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TRIP TO WESTERN KENYA: TAKAWIRI ISLAND & RUSINGA ISLAND.

Hello,

Its been a while I know…just wanted to share a bit of my trip to the lake side back in May this year and help you plan your own trip. So why Mbita?! My friend and I decided on this trip after seeing this beautiful island (Takawiri Island) on Marie’s Instagram together with an article on  Nomad Magazine a month later. It was like the universe was trying to tell us something. After doing research, most of it being reading Marie’s blog post on her site Soafricane on her trip, we set out a month later.

Here are some details on how to get to there, where to stay and what to do. Enjoy!


FROM KISUMU TO MBITA.

In order to get to Mbita from Kisumu, you need to take a matatu heading to Luanda K’Otieno / Ferry. This Matatu ride will take around 2 hours and costs 300KSH. The one thing I hated about this long ride was the fact that the matatu was overloaded with passengers and they don’t even offer that wooden plank to sit on. If you have your own means of transport this would be more ideal as you’d be more comfortable and can make stopovers in places like Kit Mikayi.

On arrival, take the waterbus from Ferry to Mbita. The waterbus is a 30min long ride that costs 150KSH. There are various lodges and guest houses in Mbita that you can stay overnight if needed or you can cross the bridge over to Rusinga to the various hotels and lodges located there. We found this out as we arrived late to Mbita town as the Mfangano ferry had already left and had to find somewhere to stay for the night. We ended up at a cheap guesthouse for the night that cost us 800KSH for the night. It was not the best place to stay as the washroom didn’t even have a door and stank the whole night, but all we needed was a bed. The joys of travel!








 


FROM MBITA TO TAKAWIRI (VIA MFANGANO).

As we had already booked an Airbnb at Mfangano Island, we had to head to Mfangano the next day check in and head to Takawiri Island. One has to take a waterbus from Mbita that cost an additional 150KSH and lasted an hour. In Mfangano, we stayed at Chill Spot which is in the northern part of the island, a walking distance from the water bus dock. Chill Spot was waaaaaay better than where we stayed initially and it cost $25 inclusive of breakfast. In order to get to Takawiri, you need to take a bodaboda to the main town in Mfangano and take a boat from there.


TAKAWIRI ISLAND.

Takawiri Island has a natural forming beach along L. Victoria with all the perks of the Kenyan coast minus the humidity. What more would you want! The resort has some rooms and camping grounds which all have a grand view of the lake! For campers, outdoor showers and washrooms are provided and you can order all your meals from the restaurant available. Perfect.

The owners of the resort were very gracious and Caty (one of the owners) made us a mean fish cooked in white wine and vegetable rice. We spent most of the afternoon lounging at the beach, paddle boarding at the lake, sipping cocktails and listening to some chill tunes.










To get to Takawiri, you need to contact the resort at least a day before to organize a boat for you from Mfangano Island or Mbita. The boat costs 1000KSH each way. You can book the resort and get more details HERE.



RUSINGA ISLAND

The next day we were back to Mbita where we crossed the bridge to head to Rusinga Island Lodge for dinner and to watch the sunset. The lodge is a 30 minute bodaboda ride through a murram road. The sunset was spectacular from the resort. Simply beautiful.


TIPS

-Ask locals for the water bus timings as they leave 3 or 4 times a day and wait for no one. Also ask where each water bus is taken so that you dont board the wrong ones.

-Bodaboda everywhere! It is the cheapest and most convenient way to get a round.

-If you cannot afford to stay at Takawiri Resort, you could always stay in Mfangano or try camping instead.


Have a lovely week!

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