent a comfortable night in a hotel (we decided not to camp given that it was still raining and our refrigerator had unfortunately stopped working) and had our first introduction to super-friendly Kenyan hospitality.Read more

  • Day64

    The Big Town

    March 5, 2016 in Kenya ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    Our evening in Kakamega consisted of Jack taking me to the limit of the town where she had seen graffiti on our way into town. It was the first time we had seen graffiti at all during our trip, so she got a little excited... There's actually no graffiti in East Africa. If there's painted lettering on a wall, it's always the name of the store it's on. After taking the obligatory pictures, we wandered around and stumbled upon a tiny little bar. It was the size of its two tables, with wraparound banquets. Maybe 5 men and a women bar tender. Perfect. We sat and had a beer, and surprisingly enough, we weren't being starred at, we weren't being mocked... They obviously noticed our presence, acknowledged it, and moved on. It was perfect. We almost felt like we blended in... Almost.

    Planning for the next day, there's a tiny mention in lonely planet about a town called Khayega, which had bull fighting events every Saturday morning, but only from 7am to 8am, and with specific location. Since the hike we wanted to do was close enough to this location, we thought, of course we want to see bull fighting! Not surprisingly, we didn't get to see it... We got up at 6am. Were out waiting for the bus by 630am. It didn't fill up until 725am (remember, if there's an empty seat, it doesn't leave). Anywho, we got there in time for the last little bit only to be told in very, very broken English that it was every second Saturday, and that we were more then welcomed to returned the following Saturday. Personal invitation received! I guess that experience will have to be for another time.

    Mototaxi to Kakamega Forest Reserve, meet our awesome guide Nancy and off we go! It was our first female guide, and I loved it. Girls are chattier in nature, so we got to exchange experiences and information throughout. She was my favourite part! She told us about her family, she takes care of her sister's 2 kids since she died in "the violence of 2007" as Nancy put it. I was clueless but Jack answered "oh, the election riots, I'm so sorry". She's so smart. Elections here are scheduled for next year, I'll make sure to miss those ones.

    The walk was fantastic of course! Anything with nature makes me feel at piece with the world. We set out at 9am and were done by 3pm. Saw black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, a hornbill which is an awkward looking huge bird, and plenty of beautiful birds and butterflies. Nancy was very knowledgeable on the plants and trees around, so she told us all about the medicinal plants found in the forest... Including bark from a certain tree that if you boil in water and drink it three times a day you cure prostate cancer in 2 weeks... I don't know about that one. I feel like the pharmaceutical companies would have exploited that a long time ago...

    Done with our walk and done with Kakamega, we hoped on a minibus to Kisimu, the 3rd largest town in Kenya. Our lonely planet, which I'm really starting to dislike, described it as a town that "doesn't feel as large as it is". It definitely feels as big as it is. It feels bigger. We found a place to stay (expensive FYI, and no cheaper option) that's close to the water front, but that streets all around it are deserted. And it's supposed to be the downtown. I guess we'll see if it picks up tomorrow, although it will be Sunday so I doubt it. There was a shit ton of people in the area where our bus dropped us off, but apparently lonely planet believes in taking you away from the locals and towards empty streets with fancy shops... Boy oh boy. We still managed to find a spot to have a drink on the upper deck of a restaurant along the shores of Lake Victoria. The sound of crashing waves and the breeze of open water are some of the best feelings!

    Side note - coca cola is amazing. I blame my parents for this addiction. But seriously, after a hot, sticky and sweaty day, nothing feels better then a cold coke. Sugar for energy, coffee to wake me up from the sleepiness of the heat, cools you right down. This was my ode to coke. That is all.
    Read more

  • Day65

    Water front bliss

    March 6, 2016 in Kenya ⋅ 🌬 32 °C

    It's hot! Not to rub it in, my fellow Canadians, but it's hot (33 degrees celsius today) ! Finding shade has been my favourite distraction when walking around town. Well, the shops and people are interesting too... But shade! The difference in temperature between sun and shade is absolutely ridiculous. I'm wonderfully comfortable in shade, I'm sweating buckets not even moving in the sun. The slimmest of trees are still welcomed along my journey.

    That being said, we walked all morning until we finally made it to the waterfront around 145pm. Wandered around town (saw this massive gathering of people - outside church), found a cheaper place to stay for tonight in a more interesting part of town (last night had incredibly loud music playing until about 4am), and booked our tea plantation tour! Jack's been really hoping to visit a tea plantation, and we've attempted but it's never worked out. So this time, we took no chances and booked a fancy tour. Kenya is funny, I really haven't bargained much, yet prices have dropped. The tour was 8000 per person. I was shocked and it showed. He then said he could bring it down to 7000 total. Lol! That's less then half. What the heck? Our hesitation came from us having contacted Harman via email. Harman is a man who lives in Kericho and offers informal tours for 200Ksh. Problem is, Harman is the guide this tour company uses, and when they heard we had emailed him, they contacted him to let him know we were in his office. So that option disappeared.

    Tea tour booked. Wandering around town satisfied. We walked the hour to the water front and I rewarded myself with, you guessed it, coca cola. We spent a couple blissful hours sitting along the water front, breeze and shade a plenty, being served my coke and beer and fries and all my hearts desire! Simple end to a simple day.

    Side note - (apparently I'm starting to like these side notes...) breakfast here is a little tricky. Africans in general have not been the most morning friendly. To be honest, I don't know how many of them even have breakfast. I wake up starved in the morning. I need a good breakfast. What we've been able to find in Kenya are local restaurants selling rice and beans and sometimes these wonderful little baked / fried breads. So most mornings, we eat beans and rice. To top it all off, African tea (made with boiled milk and spices instead of water). I like classic tea better, but when in Rome...
    Read more

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Kisumu

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