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Cheap Flights to Kisumu, Kenya

  • Area City                         :  2,086km²
  • Area Codes                         : (+254) 57
  • Currency             : Kenyan Shilling (KES)
  • Population City             : 259,258 (2009)
  • Official Language             : Swahili, English
  • Time Zone             : EAT (UTC+3)
  • Airport : Kisumu International Airport (KIS)

‘KIS’ is Kenya’s third largest airport but started off as a small airstrip in the 1930s growing during World War II when amphibious aircraft were landing in Lake Victoria (located on the shore’s eastern side) and utilised with the airstrip. Passengers should pre-book their ‘Budget’ and other rental vehicles from ‘KIS’ to get into the city. Shuttle transfers and taxis are also available, also best booked in advance.

Travellers can take flights to ‘KIS’ from Johannesburg with the following airlines:

  • South African Airways, Kenya Airways (via Nairobi) 6h 55m+
  • RwandAir (via Kigali) 8h 30m+

Including the above the following airlines and others touch down at ‘KIS’:

  • Etihad Airways
  • Air France
  • KLM

Reasons to Visit Kisumu, Kenya:

  • It’s deemed that the City of Kisumu is one of the country’s oldest settlements from historical records that indicate it was dominated by a variety of communities during several periods long before Europeans arrived in the late 19th century. Prior to the jet era, the city was also used as a landing point for the British flying boat and mail route to Cape Town from Southampton. 1905 saw the building of Kisumu’s first steam ships, the ‘SS Sybila’ and the ‘SS Nyanza’ and in 1907 Winston Churchill paid the city a visit.

When to Visit Kisumu, Kenya:

Depending on your weather preference, this city is ideal all year round with temperatures averaging between 20°C and 30°C. The warmest month is February with temperatures reaching highs of 30.8°C. The coldest month is July with pleasant temperatures of around 24°C that drop to minimums of 21.9°C.

Places to Visit Kisumu, Kenya:

  • Kisumu’s tall ‘Town Clock’ located in the middle of Oginga Odinga Road was unveiled in August 1938 by Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, governor at the time, in memory of Kassim Lakha who came to East Africa in 1871.
  • Kisumu Museum comprises a number of pavilions, housing various sea life and animals. One contains spectacular fish from Lake Victoria while another has snakes that include spitting cobras, puff adders and mambas. Outside is a crocodile container and snake pit. Some pavilions display jewellery, weaponry, farming tools and artefacts created by the inhabitants from the Nyanza Province. Visitors can view stuffed birds, animals and fish including prehistoric TARA rock art, removed for protection to the museum. The most imperative and biggest exhibition in the museum is the ‘UNESCO’ sponsored ‘Ber-gi-dala’, a full scale recreation of a customary ‘Luo’ homestead.
  • ‘Dunga Beach and Wetlands’ forms an amazing variety of cultural and diverse papyrus wetlands, facilitating conserving the ‘Dunga Papyrus Wetland’ ecosystem as well as uplifting the ‘Dunga Wetland’ community.
  • ‘Hippo Point’ is an area of 240ha that affords splendid views of the sun setting over the lake with random hippos. Located close to ‘Dunga’ village, it provides a camping site and fishing port.
  • Situated off Kisumu Bondo Road towards Bondo, the large rock of ‘Kit Mikayi’ has three rocks upon it and its name denotes ‘First Wife Rocks’ or ‘Stones of the first wife’ in the Luo language of Dholuo. Legend has it that ‘Mikayi’ ascended the hill to the stones when her husband obtained a second wife and ever since the rock has been weeping. It’s popular among believers of the ‘Legio Maria’ sect as a pilgrimage site, who spend weeks at a time praying.
  • ‘Kisumu Impala Sanctuary’ is one of the country’s smallest wildlife reserves home to a herd of impala, a few hippos, plenty of reptiles and more than 115 bird species. It also houses several leopards and baboons in cages that previously experienced difficulties.

Getting Around Kisumu:
For visitors on tight budgets, the cheapest way to get around the city is by public bus or a ‘matatus’, a privately owned minibus. Both modes are suitable for short and long distance travel. Buses are considered safer, traversing the same routes as matatus as well as being quieter compared to matatus that generally have loud music playing with infrequent stops and an erratic schedule.

Taxis are not expensive and great for short trips or commuting across the city and surrounding suburbs.

Car Hire:
Vehicles can be rented from various providers located in the city and at the airport. In cities and towns roads are narrow and tarmacked and generally in good condition but there are potholes on some roads. The roads in isolated areas and in game parks are all-weather roads with plain terrain and can be a challenge in rainy weather.

Travellers wanting to travel further afield have a wide choice of domestic airlines to choose from with Kenya having over 30 airports for domestic purposes. A few of these airlines include ‘Air Kenya’, ‘Fly 540’, ‘JetLink’, ‘African Express Air’ and others.