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Western Kenya

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© Lonely Planet Publications
283

Western Kenya
Imagine western Kenya and you’ll probably only think of Masai Mara’s savanna and wildlife.
After all, the Mara is astounding and the only part of this region most travellers ever see.

Western Kenya’s highlands sit atop the Elgeyo and Mau Escarpments. The verdant north
is a cultivated patchwork of farms and the south an abode to countless tea plantations.
Kakamega Forest Reserve and Saiwa Swamp National Park are two bastions of pristine wilderness and wildlife amidst this agricultural heartland. With Mt Elgon and the Cherangani
Hills rising skyward from its northern reaches, unique trekking possibilities also abound.
Sitting in the shadows of the highlands are Lake Victoria’s captivating lowlands, home to
the city of Kisumu, Ruma National Park, Mfangano Island and numerous fishing villages.
The Luo, the third-largest tribe in Kenya, live around Lake Victoria, while the Luyha, Gusii
and Kalenjin live in the highlands (see p43). With the exception of the Maasai, who’ve been
inundated with tourists, western Kenya is your best chance to get to know the locals.
Go on. Be one of the lucky ones. Delve a little deeper into western Kenya.

HIGHLIGHTS
Witnessing the glorious spectacle of
rush-hour, wildebeest style, during their
annual migration at Masai Mara National
Reserve (p286)
Watching trees battle to the death while
wandering the depths of Kakamega
Forest Reserve (p304)

Mt Elgon
National Park

Eldoret
Kakamega
Forest Reserve
Kisumu

Waking to clear skies and astounding
views on the crater rim at Mt Elgon
National Park (p312)
Wasting an hour indulging in divine
freshly made cheese at Eldoret (p306)
Wading into the crowds and smoky surrounds on the shore of Lake Victoria for
some fried tilapia in Kisumu (p290)
Walking through the manicured tea fields
that carpet the rolling hills of Kericho
(p300)

A104

Kericho

A1

Masai Mara
National Reserve

W E S T E R N K E N YA

Those few of you who imagine 4000m peaks, rainforests crawling with birdlife and rare
primates, rolling hills draped in tea plantations, and fishing boats dotting Lake Victoria’s
horizon – you’re the lucky ones. You’ve probably already experienced this amazing region.

284 W E S T E R N K E N YA





MA S A I MA R A • • N a r o k 285

Western Kenya
0
0

WESTERN KENYA
To Soroti
(45km)

50 km
30 miles

Marich

Sigor

Lomut

he

ng

an

Kapenguria
Kabichbich

Kitale

Kapcherop

ills
i H

Saiwa Swamp
NP

Endebes...
WESTERN KENYA
283
Imagine western Kenya and you’ll probably only think of Masai Mara’s savanna and wild life.
After all, the Mara is astounding and the only part of this region most travellers ever see.
Those few of you who imagine 4000m peaks, rainforests crawling with birdlife and rare
primates, rolling hills draped in tea plantations, and fishing boats dotting Lake Victoria’s
hori zon – you’re the lucky ones. You’ve probably already experienced this amazing region.
Western Kenya’s highlands sit atop the Elgeyo and Mau Escarpments. The verdant north
is a cultivated patchwork of farms and the south an abode to countless tea plantations.
Kakamega Forest Reserve and Saiwa Swamp National Park are two bastions of pristine wil-
derness and wildlife amidst this agricultural heartland. With Mt Elgon and the Cherangani
Hills rising skyward from its northern reaches, unique trekking possibilities also abound.
Sitting in the shadows of the highlands are Lake Victoria’s captivating lowlands, home to
the city of Kisumu, Ruma National Park, Mfangano Island and numerous fishing villages.
The Luo, the third-largest tribe in Kenya, live around Lake Victoria, while the Luyha, Gusii
and Kalenjin live in the highlands (see p43 ). With the exception of the Maasai, who’ve been
inundated with tourists, western Kenya is your best chance to get to know the locals.
Go on. Be one of the lucky ones. Delve a little deeper into western Kenya.
Western Kenya
HIGHLIGHTS
Witnessing the glorious spectacle of
rush-hour, wildebeest style, during their
annual migration at Masai Mara National
Reserve ( p286 )
Watching trees battle to the death while
wandering the depths of Kakamega
Forest Reserve ( p304 )
Waking to clear skies and astounding
views on the crater rim at Mt Elgon
National Park ( p312 )
Wasting an hour indulging in divine
freshly made cheese at Eldoret ( p306 )
Wading into the crowds and smoky sur-
rounds on the shore of Lake Victoria for
some fried tilapia in Kisumu ( p290 )
Walking through the manicured tea fields
that carpet the rolling hills of Kericho
( p300 )
National Reserve
Masai Mara
Kericho
Kisumu
Forest Reserve
Kakamega
Eldoret
National Park
Mt Elgon
A104
A1
© Lonely Planet Publications
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