Tourism in Western Kenya
Tourism in Western Kenya : Western Kenya is blessed with magnificent attraction that are nestled within major counties, there are main counties that have harboured tourist attractions in the present day, they include; Nakuru which is among the largest counties in Kenya, Naivasa and Kakamega. The western rift valley also lies in some parts of the Western Kenya. There are several Tourist Attractions in Western Kenya, they include;
Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara is sited partly in the Western province of Kenya, also called the Mara, it is a wide and very large national game reserves that touches Serengeti national park on the Tanzania boarder. It is also mentioned in the seven natural wonders of Africa and also the ten wonders of the world. It has become one of African’s most visited non gazzeted reserves in Africa because of the great migration that occurs every year. Masai Mara is blessed with several game which calls for various tourists from almost every end of the world, they include; Lions, Southeast African cheetahs, leopards, Elephants, Giraffes, Hyenas and also the crocodiles along the mara river. Masai mara is also part of the mara triangle.
Masai mara can be accessed to by several gates, they include; Oloolo gate in the North east part of the national reserve,Oloolaimutia gate located in the eastern part of the game reserve, the Sekanani gate located in the eastern boarder of Sekanani town,Musiara gate also located in the East neighbouring Oloolo gate which is close to the Mara river,the Talek gate is located in the north western part of the reserve and is one of the weell built gates of the masai mara and Sand river gate is located in the southern part of the mara reserve boardering Kenya and Tanzania.
Masai mara can be accessed by road and air transport. It also has best accommodation for tourists circulated in and outside the game reserve. Masai mara is a good place for 2,3,4,5 and even a seven day safari that you will rememeber for the rest of your life. The morning and evening game drives give the best view of the game.
Mountain Elgon in Western Kenya
Mountain Elgon is occupies the Uganda and Kenya boarder west of Kenya and East of Uganda. It the fourth highest mountain in Africa with 4,321m high above sea-level. Mountain Elgon has lava tubes that are frequented by elephants, it also has a crater, tarns,streams and also caves. The extinct Volcano is sited North east of Lake victoria and also the largest volcanis mountain in east Africa. There are a variety of activities at Mountain Elgon National park, they include; Birding,Hiking, Game viewing, Nature guided walks and Camping.
Mountain Elgon can be accessed to by road and by air at the airstrip sitting at the headquarters, The National park has 4 main gates that enter and exit it, they include; Chorlim, Kiptogot,Kimoton and Kassawai gates. Mountain Elgon national park has good and accessible accommodation near and camping can also be done with in the park.
There are different animals that can be sighted while at Mountain Elgon National park; they include; Waterbucks, giant forest hogs, hyenas, antelopes, buffalos, th blue monkey and elephants Mountain Elgon has a various number of bird species for birders.
Kakamega Forest Reserve
Known for it’s canopy beauty, Kakamega forest is a rain forest located in western Kenya in Kakamega county just few kilometers to the Uganda boarder. It harbors various animals like bush pigs,giant forest hedge hogs, Debrezzar monkeys, colobus mokeys and pottos. There are also very many bird species like the bee eater, black billed Turaco, Grey parrots and many. Bird watching, hiking and rock climbing are the common activities at the forest.
There are various accommodation points and easily accessible within kakamega and camping can also be done in forest side.
Lake Nakuru National Park
The rift valley soda lake in Africa is located south of Nakuru. It lies in the rift valley of Kenya and has an elevation of 5,755 ft above sea-level. The lake is protected by Lake Nakuru national park. The lake is a home of various animals and birds, they include; baboons, wathogs, Eastern black rhinos and southern white rhinos, flamingos and many more. The park is close to Nakuru town, the word Nakuru means “Dusty place or Dust” in Masai language. The Lake is also under the gazzetted Ramsar gathering of wet-lands.
The National park came to existence in the year 1961 near lake nature and Nakuru town and famously known for the many flamingos that nest along the lake shores, the number of flamingos depends on the food availability with their advantage point from the baboon cliff. The park has gazeted areas for giraffes and black and white rhinos. The park has 2 black rhinos and 70 southern white rhinos currently. There are a variety of waterbucks, lions, leopards can be sighted on a lucky day. There ar a posibilty of seing pythons crossing the road. Birds like flamingos, African fish agle,Goliath Heron,Pied kingfisher, Hamerkop can be watched.
Saiwa Swamp National Park
Located near Kitale,Saiwa Swamp National Park is also part of Trans-Nzoia County, Rift Valley Province, Kenya. Sitting on only 3 km², It is the smallest national park in Kenya. It was founded to be a home for the sitatunga which is a very rare marine antelope. The swamp is flooded with a number of very green tree species. It is 18miles away from Kitale to the north east and came into existence in the year 1974. There are many swamp animals in Saiwa swamp national park, they include; Grey duiker, bushbucks, the black and white colobus monkey, African clawless otter and De Brazza’s monkey. The park is combined with a long footbridge across the swamp, with also nature trails through the heart of the park, the park can also be explored on foot. The sitatunga can be viewed well at 8am on platform four, platform four is among the viewing points. Birding can be done actively from 8am to 10am.
The National park is strategically located and easily accessible.
The lake being the largest in African but also compared to that of the Republic of Ireland, it sits on 68,500 sq kms with only fresh waters. The lake is shared by the three East African countries, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The Lake is a home to many people who do alot of fishing, most are Luo speaking people in Kenya. They park their fleet of traditional boats/ dhows mostly at a place called Dunga. They copied the dhow style from the Arabs who crowded the lake in the earlier days. In a small town called Kendu Bay, you can view several fishing dhows on the lake, Kendu is about an hours drive from Kisumu town.
A large mosque called Tawakal Mosque is also located in Kendu bay, it sits along the road between the town centre and the dock. The other, Simbi Nyaima is a pretty green crater lake whose shallows usually support large numbers of flamingo is 2km out of kisumu town,the word Simbi Nyaima means “Village That Sank”. It is a reference used by the Luo legend that the lake was created when a fearful storm sarrounded what was formerly a village, to punish its inhabitants for refusing to help an old woman who had arrived there looking for food and shelter.
You can not miss out where to stay while venturing the Lake, some places include; The Mfangano Island with tented camps,Rusinga island. You can not fail to track the huge Nile perch whil there.
Hell’s Gate National Park
The National park which came into existence in the year 1964 lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya and north west of Nairobi. It was named after the break of cliffs and once a branch of a prehistoric lake that fed the early humans in the Rift valley. It is an hour’s drive from Naivasha town to the National park. The small national park is known for it’s game and beautiful scenery. I t looks beautifully designed with the Fischer’s tower and the central tower columns with the Hell’s Gate Gorge. The park also harbors three geothermal power stations at Olkaria and also the Masai cultural center.
The park is a home to several wildlife but many are a few in number, they include; Lions, leopards,cheetahs, Frican buffalos, zebras, Eland, Hartbeests,Hyenas, Thomson’s Gazelle,Hyraxes and Baboons. There are a variety of birds like 103 in number, they include; verreaux’s eagles, augur buzzard and swifts plus very many vultures.
Hell’s Gate National park is one of the two National parks in Kenya where you will find Hiking, bicycling, motorcycling and even camping encouraged within the park. There is mountain climbing and boating of Lake Naivasha. At Hell’s Gate National Park,you can find several lodges around Naivasha Lake, popular among tourists for watersports, bird and game viewing in private ranches and walks along Crescent Island, Crater Lake, and Mt. Longonot.
The game park is also well equipped with three basic campsites, camping is safe in the park even though there are no guns or fencing between you and wildlife.