No direct flights are leaving from the UK for Kisumu. The destination is remote, and there are not many people travelling to this city in western Kenya to make a direct flight to Kisumu profitable. Tourists visiting Kisumu usually take a shorter Kenya Airways flight to get to the town with just one stopover at Nairobi.
Kenya Airways tickets to Kisumu are a bit more expensive than those offered by Air France and KLM, but they offer a lot more. Even if you are not travelling with children or the elderly, the two-stopover flight to Kisumu can be longer than 30 hours, which can be uncomfortable for the passenger, especially if each of the stopovers is more than 10 hours long. With Kenya Airways there is going to be only one short stop at Nairobi.
The first portion of the journey from the UK to Kisumu with Kenya Airways is a flight from London Heathrow Airport to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Flight number KQ 101 flies every day from London at six in the afternoon and arrives in Kenya’s capital at four in the morning. The total flight duration of the London to Nairobi trip is eight hours.
From Nairobi onwards to Kisumu, three flights are leaving for the city at different times in a week. For example, KQ 654 completes the journey between these two cities in just 50 minutes and is scheduled every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at nine in the morning. The other flights planned are KQ 650 and KQ 670 that also conduct their operations regularly and transport tourists to Kisumu from Nairobi.
There is no significant low season in Kisumu for the tourist to take advantage of and have a cheap vacation by coming to the city during that time. There is almost the same number of tourists coming to Kisumu in May than that in September. The year-long favourable climate of Kisumu is to blame. However, there is a slight decline in the number of people arriving in the city just a few weeks before Christmas. The best way to get a cheap trip to Kisumu is to call our agents three to four months before time to book a flight and get lodging at a reasonable price.
Even though the Kisumu Airport (KIS) is designated as an international airport of Kenya, most international airlines fly to Nairobi or Mombasa first. The airport does get some traffic from regional airlines, and many passengers from Europe tend to use these African airlines to get to Kisumu faster. Four hundred thousand passengers are visiting the airport for their travels each year. The Kisumu International Airport is getting a significant uplift to expand the current facilities. The airport overlooks Lake Victoria and is only six kilometres from the city centre.
Kisumu is only a few kilometres south of the equator. The temperature remains constant during the entire stretch of the year. The mean temperature hardly ever fluctuates from the 24°C value. However, the mean high temperature remains lower than the 30°C mark from June to August only, which is why this is the best time to come to Kisumu. Due to the tropical climate, the rains never seize to pour once every few days, but during the June to August time, the chance of having a rainy day reduces significantly. Since the weather remains roughly the same throughout the year, there is not a significant surge of tourists going to Kisumu during the summer. The tickets and accommodation might only be slightly more expensive during this time.
Kisumu means ‘to trade’ in the local language. It is the largest city in western Kenya, which lies on the shores of Lake Victoria. The town is surrounded by natural wonders that serve as the landmarks for the Kisumu County.
- The Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is one of the parks that make Kisumu city a beautiful place to start an African safari tour. Right on the lakeside, the small park is utterly jam-packed with wild game. The tourism agencies call it as a “lakeshore walk with the Impala”, and it is precisely that. Apart from the impalas, there are lions, buffalos, leopards and the African rhinos living inside the reserve. The Impala Sanctuary also is the best place for birdwatchers, as 115 different birds chirp and squawk inside the park limits. The reserve is open to the tourist from six in the morning to six in the evening, and there are exclusive picnic sites where you can have food and gaze at the animals munching on grass.
- Kit Mikayi is a rock formation, about 30 kilometres west of the city – a 40-minute car ride from the city centre. The rock was naturally formed and sculpted by erosion to look like blocks and tablets stacked over each other. The local legends say that once a man lived in the area and he fell in love with the rocks so much so that his wife used to bring him breakfast, lunch and dinner at the cave under the rocky hill. Whenever people used to ask the wife about her husband, she used to say that he is living with his ‘first wife’. From there the formation got the name as ‘Kit Mikayi’ – the home of the first wife. The site is sacred to local Luo-Kakello tribe and the Legio Maria Christians. Often the tourist would find people praying and fasting around the rocky peak.
- The Kisumu Museum invites all to be inspired by the Lou tribe culture and the natural heritage of the city. The museum contains an aquarium, displaying the fish that swim in the waters of the Lake Victoria. The museum also has taxidermy statues of different animals in many poses, allowing the tourist to have a close look at the creatures. Outside the museum is the snake park, with other reptiles including crocodiles and tortoises. Tourists are a fan of the model village outside the museum. Local dancers sway on the rhythm of traditional instruments and introduce the visitors to a new culture.
Kisumu is bustling with different tribes coming from various backgrounds. Every other day, there are traditional festivals that involve a dance-off or a cook-off between competing tribes and cultures. These festivals help maintain tranquillity in the area and help showcase the African heritage of Kenya. For example, the Kisumu Music Festival in the summer is the best place to hear traditional beats and local African hip hop. Most festivals are not yearly organized; they are put together every time the community decides to have some fun. Kisumu also has a significant Christian population that celebrates Easter and Christmas with the rest of the city.
Kisumu is not a very large town and the main attractions of the area are the nature trails and reserves that surround the small township. Getting from one end of Kisumu to the other is very easy and can be done on foot if one is willing to wear some trainers. However, tourists usually wave down a ‘boda-boda’, which is a local bicycle taxi or take a ‘matatus’ minibus, even though they can be a bit crowded. For the best experience, rent a car for the duration of your trip and enjoy the luxury of moving around whenever you like.
There are not many five star hotels in Kisumu. Most tourists visiting the city are nature lovers and tend to spend their time outside, admiring the wildlife and interacting with the locals. There are, however, more economical options for stay available in the city. Please select the five-star hotel from the list mentioned below.
- Acacia Premier Hotel
- Imperial Hotel
- Vittoria Suites
- Sovereign Hotel
- Jumuia Hotel Kisumu