Safari activities to do in Ndere Island National Park : A recently gazetted 1,038-acre park, Ndere Island National Park is located immediately north of Lake Victoria. In Dholuo, the native Luo language, the park’s name signifies a “meeting place.” Themeda grass species, whose mature flowers have a crimson hue, is another reason why the locals refer to island as Chula Rabour, or the Red Island.
The Ndere Island National Park is very important to the Luo people. Luo legend states that this is the location where Kit Mikayi, the tribe’s mother, is said to have rested. According to folklore, she had journeyed south along the Nile Valley. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) dubbed the national park “the island of serenity and beauty” in 2010 after it opened in November 1986. Here are five safari activities you should definitely do while you’re there.
- Picnic, Hike and Walk.
Well-kept walking trails in Ndere Island National Park provide you with breath-taking vistas of Lake Victoria. The Homa hills are visible in the distance to the south. The island of Magere is also visible to the east. You just about make out Kampala, Uganda, beyond the southwest horizon. The location offers beautiful areas for hiking and picnics as well.
- Learn Traditional Fishing.
You are welcome to go fishing with the locals if you make advance preparations. While the majority have switched to more contemporary methods, some continue to use the traditional woven trap method. Here, fishing is akin to a contest as anglers vie to bring in the largest and most abundant catch. With any luck, you’ll be an expert when you leave! As an alternative, sport fishing is an option.
- Go on a Boat Safari.
On their boats, the locals regularly arrange boat safaris. It is also feasible to visit the adjacent sister island of Magere with previous preparations.
- Observing Wildlife.
The coastline waters of Ndere Island National Park are home to a variety of species, such as crocodiles and hippos. Currently, there are roughly fifty impala in the population. However, a visit to the unique and endangered aquatic Sitatunga antelope is a must on every trip of the park.
- Go Bird Watching.
Ndere Island National Park is home to over a hundred different species of birds. They live largely among the papyrus reeds that are scattered along the coast. There’s no pressure to find them all in one tour (though that would be a record), but try to identify a couple at least. Start with typical water birds like the African fish eagle, hammer kop and goliath heron.
The Kisumu-Bondo route makes it simple to get from Kisumu City to the park. Alternatively, you can reach the island in 45 minutes by speed boat from Kisumu. If you are considering a visit, find out the park entrance costs on the Kenya Wildlife Service website or contact us at Focus East Africa Tours.