National parks and game reserves in Western Kenya

Visiting Western Kenya? Here are some of the beautiful parks and game reserves to visit and enjoy nature.

The famous Kit Mikayi, one of the tourist attraction sites in Kisumu County

In Brief

– Visiting Western Kenya? Here are some of the beautiful parks and game reserves to visit and enjoy nature.

Kenya is famous for the original safari due to the beautiful sceneries in the beautiful country.

Within Kenya, there are over 40 national parks and wildlife reserves which have been set aside for the conservation of wildlife and natural habitat.

This article aims at giving an insight into the game reserves and National parks in the western part of the country for the tourist visiting Kisumu county and its environs.

Ruma National Park

This is the only terrestrial park in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Dubbed the “Last Retreat of the Roan Antelope”, the park protects the only indigenous population of rare roan antelopes within Kenya which is on the verge of extinction with the population numbering being 40.

The park was established in 1966 as Lambwe Valley Game Reserve. It was later renamed “Ruma” after one of Kenya’s most powerful wizard, the much-feared Gor Mahia who lived around the park. The park is located in the vast Lambwe Valley.

Impala’s on the shows of lake victoria

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Kakamega Forest National Reserve

Located in the vast Kakamega county bordering Nandi county, Kakamega forest is Kenya’s last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest.

Flora found in the park includes some of Africa’s greatest hard and softwoods: Elgon teak, red and white stinkwood and several varieties of croton and aniageria altisima. There are 380 recorded species of plants. This includes 60 species of ferns, 150 species of trees and shrubs, and 170 species of flowering plants including 60 species of orchids with 9 species only found in this forest.

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The forest is famous for its birds, 367 bird species have been recorded in the forest such as the West African Great blue turaco and black-and-white-casqued hornbill. At least 9 birds are not found anywhere else, hence encouraging bird watching activities.

Kakamega’s Forest Stulmann’s blue monkey

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

Located within Kisumu city, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary lies on the shores of Lake Victoria.

The facility was gazetted in 1992. In March 2010, the sanctuary was branded as ‘a lakeshore walk with impalas’. There is diverse species flora (of trees, grass & herbs) and fauna both free-ranging and captive.

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Over 115 species of birds have been recorded. Presently, the sanctuary boasts of all the big five games except for the elephant. A number of nature trail circuits are also available for clients.

Annually, the sanctuary conducts the Kisumu Impala Conservation Boat Race event in November to help create awareness of wildlife, especially the endangered sitatunga antelope.