The Kisumu Impala National Sanctuary is a serene park located on the shores of Lake Victoria. A large herd of impalas roam about the park freely. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
By Anthony Njagi, Daily Nation
Hidden just outside Kisumu is a gem that many Kenyans have never heard of. Kisumu Impala National Sanctuary is a serene park located on the shores of Lake Victoria.
It is three kilometres from Kisumu Town centre and 355 kilometres from Nairobi. A large herd of impalas roam about the park freely. At the entrance is a sign “Lake Shore Walk With Impalas”, which means exactly that. On each side of the footpath the graceful animals are either grazing, sleeping or frolicking.
The usually shy and discreet animals seem at peace with the environment. Other animals such as lions, leopards, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras and hippos are enclosed to prevent them from preying on the impalas. The sanctuary is also a bird watchers’ paradise. There is a variety of species.
Deep inside the sanctuary is the Impala Lake Victoria Ecolodge, a hotel blends in perfectly with nature. The hotel, which is surrounded by a forest, balances modern luxury with nature and ethnic design. It features authentic African designs in its furnishings and architecture.
At Lakeview Restaurant, you can enjoy the beautiful sunset, while watching hippos play in the lake. As guests enjoy their drinks in the evening, they can watch as the hippos emerge from the lake to graze. The nocturnal grazers spend the day in the water. While enjoying a tasty meal of tilapia, the sun’s golden rays on the lake is a sight to behold.
A wooden bridge constructed from the hotel near the lake gives visitors a better view of the magnificent surroundings. The sights and sounds enhance a blissful solitude. The hotel has 12 self-contained thatched cottages. These include two family suites, six executive luxury suites and four deluxe suites.
The cottages are also designed in African style, and they feature African sculptures and artworks. According to Mr Martin Khaemba, group operations manager Chester House Ltd-Impala Ecolodge, the cottages can host up to 24 guests at a time. They are usually booked by families, couples or individuals.