Lake Victoria Travel Guide

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Hamerkop nest

Hamerkop nest

M Webster

Lake Victoria is largest lake in Africa, measuring almost 70,000 square km. The lake is a very integral part of the lives of the Kenyans around the lake, namely the Luo tribe, famous fisherman. Lately the fishing and transport on the lake has suffered greatly from the invasion of water hyacinth, an aquatic weed that robs fish of oxygen and blocks waterways. Remember that bilharzia is prevalent in the lake, so don’t swim in it, or walk on its banks without shoes.

The lake itself is not that spectacular, although there are several island you can visit. Rusinga Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway. From Kisumu, take a matatu to Homa Bay, where you’ll be able to get transportation to the island. There’s a mausoleum for the famous statesman Tom Mboya on the island, and not much else.

If you really want to get off the beaten track, go to Mfangano Island. You can take a ferry from Homa Bay. There’s nothing on the island except for a local community and one very expensive resort. Arrange to stay with some locals, or go to Mfangano Island Camp where a bed with full board costs US$ 125. You can arrange fishing trips from here through Mutiara Ltd. in Nairobi (# (02) 331871).

The lake is so large that it is bordered by other countries such as Tanzania and Uganda.  In Tanzania, Speke Bay Lodge has a variety of accommodation including permanant tents and four -person bungalows.  The owners will arrange boat trips, visits to a nearby Sukuma village and bird walks. It is very close to the Ndabaka Gate into the Serengeti. (028-262 1236)

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March 29, 2005 change by giorgio

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