(Picture courtesy of Wikipedias Kisumu City File)
Kenyas lakeside city of Kisumu will be playing host to a planned tourism and travel exhibition next week, organized by the Lake Victoria Tourism Association. Running from Thursday to Saturday inclusive, i.e. from May 03rd to 05th, the exhibition is aimed to promote domestic travel to Western Kenya and its rich cultural and natural attractions, while also hoping to have Nairobi and Mombasa based tour operators develop itineraries for foreign tourists to tour this less explored part of the country. The theme chosen for the exhibition, Come and Experience the glamour of the Western Kenya Tourism Circuit tells the story as the LVTA is partnering with others to promote Tembea Kenya to such lesser known parks as Ruma National Park now home to several rhinos which were relocated there a few months ago or the Saiwa Swamps, but also to the islands on Lake Victoria where several upmarket fishing and leisure camps await visitors. .
On board are the Kenya Tourist Board, the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Kenya Utalii College and the Kenyatta International Conference Centre and a number of private sector stakeholders, showcasing their properties and activities on offer.
With Kisumus airport now expanded and modernized, and a range of flights available from Nairobi on Kenya Airways and Jetlink, amongst others, the lake side city has the potential to draw in more visitors. The nearby Kogelo village, the ancestral home of US President Obama, has also been a hotspot for visitors from abroad, and the unfolding presidential election campaign in the United States will undoubtedly bring added attention to this part of Kenya once more, as his local and even international supporters will be visiting to see where Obamas roots in Africa truly spring from.
Said a regular source from Nairobi, who hails from Kakamega: Western Kenya has a lot of unexplored places. Flights to Kakamega, Eldoret and Kisumu have opened up new ways to bring visitors here. We have Mt. Elgon National Park in Kitale and nearby is the Saiwa Swamp National Park. In Kakamega we have a rainforest which is about 45 square kilometres in size and which is also a park now. In Kisumu there is easy access to Ndere Island and the Impala park and not too far away is the Ruma National Park. There are cultural sites some of which are national monuments. It is good that the tourism sector is now opening up new horizons in Kenya because we have a lot more to offer than just our beaches at the coast or the main national parks. And it is even a quick drive to Kericho to see the tea estates. Western Kenya has a lot to offer and I hope more Kenyans from other parts of the country come here to see what they have missed until now.
The Kenya Tourist Board has in the recent past paid added attention to opening up new tourism circuits, working hand in hand with Kenya Wildlife Service and the private sector, to popularize domestic travel and channel international visitors to new areas which were previously somewhat neglected in terms of exposure, promotion and facilities. Follow the #TembeaKenya hashtag on Twitter for regular updates or visit www.magicalkenya.com or www.kws.org to find out more about Western Kenya.