Lake Victoria is the world's second largest freshwater lake covering an area of 67,850 kms (26,200 sq miles). This vast expanse, about the size of the Republic of Ireland, forms the main headwaters of the River Nile. Its Kenya focus, Kisumu, is 350 kms (220 miles) from Nairobi by road.
Three nations share the waters of Victoria - Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In the Kenya area there is a busy network of waterways between the trading towns and villages which lie along the shores of the lake. Lighters and small cargo vessels ply daily from Kisumu down as far as the Tanzania border and north as far as Port Victoria near Uganda.
Kisumu, the capital of Western Kenya, and the country's third largest population centre is the home of various industries and many small scale fisheries. Tilapia, Nile Perch and several other species provide a steady income for the fleets of Luo fishing canoes and boats which sell their catches at any of several markets located along the Lake's coast. With their lateen sails, these traditional dug-out vessels are an attractive sight.
Kisumu came into existence with the completion of the Uganda Railway five years after line laying began almost 1,000 kms away in Mombasa. It was briefly called Port Florence. Only forty years earlier, the English explorer Speke, having travelled along the western side of the lake reached a place he named Ripon Falls. It was these cataracts, at what is now Jinja, in Uganda, which he proclaimed the source of the Nile in 1861.
- Lake Victoria Safari Village
- Mfangano Island lodge
- Sunset hotel in the city centre
- Kiboko bay resort