List Of Best Places To Visit In Siaya County

Here is a list of the best places to visit in Siaya County. Siaya County is blessed with numerous tourist and cultural attractions that play a critical role in the Western Kenya Tourism Circuit. Below are the attractions you should consider visiting this holiday season.

For a county with rich traditions, culture and historic landmarks, there is so much to offer. Here are some of the best places to visit in Siaya County:

Best Places To Visit In Siaya County

1. Lake Victoria

Siaya County is situated along the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. Visitors can enjoy boat rides, fishing, and scenic views of the lake. The Yala Swamp nearby also offers a unique wetland ecosystem with diverse bird species.

2. Yala Swamp

Yala is an ornithologist’s paradise, with the more than 200-square-kilometre swamp that stretches along the shores of Lake Victoria in Siaya and Busia counties. This swamp is a habitat for the endangered Sitatunga antelope and fish species, including Oreochromis esculentus (Ngege) and Oreochromis variabilis (Victoria tilapia), that have disappeared from Lake Victoria itself. The swamp is also a good place for bird-watching adventures, with over 100 species of birds. BirdLife International classifies the Yala Swamp among Kenya’s 60 important bird areas.

The birds inhabiting the swamp include the blue-breasted bee-eater, papyrus gonolek, swamp flycatcher, papyrus canary, white-winged warbler, great snapper and baillor’s crane.

3. Got Ramogi Hill

Situated in East Yimbo on the northeastern shores of the Lake Victoria basin, Got-Ramogi is a hill of multiple purposes. This sacred hill is located in Yimbo, a 40-minute drive from Bondo through the Bondo-Siaya Road. It is believed to be the ancestral place where the Luo community first settled before dispersing to other parts of the country and beyond. It is considered a sacred forest with cultural and spiritual significance. It supports a great variety of plants, animals and birds, among other species. The main trails are wide, the climb is relatively steep, and the forest is a mixture of indigenous trees and cacti. At the top of the hill, one gets a panoramic view of Yala swamp, Samia hills in the background, and Lake Victoria to the southwest.

The singing birds, the gentle breeze, the insects, the vegetation, the lake on the horizon, and the shaded paths lead to an experience of peace that proceeds from within. Peace, dearly longed for by all, has a dwelling place in the quiet of creation. To find peace is a blessing; to find inner peace is a treasure to be shared.

4. Lake Kanyaboli National Reserve

This is one of the most beautiful places in Siaya to visit. It is Africa’s second-largest oxbow lake. It is surrounded by the Yala swamp and the Akara hills. The 1,000-hectare Lake Kanyaboli is one of the three components that make up the phenomenal Yala Swamp complex. The other two features are wetlands in the delta of the Yala River and Lake Sare, one of several outlets of the Yala River into Lake Victoria.

The papyrus gonolek, papyrus canary, papyrus yellow warbler, and Caruthers cisticola are among the many bird species to be found here. There are also rare sitatunga antelopes to be found here. Visiting Lake Kanyaboli allows you to go on bird-watching excursions, fishing trips, and picnics.

The chirping of birds confirms that the area has been classified as one of Kenya’s 60 important bird areas, making it an ornithological paradise, a real pearl for tourism. A visit will not be complete without a trip to the nearby Bur Kolendo Shrines. There lies the interesting history of the Kit Mikayi stones of Kisumu.

5. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Mausoleum

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Mausoleum at Kang’o ka Jaramogi in Bondo, Siaya County, is a must-visit for history lovers. It holds a rich legacy of the independence hero who helped shape Kenya’s political history. The mausoleum is a cultural and historical monument erected in remembrance of Kenya’s first Vice President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. The beautiful historical site is a one-stop community museum and a Luo Heroes exhibition centre.

Sculptured lions at the entrance of the mausoleum signify the relentless spirit the doyen of opposition politics held during his days of struggle. In the neatly arranged mausoleum, there are stuffed animals and Luo cultural equipment, including weapons and traditional artifacts. The most fascinating moment is when one is taken through the political journey of the hero through the pictures carefully framed and hanging on the wall. In the eye-catching pictorial, Jaramogi’s life as a vice president and as a leader of the opposition is showcased. The pictures also depict his days as a teacher, statesman and pan-Africanist.

6. Kogelo Cultural Centre

The Kogelo Cultural Centre is a visitor centre located in Kogelo, Kenya. Kogelo is notable for being the ancestral home of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. The cultural centre serves as a hub for information about the Obama family’s history and the Luo culture, the ethnic group to which the Obamas belong. It provides visitors with insights into the Obama family’s roots and their connection to Kenya.

The centre often showcases various aspects of Luo traditions, history, and lifestyle, offering a glimpse into the local culture through exhibitions, artifacts, and educational displays. It’s a place where visitors can learn about the history of the area, the customs of the Luo people, and the story of how Barack Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., came from Kogelo.

7. Ndanu Falls

Situated along the River Yala, 500m from Yala town and 200m from the Kisumu-Busia road, This little-known Ndanu Falls in Gem, Siaya County, is one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in Nyanza. With a beautiful and natural rocky backyard, it has over the years attracted local and foreign tourists who visit the place to meditate or enjoy the beautiful scenery. Within Ndanu Falls, there is Sangu Island, where tourists used to go for nature walks and photography. It has a hippo pool and colobus monkeys. It also has scenic views of the waters of the Yala River beneath the lush hills of Gem. Anyone who goes there is also able to watch birds like palm vultures.

8. Uhanya Beach

It is a perfect place to enjoy swimming, boat rides, and other water sports such as kayaking and fishing adventures on L. Victoria. It is located 30 km from Bondo through the Kisian-Bondo-Usenge road.

9. EL Molo Crocodile Park and Lodge

Set in Kadimu, El Molo Crocodile Park and Lodge is a budget-friendly lodge and crocodile park. The park features a garden, barbecue, and children’s playground. Free private parking is available on-site. This is a perfect place to familiarize oneself with the life cycle of different crocodile species. It is also an ideal destination for family getaways, campers and team-building activities Accommodation is available in two cottages and a six-bedroom house. You can also visit the site to learn about the life cycles of various crocodile species.

10. Sauti Kuu Foundation Resource, Culture and Sports Centre

Photo Credits: https://www.voanews.com/

This is a platform for disadvantaged children and youth to discover their strengths and realize their full potential for independent and successful lives. On July 16, 2018, former US President Barack Obama officially opened the centre. The centre comprises an international standard-size football pitch sponsored by the German Ministry for Development Cooperation, a basketball court sponsored by the Giants of Africa Foundation, and a volleyball and netball court.

Other facilities include a library, an information technology laboratory and a vocational centre

11. Usenge Beach

Usenge Beach is the best destination for relaxing, as one can enjoy the spectacular view of the sunset, exceptional wind tides and cool breeze from Lake Victoria. Located along the shores of the great Lake Victoria, Usenge has constantly attracted a significant population of locals and visitors to experience the serenity that comes with the waters of the lake, making it one of the best tourist destinations in the county.

Usenge Beach has been nicknamed Mombasa Raha due to its white sand along the shores. It favors inter-border business between Kenya and Uganda, thus making it a potential source of revenue for the county. Among other businesses, the beach also promotes small-scale businesses such as retail shops, supermarkets, and open-air markets, making Usenge a business hub and the best place of interest to tourists.

12. Waterfront Resort, Siaya

Apart from the usual fishing activities on Lake Victoria’s beaches, the beachfront is emerging as one of the county’s best holiday destinations. From Usenge Beach to Kanyaboli, holiday homes are coming up due to an increased population and economic growth. One such resort is Waterfront Resort, this beautiful hidden treasure. if you’re looking for a chill and serene environment, this is the place to go.

To get here, once you arrive in Bondo, take a matatu to Oele Beach Junction or Nyamonye Stage, then take a bike for Ksh to the waterfront. If you have a car,drive to the Oele Beach signboard, take Murram murram and on your way, you will see signboards that will direct you to Waterfront. Most hotels along the beachfront charge between Ksh 2,000 and  Ksh 4,500 per night, for single or double occupancy.

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