Ruma National Park was established in 1966 as Lambwe Valley Game Reserve. The name was later changed to Ruma after one of Kenya’s most powerful wizard, the much feared Gor Mahia who lived around the park associated with Gor Mahia F.C .A men’s football team playing in the Kenya premier league. The park is located in the vast Lambwe Valley 389.3 km from Nairobi and 147.1 km from Kisumu city. It occupies an area of 120km² in Homa Bay County.  It was established to protect its huge population of rare roan antelopes which cannot be found anywhere else in kenya making it one of the most unique safari tour destination.

 It was named Ruma upon the request of the local community. The park is located in Western Kenya close to Lake Victoria, in Lambwe Valley in South Nyanza. The park covers an area of 120 kilometres Square. It has two gates, and can be reached by three main circuits  by road which are accessible by vehicles throughout the year.The Park is more rewarding but less well known Parks in Kenya.

What makes it one of the beautiful parks in East Africa is that it has mosaic of landscapes, ranging from riverine woodland and rolling savannah to magnificent escarpments and towering cliffs. Ruma National Park is full of  undiscovered wildlife treasures and undisturbed peace.  It is also Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope . Ruma lies on the flat floor of the seasonally watered Lambwe River Valley. It is also bordered by the Kanyamwa Escarpment to the South-East, and by the Volcanic plugs of the Ruri Hills, to the North, the Park is a long, narrow corridor of land contained on a fist-shaped peninsular extending into Lake Victoria making it one of the best tourist attractions in Nyanza regions of Kenya.

Attractions of Ruma national park.

The park is  the  Refuge of the Roan Antelope, One of Africa’s  rarest antelopes and the third largest of Kenya’s antelopes, the roan also known as  Korongo in Swahili Kenya’s most spoken official language. It is a  large, grey to rufous antelope with a distinctive black and white face. Roans live in herds of up to 20 members, led by a bull.

The Oribi Antelope

The small and graceful oribi antelope also known as Taya in Swahili has a conspicuous bare black glandular patch below the ears, a short black-tipped tail and black knee tufts. Living in strongly bonded pairs or small groups, oribi inhabit grassland and dense undergrowth.

Realm of rare birds

Ruma’s birdlife is one of its kind .The park is also the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is regularly recorded. Blue swallows is one of the migratory birds which depend upon moist grassland for both feeding and roosting, they arrive in Kenya from their breeding grounds in Southern Tanzania around April and depart again in September.

Ruma National Park
Ruma National Park


Ruma National Park offers tourists an opportunity to see various wildlife species including the Rothschild’s giraffe, serval cat, hyena, impala, vervet monkey, roan antelope, oribi, bohor reedbuck, leopard, buffalo, and Jackson’s hartebeest. Recently introduced and re-introduced species are Black rhino, White rhino, Burchell′s zebra whose populations have adapted quite well. The roan antelope, Oribi and Jackson’s hartebeest are easily spotted in Ruma than anywhere else in Kenya.


Ruma national park has an exceptional snake population. Easily spotted species include The African spitting cobra, forest cobra, python, eastern green mamba, black-mouthed mamba and puff adder. The park also has a good number of lizard, skink and gecko.

How to get there

The main gate is 42km from Homa Bay. From Homa Bay take the main C20 tarmac road in the direction of Rongo. After 10km branch off to the right at Rodi Kopany and proceed 20km to Mirogi. At Mirogi follow the signs to the Park, entering at Kamato Main gate, a distance of 12km on a murram road from Mirogi.

Park Entry fee

                          Adult                child

Citizen           kshs 300            ksh 215

Resident       kshs 300            kshs 215

Non resident    25USD             15USD

The park is accessible from two gates, the Main Gate which is  Kamato Gate and Nyatoto Gate. Payment is cashless

Best Time to Visit Ruma National Park

The park can be visited anytime of the year. However, wildlife viewing is best during the dry season from June to October and from January to February.

Activities in Ruma National Park

Some of the activities that can be done in Ruma National Park is Game viewing, Bird watching, sightseeing, camping, team building, mediation, the park is highly recommended family safari destinations because of its breath-taking view and location.

Game Drives

Wildlife viewing is one of the most exciting experiences to enjoy in Ruma National Park. This activity offers  a chance to enjoy the marvellous landscapes as well as three of the famous Big five which are Elephants, Rhinoceros and Buffaloes with other exceptional wildlife species such as  eastern, roan antelopes, Rothschild’s giraffes, hartebeest impalas ,Hyenas,  bush pigs among others.

Nature Walks

Nature walks are must-do in the park. They offer an up-close chance to interact with the spectacular nature. During this activity, you will also get to enjoy sights of the wildlife.

 Bird watching

There are more than 400 species of birds in Ruma National Park such as migrant Blue swallows, kingfishers, sunbirds and African fish eagles. The best time for bird watching is during the rainy season, because there is a higher chance to spot migrant species. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park, making it an Important Bird Area. The rare intra-African migrant, the blue swallow is one such avian species


Camping is another activity to enjoy within the park. Enjoy the wilderness and have picnics with some of the picnic sites of Twiga and Korlang’o sites.

 Boat cruises on Lake Victoria

Boat rides are a great chance to explore the wildlife on the shores of Lake Victoria such as Hippos and Crocodiles as well as aquatic bird species like kingfishers, Pelicans and African fish eagles.

Accommodation in Ruma national park

Accommodations in  Ruma National Park ranges  from luxury, mid range and budget accommodation. Some of the accommodation facilities are located around the national parks while other accommodation facilities are within Ruma national park and they include the following; Mfagano island camp, Rusinga island lodge which are some of the luxurious accommodations with Mid range accommodation  being .The golden rays resort and Ruma river lodge among others and the Budget accommodation are ACK guesthouse, Oribi guesthouse, hotel twin towers, Oyugis hill breeze hotel, hotel hippo buck and Ruma tourist lodge.

There is also available campsite Nyati campsite which offers excellent wild experience.

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