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Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade "sumo".

Location:  Kisumu is Kenyas’s 3rd largest city and has a population reported nearing 700,000.  

Kenya is 200 miles north west of Nairobi and is the capital of the Nyanza Province.  Kisumu

is located on an important port on busy Lake Victoria. Kisumu is set 15 miles south of the Equator and has moderate temperatures because of its elevation of 5000+ ft. above sea level.  Just four hours away by car is the massive Kenya National Game Preserve, the Masai Mara, a world-renowned safari attraction.  The distance between Boulder, Colorado, United States and Kisumu, Kenya, as the crow flies: 8863 miles (14264 km) (7702 nautical miles).


People and Community:  English is one of two national languages of Kenya, spoken with a British accent.  Most people in Kisumu are trilingual.  They are also fluent in the national language of Swahili and the local tongue of the Luo tribe, Kenya’s 2nd largest tribe to which 90% of Kisumu residents belong.  In Swahili, the accent invariable falls on to the next to last syllable.  Thus the name of our sister City is “kee-Su-mu.”  We greet our fiends with “JAM-bo”, matching the sound of our “HEL-lo”.  We admire their national motto, “ha-RAM-bee”, signifying that progress comes through self help and pulling together. 

Kisumu has been declared by the UN as the first Millennium City in the 2015 Millennium Development Program and as a result, is poised to become a model for economic reform on the African continent.  The area has immense resources and is a strategic location to be a center of commerce and diplomacy in the East and Central African region.  As a Millennium City, Kisumu will be working towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 which include eradicating poverty and extreme hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating  HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.  Through our sister city relationship, we hope to help Kisumu achieve these important goals.

Education in Kisumu

Maseno University Maseno University has grown steadily and has since expanded into Kisumu city setting up a third campus, Kisumu City Campus. The city campus has an annex dubbed Maseno Information Technology Centre (MITC), which offers computer courses. Also acquired is the famous Kisumu Hotel and the Varsity Plaza which the university intends to use for Open, Distance and Electronic Learning (ODEL).Considering that current capacity of public universities in Kenya does not meet demand, it is understandable that "ODEL" Centre will significantly satisfy the education needs of kenyans who presently qualify but cannot get admission due to limited space. The University's presence in Kisumu City and its role in the social and economic development of the entire region is thus poised to be quite significant.

Commerce in Kisumu: 

Kisumu is primarily a commercial fishing and agricultural center and is the hub of commerce from Kenya to Uganda. 

  1. The main types of woody vegetation is Savanna woodland (Acacia, Albizzia and Butyrospermum).

  2. The main species of herbaceous vegetation is Cymbopogon, Hyparrhenia, Londetia and Cyperus papyrus.

  3. The main kinds of crop are Maize, cotton, sisal, tobacco, beans, sugar cane, coffee, sorghum, millet, wheat and root crops (cassava, etc.).

  4. The levels of fertiliser application on the crops fields is light.

There is a decrease in the forest area of Kisumu due to the high population and the excessive cultivation.

How will Kisumu satisfy the cravings of a Boulderite? Kenya is known to be one of the most agreeable holiday destinations on this world. It caters for every taste: from lazy beach days to exciting game viewing to high-altitude mountain climbing to swinging camel safaries to... well, so much more. Is it then possible that Kenya still has hidden treasures? Yes! The Western part of Kenya, centered around the city of Kisumu and bordering Lake Victoria, is still largely unknown to most tourists and even to many travel age ncies and safari companies. 

In the city of Kisumu there are many interesting attractions including:

  •  Kisumu Museum - For a first-time visitor to Western Kenya and Kisumu, strolling through the Kisumu Museum (part of the Government's Museums of Kenya agency) is a must. It won't take you long, between one and two hours max, but it gives you a good introduction to the local culture, flora and fauna. A bonus are the crafts stalls just outside the entrance. See below.

  • Jubilee Market - one of the largest enclosed municipal markets in East Africa. Always busy, it has a huge variety of vegetables, fruits, spices, staples, fish, chicken and other food stuffs. The sights and smells are a rare experience.

  • Hippo Point - a 600-acre viewing area on Lake Victoria. Despite its name, it is better known as a viewing point for its unobstructed sunsets over the lake than for its occasional hippos. Hippo point is near the village of Dunga, a few kilometres SW of the town. The village also has a fishing port and a camping site.

  • Kit Mikayi - a large rock with three rocks on top, and is located off Kisumu Bondo Road towards Bondo. It is a weeping rock; it is believed that Mikayi (which means, literally, "the first wife") went up the hill to the stones when her husband took a second wife, and has been weeping ever since.

  • Impala Park - On the road to Dunga village, the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary (but everybody calls it Impala Park) is a small enclave run by Kenya Wildlife Service. In it, the last remnant of a herd of impala's that roamed the fields in and around Kisumu 50 years ago was given a safe place. Also housed here are a lion (which loudly calls for his friends every evening, always in vain...), a leopard, a hyena and two ostriches. According to KWS, all are displaced animals that were caught in a place where they should not have been. They now have a small cage and school classes that come to watch and sometimes tease them. The park itself is nice for a stroll along the Lake, but KWS recommends you to take a ranger along, possibly because of the group of baboons that live deeper inside.

  • Kisumu Port - This is were the ships leave for Uganda and Tanzania. No passenger services yet, but it is a nice place to watch the activity and some of the oldest ships in East Africa. There are still steam ships around although there is a trend to convert them to diesel. The shipyard has produced ships for around 100 years and is still in use.

  • Lake Victoria - Kisumu is on the Winam Gulf, part of Lake Victoria. Coming from Nairobi or otherwise from the East, this is the first stretch of Lake Victoria you encounter.

  • Kisumu's famous sunsets - Even in Africa the sun sets in the West and in Kisumu that means over the Lake. The sunsets are often magnificent or better. BTW, Kisumu is just a few kilometers South of the equator, so the days are always around 12 hours long and sunset is always between 1840h and 1900h. Find a good spot on the lake or a high place with a good view of the Western horizon.

  • Crafts & gifts - The craft stalls near the Kisumu Museum are among the best in the whole region!

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