Troll for enormous Nile perch along the shores and in the shallow waters of Lake Victoria, or cast for tilapia at sunset from the jetty. Both fish make delicious eating and the kitchen is always on standby to cook your catch of the day!
Rusinga Island lodge’s record for Nile perch – which can weigh up to 300lbs – is 203lbs caught by a lady well below that weight!
There are 6 well-equipped fishing boats crewed by experienced and good-humoured Boat Captains to give you the best chance of catching ‘the big one.’
From stately fish eagles (which nest within the grounds) and elusive double-toothed barbets to tiny iridescent sunbirds and arrow-fast kingfishers, Rusinga truly is a bird-lover’s paradise.
Rusinga’s grounds are home to more than 369 species of local and migratory birds, many not found elsewhere in Kenya.
Nearby Bird Islands – a short boat ride from the lodge – are one of the most important breeding sites for water birds on Lake Victoria. Vast flocks of cormorants can be seen – wings outspanned to catch the sun’s rays in the early morning, or keenly watching the water for fish during the day. Magnificent fish eagles soar overhead and swoop low giving excellent photographic opportunities.
BIKES & HIKES
For the active, Rusinga offers some exhilarating diversions.
As well as a variety of watersports – waterskiing, donutting, knee-boarding – there are also mountain bikes. A circumnavigation around Rusinga Island by mountain bike not only affords welcome exercise, but also an opportunity to meet the local community and watch life go by on this small island.
Nearby Mfangano Island is home to ancient rock art, untouched for centuries. A short boat ride across to the island is followed by a hike up to the caves housing the rock art where guides expand on the lives of the early cave-dwelling artists.
A gentler stroll can be taken to visit the archaeological sites close to Rusinga Island Lodge.
For those keen on jogging, as the island has no dangerous animals, it’s possible to take a jog on the airstrip or further afield.
PALEONTOLOGY & HISTORY
The tiny island of Rusinga is one of the most magnificent localities in the world for fossils, particularly primate fossils.
Louis & Mary Leakey were some of the first to discover fossils on Rusinga Island (their camp was under the lodge’s huge fig tree). When they announced the skull and other 18 million-year old fossils they discovered in 1948, paleontologists took a big interest in the island. The species to which this beautifully-preserved skull belonged is called Proconsul.
In 2006 & 2007 fossil sites were re-opened by the University of Minnesota, American Museum of Natural History and Pennsylvania State University. Thousands of fossil remains were discovered, including over 20 Proconsul specimens and the largest mandible (lower jaw) known for the species Proconsul nyanzae.
From time-to-time throughout the year Rusinga hosts a team from the American Museum of Natural History who are continuing this work.
The two most rewarding prehistoric sites are located a short walk from the lodge and Rusinga’s guides explain the archaeological significance of what these sites contain. When the American Museum of Natural History team is on site, they are more than happy to chat with visitors and give personal guided tours.
Tom Mboya Memorial
Built in honour and remembrance of the late Tom Mboya (1930-1969), the memorial is a national monument under the care of the National Museums of Kenya. Tom Mboya’s role as a man of the people was legendary in the 1950s and 60s. A prominent figure in Kenya politics, Tom Mboya was seen by many to become the next President of Kenya until he was assassinated in a still unsolved incident.
Guided walks can be taken to the memorial.
RELAX & REVITALIZE
Rusinga’s Wellness Spa offers a nurturing retreat in which to unwind and relax, blending peace, personal indulgence and relaxation.
The Spa’s treatments include aroma massages, Indian head massage, Spa manicures & pedicures.
Rusinga’s lawns are dotted with ‘lounging” furniture under gracious trees – relax with a good book or simply recline and listen to the abundant birdlife.
The friendly Luo community fish along the shores of the lake in their colourful canoes and sailing dhows.
Guests are welcomed with open arms at their villages where the night’s catch is set out to dry in the sun and larger fish are smoked. You can visit the villages by a short walk or whilst exploring the lake by boat.
It is also possible to visit local schools and community projects whilst staying at Rusinga.
There are lots of fun family activities at Rusinga.
Rusinga’s swimming pool is designed with both children and adults in mind – the shallow end slopes gently towards the deeper end offering safe waters for young children to play.
There is a variety of board games, croquet, adults & children’s mountain bikes and, with a little notice, treasure hunts can be arranged as well as family BBQs around the pool.
On the lake, watersports provide great entertainment for children and adults alike and on land children are free to explore the lodge grounds in safety, searching for giant monitor lizards and mongoose.
RUMA NATIONAL PARK
Ruma National Park is one of Kenya’s most unusual and beautiful national parks. The last surviving group of roan antelope in Kenya can be seen here – a large antelope with magnificent black and white facial markings and swept-back horns. Other special animals include the Jackson’s Hartebeest and Rothschild giraffe. Also seen in abundance are oribi, bohor reedbuck, impala, topi, waterbuck and buffalo. Leopards may also be sighted. Due to the remoteness of the park, it is unlikely that guests from Rusinga Island Lodge will see another visitor. A bush breakfast in Ruma is something very special.
Guests wishing to visit Ruma leave the lodge by speedboat at 6.30am. After a 40-minute boat ride on the lake (early mornings are usually calm on the lake), a Rusinga 4×4 will meet you at the lakeshore for the short 30-minute drive to the park. En route you’ll see typical Luo homesteads. After exploring the park and its inhabitants enjoy a hearty bush breakfast before heading back to the lakeshore for the return boat ride to the lodge, arriving around lunchtime.
Rusinga Island Lodge have put in all strict hygiene protocols to ensure the safety of their guests and staff
Get away for the weekend, be in touch with nature and enjoy some exciting activities with the family at the serene Rusinga Island Lodge