Kisumu is a port city in western Kenya at 1131m, with a population of 355,024 (1999 census). It is the third largest city in Kenya, the principal city of western Kenya, the capital of Nyanza Province and the headquarters of Kisumu District. It has no municipal charter. It is the largest city in Nyanza Province and second most Important city after Kampala in the greater Lake Victoria basin.
Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade "sumo". The city has "Friendship" status with Cheltenham, UK and "Sister City" status with Roanoke, Virginia, USA.
Attractions in the city include Kibuye Market
, the Kisumu Museum, an impala
sanctuary, a bird sanctuary
, Hippo Point, and the nearby Kit Mikaye and Ndere Island National Park
Kisumu Museum, established in 1980, has a series of outdoor pavilions
. Some of the pavilions contain live animals. For example, one pavilion contains numerous aquaria
with a wide variety of fish from Lake Victoria
, along with explanatory posters. Another pavilion contains terrarium containing mambas
, spitting cobras
, puff adders
and other venomous Kenyan snakes. Additionally, out of doors, the museum has a few additional exhibits, including a snake pit and a crocodile
Other pavilions show weaponry, jewellery, farm tools and other artifacts made by the various peoples of the Nyanza Province. Additionally, there are exhibits of stuffed animals, birds and fish. One pavilion houses the prehistoric TARA rock art, which was removed for its own protection to the museum after it was defaced by graffiti in its original location.
The museum's most important and largest exhibition is the UNESCO-sponsored Ber-gi-dala. This is a full-scale recreation of a traditional Luo homestead. Ber-gi-dala consists of the home, granaries and livestock corrals of an imaginary Luo man as well as the homes of each of his three wives, and his eldest son. Through signs and taped programs in both Luo and English, the exhibition also explains the origins of the Luo people, their migration to western Kenya, traditional healing plants, and the process of establishing a new home.
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Kisumu is location of the Kisumu Impala
Sanctuary. Measuring just 0.4 square miles, the sanctuary is one of Kenya's smallest wildlife preserves. As its name suggests, it is home to a herd of impala. Some hippos, as well as many reptiles and birds are also present. Additionally, several caged baboons
who faced difficulties of one sort or the other in the wild are held in cages there.
Hippo Point is a 600-acre viewing area on Lake Victoria. Despite its name, it is better known as a viewing point for its unobstructed sunsets
over the lake than for its occasional hippos
Hippo point is near the village of Dunga, a few kilometres SW of the town. The village also has a fishing port and a camping site.
Kit Mikayi, a large rock with three rocks on top, and is located off Kisumu Bondo Road towards Bondo. It is a weeping rock; it is believed that Mikayi (which means, literally, "the first wife") went up the hill to the stones when her husband took a second wife, and has been weeping ever since.
Before the jet airline era, Kisumu was a landing point on the British flying boat passenger and mail route from Southampton to Cape Town. Kisumu linked Port Bell and Nairobi.
Kisumu is served by Kisumu Airport, with regular daily flights to Nairobi and elsewhere. There are plans to expand the airport in anticipation of increased trade brought about by the recreated East African Community of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Lake Victoria ferries have operated from the port linking the railway to Mwanza, Bukoba, Entebbe, Port Bell and Jinja.
Rail and air accidents
plane operated by South African Air Force
crashed into Lake Victoria soon after taking off from Kisumu Airport on July 11
. All 28 on board died.
Two serious railway accidents occurred near Kisumu in the 21st century.
The first took place outside Kisumu on August 15, 2000. The brakes on the train failed, causing it to roll. Thirteen people were killed and 37 received injuries. The second took place on the morning of October 16, 2005, when a matatu (taxi minibus) was struck by a passenger train. Six people died and 23 more were injured.
Notable natives and residents
The term used to refer to a resident of Kisumu is a jakisumo
. Notable jokisumo
- A photo of kisumu: http://www.kisumu.co.uk/pict1_files/A_JPEGs/A0002.jpg.jpg
- Kisumu places: http://www.kisumu.co.uk/
- TRANSPORTATION:- KISUMU MUNICIPAL COUNCIL–SUSTAINABLE URBAN MOBILITY PROJECT http://www.scp-mobility.org/Kisumu%20SUM%20Profile%20report.pdf
- Odiero, Frederick. "Six killed, scores injured as matatu is crashed by train," Kenya Times, October 17, 2005, http://www.timesnews.co.ke/17oct05/nwsstory/news17.html
- "Kenya Railways forms team to investigate train crash," Daily Nation, August 19, 2000, http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/19082000/News/News49.html
- "Kisumu Museum," http://www.museums.or.ke/regkis.html
- "Kisumu Wildlife Sanctuary," http://www.kws.org/impala.html