Ruma was the name of a wizard of the old times. The power of the magic of this sacred man was the soul of the region of Nyanza, where the Ruma National Park now is. This is the only terrestrial reserve in a district that borders Lake Victoria and has most part of its protected reserves on islands. Many typical African animals live here, but the most important species is the indigenous Roan Antelope. This Park is the last sactuary for these animals on the way of the extinction, their last chance to be saved. Both the government and the tour operators that organize safaris are interested in making sure nothing will harm the environment and wildlife.
About Ruma National Park
Spread over 120 sq km of surface, Ruma National Park consists of wide savannahs, woods and rocky hills ending in high, monumental cliffs. It is surrounded by the Lambwe River Valley, an alluvial region constantly flooded. This makes the territory green and fertile, and the perfect habitat for many interesting animals. Besides the Roan Antelope, which is the most important protagonist of the place, tourists will have the chance to meet: black rhinos, giraffes, buffalos, monkeys, baboons, over 400 species of wild birds. If you are lucky enough you could also spot the rare blue swallow flying among the trees.
What to do at Ruma National Park
Safaris and birdwatching are the main activities you can do at the Park. Safari, here, will take you very close to many animals’ habitats. It is quite safe, because there are not so many dangerous species. Birds are the most interesting subjects to admire: you need patience and skills to spot them in their own habitat and habits. But the result and the emotion will be worth the waiting.
Lake Victoria is very close to the Park. You can reach the coastal town of Mbita in a little more than one-hour drive north, while to the east you get to Olare and Osiri Beach in just one hour. So you can also try some fishing, or exploring other protected areas on some of the small islands of the lake. Easy to enjoy also the tourist resorts on the shores.
How to get there
The reference town for the Park is Homa Bay, which is 360 km away from Nairobi. So you better arrive by airplane, taking a flight from the capital city to Homa Bay Airstrip. From the place of your landing you can reach the Park by local bus or organized trip in 45 minutes.
Ruma Park’s main entrance is at Kamato Gate. You must pay a ticket for visiting the Park: 20 US Dollars for adults and 10 for children. You are not allowed to stay inside the Park, but you can book a room at Nyati Campsite or at Oribi Guest House. As a nice alternative you can also stay at Homa Bay or find a tourist lodge on the nearby Lake Victoria’s shores, another romantic way to enjoy your adventure to this corner of Africa.