FIFTEEN Years Down The Line, Kisumu City Offers A Whole New Travel Experience

Pinterest
GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
The Le Savanna Country Lodge is a cosy place to spend some quality time while in Kisumu. The rooms are fitted with air-con facilities and DSTv and the WiFi internet connection is free to residents.

The Le Savanna Country Lodge is a cosy place to spend some quality time while in Kisumu. The rooms are fitted with air-con facilities and DSTv and the WiFi internet connection is free to residents.

I have been on a long road trip these last few days moving from Nairobi to Eldoret through Narok, Kisumu and Kakamega. For some towns like Kisumu, I was coming back after a whooping fifteen years! It was a lot of fun seeing the amazing transformations western Kenya has gone through since then and to see what it now has to offer the intrepid traveller.

Going by road and choosing to use public means made the experience all the more insightful and colourful. My choice of transport from Nairobi to Kisumu was the Easy Coach Bus Service that plies this route quite regularly.

For KES 1,350.00 you get safety and reasonable comfort – not to mention the small packet of biscuits the ‘cabin crew’ offers passengers just to boost their glucose levels – which was kind of cool, especially being the first time in a long time I was travelling by bus on such a distance.

I think Easy Coach have a great bus service. In fact I owe any discomfort during the journey to certain stretches of the road that are still quite bad even though there is quite a lot of road works going on to correct this.

We began to see glimpses of Kisumu City at around 6pm. Here the journey gets even rougher – the main road to the city is undergoing a major overhaul and so there are numerous rough diversions that makes this last leg of our trip a real pain.

We soon leave the Nairobi-Kisumu road and enter Ondiek Road to behold the larger than life structure that is the Nakumatt Mega City on the right. I am told this is the largest of all the Nakumatts in Kenya. “But do we say?” I am informed.

Sadly, this wow moment does not last long as it is quickly overshadowed by this huge pile of stinking garbage just next to, perhaps, the largest supermarket in Kenya that is an eye sore to shoppers and visitors to the city that plays host to the largest lake in Africa and the largest tropical lake in the world – the mighty Lake Victoria. I wonder what Nakumatt or the county government is doing about this. It is a real anti-climax to an otherwise spectacular moment.

Nakumatt and its garbage heap aside, Kisumu city is otherwise growing reasonably fast with numerous ultra-modern buildings coming up everywhere you look although one cannot help noticing the rustic side of the city dominated by very old buildings that carry in them a rich, hidden history of this lake city that really must be told to the world some day.

It is also quickly obvious that the major business owners here are from the Asian community going by the many business premises one comes across bearing Indian names – the most prominent are schools, social halls and hospitals such as, of course, the Aga Khan Hospital which is a household name here.

While in Kisumu, I stayed at the Le Savanna Country Lodge, a really nice place tucked away in the quiet suburbs of Kisumu where one is easily set free from the hustle and bustle of the CBD. Located next to the Dr. Robert Ouko Estate, Le Savanna, as they say, is a place where ‘you can dine, tweet, swim and sleep the night away in unrivalled class.’

While in Kisumu I visited Kabondo, the home of Sweet Potatoes (am told 80% of Kenya’s sweet potatoes come from this place). In Kabondo, I met a group of youth who are learning to use Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to improve access to better market prices through an SMS application called m-farm.

M-farm is helping farmers access the most competitive prices for various crops in the market and it is proving to be a powerful tool that is helping farmers make informed decisions on where to sell their farm produce.

I also had a chance to visit the ICT Centre set up by the ACK church through its development arm, the Anglican Development Services (ADS) in collaboration with other partners. At the centre, farmers, especially young farmers, are learning how to use the computer and the mobile phone to keep track of their farm records and to search for information on new farming techniques.

The centre also doubles as a sweet potato collection centre where farmers can bulk their crop before it is sent to the market offering the best price.

After spending 5 nights in the lake city, it was time to embark on the second leg of my journey that would take me to the western town of Kakamega. Did you know that the name Kakamega loosely translated actually means ‘to pinch’? Stay with me and I will tell you how this name came to be as I take you through my Kakamega trip experience in my next blog post coming shortly.

For more photos of my Kisumu trip, visit this photo Gallery link: All in a Day’s Work

TRAVEL NOTES

  • I had a bit of a challenge accessing the WiFi facility in my room at Le Savanna but after a few hours, the very hospitable staff were able to sort me out. It seems there is a connectivity problem. Overall great place.
  • Would be great if Easy Coach could throw in a complimentary bottle of water alongside the biscuits. What do you think guys! Overall great service.

246 total views, 1 views today

GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
Pinterest

About Henry Muuthia

Henry Muuthia is a travel writer and photographer. He writes for a range of online platforms including Technorati, Google+, EzineArticles and ArticleBase where he has published several articles, mostly on Kenyan travel. He is a resident writer for Enchanted Landscapes Travelogue and also occasionally writes for the travel section of Nakumatt''s SmartLife Magazine.
This entry was posted in Kenya Nyanza and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>