Ndere Island national park is a small island (4.2km or 1.6 sq. mi) in Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria in Kenya. The park was gazetted as the Ndere Island National Reserve in November 1986 and has since that time been uninhabited. Ndere means ” meeting” place in Dholuo. According to Luo folklore, early tribal migrants rested up near Ndere after their long journey south up the Nile River Valley. They found the lush shoreline so pleasing that they stayed.
Ndere Island national park is an island of serenity and beauty on one of the islands of Lake Victoria, the park is a paradise with fresh smell of natural grass, beautiful butterflies, blooming flowers and spectacular views of the magnificent flora and fauna. The park is found an island of Africa’s largest inland lake, Lake Victoria and is accessed by boat from the shores of Lake Victoria. The park offers refuge to its distinct wildlife species that thrive along the shores of Lake Victoria.
Attractions in Ndere Island National Park.
Ndere Island national park has a notable wildlife abundance that is main tourist attractions being hippos, impalas and Nile crocodiles. Among other wildlife species found in the park include the reptiles such as puff adder and the python, troops of monkeys, baboons, the rare sitatunga antelopes, zebras, warthogs, waterbucks as they are seen in the park’s swamps. As well other animals to see in the park include the monitor lizards and aardvark.
The park is island haven for birds, covered mostly in grassland. Ndere Island provides beautiful scenic views of the Homa hills to the south, Magta Island to the east and the glimpses of Kampala in Uganda beyond the South west horizon. The shores of the Lake supports a wide variety of bird species. Ndere National park is a home to a huge population of birds with 100 recorded species these birds include Great Cormorant, Long tailed cormorant cattle Egret, little egret, Green- backed Heron, Hammerkop, black stork, African open- biled stork, Osprey, Black kite, Banded Snake Eagles, Common Buzzard, Egyptian goose, Helmeted Guinea Fowl and among many more.
The park is situated on a scenic island inhabited by the grasslands mainly an indigenous grass of the species loundentia natalensis, this specie is of brown colour when flowering thus making the park look brownish. The park is also dominated by indigenous trees with different shrub species, these include the Carissa adulis, dovyalisx, macro calyx and euclea Divinorim among others which are classified as threatened species in Africa.
The park is encompasses of extensive woodlands stating from the lake shore to the park’s peak creating a stunning hiking for you, papyrus reed are also well spread along the shoreline creating a scenic birding area.
Things /Activites to do in Ndere Island National Park.
Game viewing in Ndere Island national park is a thrilling experience offering you a great opportunity to spot various animals inhabiting in the park and the waters of Lake Victoria such as the Nile crocodiles, hippos, impala, rare sitatunga antelopes, monkeys, baboons, impalas an various snakes and also the fish species to thrill while on Kenya Wildlife Tours.
Fish spotting is one of the entertaining safari activities to do in the park, this activity is done in the waters of Lake Victoria in designated sites, when you are going to sport fishing boats are prepared days before your experience because they are the ones used in the activity.
Boat Rides in Ndere Island national park are organized and offered on the waters of Lake Victoria, this experience offers a chance to tourists to explore the waters of Lake Victoria and enjoying encountering fisher men fishing, during the boat riding you can also be able to spot various water birds in Lake Victoria.
Ndere Island national park is an incredible birding haven with abundance of birds recorded to be over 100 different species, birds in the park inhabit in mostly grassland covered plains of the park. Some of the birds to lookout for during the bird watching in the park include African fish eagle, black headed gonolek, grey headed kingfishers, green backed Heron, black stork, banded snake eagles, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Botted Eagle, black crake and among many others.
Hiking the rolling Homa hills.
For hikers, the park is a great destination to visit for hiking experience, the park consists of well- marked walking trails of the Homa Hills offering beautiful views of the park and the distant breathtaking views of Lake Victoria, Homa Hills and Magere Island.
Where to stay in Ndere Island national park.
There are various accommodation options offering accommodation and other required services and safaris for the tourists ranging from Budget, Mid- range and Luxury accommodation as they include; the Bao camp site, Rock resort, The Hyeout Riviera, Sunset Hotel, Dunga Resort, Kisumu Resort, Parkview safari Hotel, Kisinde Lodge, Hotel Pikadili and among others.
Best time to visit Ndere Island national park.
Ndere Island national park can be accessed all the year around except the lake can be rough during the transfer and during rainy seasons of March – May and September- November it always rain in the mornings and late afternoons.
Entrance fees of Ndere Island National Park.
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How to get to Ndere Island national park.
Ndere Island national park can be accessed by two different ways from Nairobi to Kisumu by both Road and Air transport.
By air Transport.
From Nairobi you will head to Kisumu the 3rd largest city in Kenya using domestic flights. A flight from Nairobi to Kisumu takes about 45 minutes from Wilson airstrip to Kisumu International Airport.
By Road Transport.
By road transport you leave Nairobi to Kisumu, using road it is approximately 6 hours to get to Kisumu by bus, from Kisumu you use a taxi to Bao Beach which is 12 kilometers away, and from Bao Beach you will cross the short stretch to Ndere Island by a motorboat which is a 45 minutes ride.
And there is an alternative, you can take a boat directly from Kisumu City to Ndere Island which takes 45 minutes.
Ndere Island national park is one of Kenya’s smallest protected areas that reward visitors with authentic African experiences that come once in a life time, the park features a number of wildlife, reptiles, birds as well as distinct kinds of vegetation that are all worth exploring while you are on Kenya wildlife safari.