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Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya

In 1997, on our 'mega' safari, we travelled to Rusinga Island from Kakamega forest. We stayed at Rusinga Island Camp, an idyllic and romantic hideaway. Charming rooms, good food and friendly and efficient staff all added to the pleasure of this short visit. Other bonuses were the company of the hosts and the visit to Ruma NP, which is one of the most beautiful reserves in Kenya, but almost totally unknown. At Ruma, which our party had all to ourselves, we saw, among the more common wildlife, Roan Antelope, Oribi, Reedbuck, Jackson's Hartebeest, Bushpig and several bird species we haven't seen elsewhere.Friendly Luo fishermen on Lake Victoria (23k)
These Luo fishermen were at one of the Bridge Islands waiting for the tide to change before going on with their fishing. They were very keen, almost insistent, on being photographed!
Sunset over Bird Island, Lake Victoria (19k*)
We waited on the boat until the sun was just at this point.
Of course, I'd forgotten that the telephoto lens would magnify the effect of the swell, so although I'm a normally a pretty good 'sailor', I was a bit green about the gills when I landed back at the camp!
The only downside was the very long, very rutted roads both to the island from Kakamega Forest and out of the island to the north side of the Maasai Mara. However, an alternative is to take a flying trip from the Maasai Mara. In 1997, the deal was that you got picked up from your lodge in the Mara very early, flew to Ruma where you would be met by hot drinks and a snack and guided round Ruma in an open vehicle (the host having ascertained from the plane where the Roan Antelope were) by people who really love and know about the reserve - a real joy to be in their company! - then fly back to Rusinga Island for breakfast before being taken out for fishing on the lake, then flown back to your Mara lodge in time for lunch.
We were not interested in fishing, and although that was clearly unusual, especially to the young Luo boatman, we sailed out to see the birds and other wildlife of the lake - a Spotted-necked Otter was a highlight. We were also told some Luo legends and traditions about the Lake, all of which added to the enjoyment.
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