A day in Kisumu: hippos, markets and fresh fish

At the end of last week I felt an urge to see something different. Eldoret is nice but there are only so much to see here and the feeling of everyday life which includes a need to see new things hits you pretty soon. On Friday afternoon after I had finished at the school I went home to pick up my stuff and then headed down to the station to take a matatu. Later that evening I arrived at Kisumu had dinner at the hostel and went to bed. I woke up fresh and rested the next day ready for explorations.
I started by taking a motorbike down to Hippo Point where you can take guided boat tours on Lake Victoria. I had expected to arrive at some rather touristy spot where a lot of boat tour operators would be competing to sell me tours. Instead I arrived at the calm shores of the lake where couple of men where hanging out around their boats and I was the only tourist.

One of the guys came up to me and offered me a boat ride. His first offer was 5000 Ksh but I managed to haggle it down to 2500 Ksh. I still don’t know if I was ripped off or not but the boat ride was totally worth the money. Samwel who was my guide seemed to know everything about the lake and kept referring to it as his office. He showed me the different birds and plants and in the end he managed to find some hippos even though I had heard it was really difficult to see them at that time of the day.

After the boat tour I asked the motorcycle driver, who had also joined us on the boat instead of standing on the shores waiting for me, to take me into town. He let me off at a gas station in the centre and I went off exploring on my own. I wandered the streets of Kisumu aimlessly for an hour or so and passed a few street markets, a park and some pretty buildings.
When it was time for lunch I headed down to the lake. There were maybe 10 different restaurants along the shore and all of them served more or less the same thing, fried tilapia fish served with head, tale, skin and bones intact. You soon realize that the only effective way to eat the fish is to eat it with you hands. Not surprisingly I’m not used to eating with my hands and when the plate was placed in front of me I hesitated for a moment and then I dug my fingers into the fish. It turned out to be amazing! The meat was so fresh!
After lunch I went to the main market. I love markets and this one didn’t make me disappointed. They sold fruit, vegetables and different types of fired fish but the most exciting part was the live chickens in cages at the far end of the market.

I continued on to the Kisumu museum, which I forgot to take photos of, where you could learn about the different cultures in the Western part of Kenya. After the museum I went and bought some snacks for the evening and then I went home. Two minutes after I arrived at the hostel the rain started pouring down.

To sum up, it was a great day and it made so much for my mind and thoughts just to see something different and new and to have spend the whole day walking around falling asleep with a tired body.


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