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Ndere Island National Park

Ndere Island National Park is an island tour destination to meet-up for a feel of freshness and buoyancy of the air and lake breeze of lake victoria and gazes at landscape and wildlife beauty. 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.

Notable Wildlife associated with the island includes African fish eagles, swifts, hippopotamus, and Nile crocodiles. About fifty impalas have been introduced to the island.

Overview: Ndere Island National Park

Ndere Island is a small island (4.2 km2 or 1.6 sq mi) in Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria in Kenya. It was gazetted as the Ndere Island National Reserve in November 1986 and has since that time been uninhabited.

Located on Lake Victoria, this island is a haven for birds. Covered mostly in grassland, Ndere Island provides beautiful scenic views of the Homa hills to the south, Mageta Island to the east, and the glimpses of Kampala in Uganda beyond the southwest horizon. The lakeshore supports a wide variety of animals including hippos, monitor lizards, Nile crocodiles, several fish species, snakes, baboons, impalas, the rare sitatunga antelopes, waterbucks, zebras, and warthogs. Over 100 different species of birds can be seen here including African fish eagles, black-headed gonoleks and grey-headed kingfishers.

Gazetted as a national park in 1986, this 4.2-sq-km island has never seen tourism take off. It is forested and very beautiful, housing a variety of bird species, plus occasionally sighted hippos, impalas (introduced) and spotted crocodiles, a lesser-known cousin of the larger Nile crocodiles.

How to get there: Ndere Island National Park

  • By road from Kisumu city: Take Kisumu- Bondo road branching left after the Holo market or left at Kombewa shopping center to the park headquarters sandwiched between Asat and Bao beach. The park headquarters is 12km away from this tarmac road.
  • By water from Kisumu: It will take about 45min with a speed boat direct from Kisumu city to Ndere Island national park.


Wildlife: Ndere Island National Park
  • Lakeshores inhabitants include hippopotamus, monitor lizard, Nile crocodile, several fish species, and snakes especially pythons, puff adder, aardvark, butterflies and vipers are also evident.
  • You will also find troops of baboons, monkeys, impalas, the rare sitatunga antelopes, waterbucks, Zebras and warthogs.
  • There are over 100 different species of birds e.g African fish eagle, black-headed gonolek, Hamerkop,grey-headed kingfisher

Vegetation: Ndere Island National Park

  • The vegetation on the island is predominantly grassland; a pure stand of tall grass of the species loudentia natalensis. This grass takes a brown color when flowering; hence the top of the island is brownish.
  • The island is interspersed with indigenous tree species and shrubs including dovyalisx, macro calyx, euclea Divinorum and Carissa adulis among others.
  • Woodland and forest remnant are found on the lower rim of the island almost as extensive as the bushland. Papyrus reeds are common features along the shoreline.

Where to Stay: Ndere Island National Park

There’s nowhere to stay and, although twice-daily matatus reach the shore just opposite the island, your only reliable option to get to Ndere is with chartered boats. Chartered boat trips can be arranged with any of the boat captains offering sightseeing trips from Hippo Point.


Best Time To Visit:

  • All year round

Attractions: Ndere Island National Park

Major Attractions: 

  • The island has beautiful sceneries with a distant view of Homa hills to the south, Mageta Island to the East, and the imagination of Kampala beyond southwest horizon.
  • The air and lake breeze leaves one with the feeling of freshness and buoyancy