Ndere Island National Park stands out as one of Kenya’s most intimate protected areas, offering visitors a truly unique African experience. Unlike other reserves highlighting the renowned big five game, Ndere Island National Park distinguishes itself with a captivating charm and beauty that creates an unparalleled safari experience in Kenya. Encompassing 4.2 square kilometers on Lake Victoria, this protected area unveils an extraordinary blend of wildlife, reptiles, birds, and distinctive vegetation, promising an exploration like no other.
Aptly termed the “Island of Serenity and Beauty,” Ndere Island is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Nestled on Lake Victoria, it unfolds breathtaking scenic views of the Homa hills to the south, Mageta Island to the east, and glimpses of Kampala in Uganda beyond the southwest horizon. The park’s landscape, primarily grassland, provides a refreshing escape with stunning grass, butterflies, flowers, and a captivating array of birdlife, making it a paradise for bird watchers.
Ndere Island National Park, situated 432 kilometers from Nairobi, can be accessed both by road and air. By road, visitors can embark on the Kisumu-Bondo route, branching off after Holo market or left at Kombewa shopping center to reach the park headquarters nestled between Bao and Asat beach. Alternatively, a boat ride from Kisumu takes approximately 45 minutes for speed boats, offering a direct route to Ndere Island National Park. Travelers are advised to carry essentials like umbrellas, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats for the boat journey. For those choosing air travel, Kisumu Airport, approximately 60 kilometers away, provides a convenient gateway.
While accommodation within Ndere National Park is limited, camping options are available for an immersive stay during a Kenyan safari. The park offers two Kenya Wildlife Service campsites, notably the Boa campsite. Nearby lodges accessible from the park include Kisumu Resort, Hexagon Mbili Farm Lodge, Kisindi Lodge, Kisumu City Central Resort, Parkview Safari Hotel, and several others.
Ndere Island National Park is accessible year-round, with the exception of potentially rough lake conditions during transfers. It’s important to note that during the rainy seasons of March to May and September to November, morning and late afternoon rainfall may occur, impacting travel plans.