If you must – and you – must travel to Kisumu from Nairobi, try something different. The Kericho route is beautiful, what with the rolling hills covered in green tea plantations that look like a rich man’s lawn. But that is what everyone uses. Perhaps try branching off instead at Londiani. Pause for a minute to rest your feet from the pedals and let the market women and men swam your car with cobs of maize and a variety of fruits and vegetables and then proceed to Muhoroni.

Tea fields in Kericho

Allow the sunset to catch you at Koru. A thin road will tear before you through sugarcane plantations, hills rising to kiss the orange sky, and glowing ball of red fire dropped down from the sky on your left. And that is what will be a glimpse of what will be awaiting you in Kisumu – the unexpected. But only if you bother enough to find it, because Kisumu is the kind of city whose treasures are hidden. She does not show herself to strangers. You have to woo her to love her.

In the Kisumu of old, the Imperial Hotel was the only hotel worth mentioning but other hotels have come up, be it Wigot’s Hotel or Acacia Premier Hotel. But right across that is the TLC, a tavern that will offer you the same food and drinks as Acacia at half the price!

Sunset at Dunga Beach

When darkness falls and your body aches for music, there are two places that are highly recommended. Not only because they are the only places that exist, no. Only because they represent yhe two kinds of crowds that you will find out in Kisumu. The Roan Rooftop n Oginga Odinga street draws a more urbane crowd ho like t photograph their food and drinks. And then there is Vimba 68, next to Mamba Hotel, where Congolese musicians wearing colorful skinny jeans ripped at the knees send the crowd to a frenzy with high pitched voices.

The real beauty of Kisumu is not in the fancy hotels or rolling hills. It is in the and always has been the people. The loud proud breed of human beings with dark skins and voices who have never been taught what is to whisper. They know each other by name and village. And if you get to know them, you won’t have a dull moment in Kisumu.



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