Exploring Kenya's side of Lake Victoria (Nam Lolwe locally) - prehistoric cave art, famous sons and sunsets and fish dishes to beat.
- + 5
Kenya7 days / January - February - March - April - May - August - September - October - November - December 2019
Highs & Lows
The sunsets over the lake on all islands are a sight to behold!
Only a few accommodation options on each island.
Lake Victoria, known as Nam Lolwe in Kenya, is Africa’s largest freshwater lake and the lifeline of several communities in the country as well as Uganda and Tanzania. It also is the source of the River Nile in Eastern Uganda.
There are several islands on the lake both inhabited and not, but the three most interesting are Rusinga, Takawiri and Mfangano in my opinion. Given the size of Nam Lolwe and the location of the islands away from the bays and shores of the mainland, there is a coastal feel on the beaches with sweeping views over the water and even some waves – not to mention Takawiri’s white sands.
This trip was peak ‘unspoiled and authentic’ village island life with fishing, churches and mosques, farming and more daily life going on alongside my hikes, beach days and strolls through museums.
Q & A
Anything go wrong during the trip?
We arranged an 'early morning boat trip' with one fisherman who didn't show up at the jetty at our agreed-upon time - best leave such arrangements to staff at your hotel or to your local hosts (including negotiating a price!).
What tips would you give a friend?
Come with as much cash as you need unless you have access to M-Pesa or Airtel mobile money - no ATMs or card facilities on either Takawiri or Mfangano islands.
Double-check that you've got the insect repellent and remember to consult a doctor about anti-malarial medication.
Catch the yellow water bus between Mbita and Takawiri and Mfangano islands. Fares are paid in cash just before you get on board and reliable schedules are available at the ticket offices as well.
Being in the lake really does feel like the ocean in some points, particularly at Takawiri Island but Mfangano too - remember to ask your guide or hotel staff what spots are safest for swimming though.
Best to make your accommodation arrangements over the phone than rely on online booking platforms.