Ruma National Park

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Ruma National Park

Ruma National Park spans 120 sq. Km and lies on the floor of the Lambwe River Valley. 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.

A mosaic of landscapes, ranging from riverine woodland and rolling savannah to magnificent escarpments and towering cliffs, Ruma National Park promises undiscovered wildlife treasures and undisturbed peace.  It is also Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope.

What is the best time to visit Ruma National Park?

Ruma National Park can be visited at any time of the year. However, wildlife viewing is best during the dry season from June to October and from January to February. It is challenging to visit the park during the peak of the short rains in November and during the long rains in April and May due to the condition of the roads.

How do you get to Ruma National Park?

By Road:  To reach Ruma National Park, you can access it through either the Main Gate (Kamato Gate) or the Nyatoto Gate. If you are starting from Homa Bay, take the main C20 tarmac road towards Rongo. After about 10 kilometers, turn right at Rodi Kopany and continue for approximately 20 kilometers to Mirogi.

From Mirogi, follow the signs to the park, which is about 12 kilometers on a murram (gravel) road leading to Kamato Gate. Alternatively, to reach Nyatoto Gate, head towards Ndhiwa town, which is around 18 kilometers from Homa Bay. From Ndhiwa, proceed towards the park, following the signs directing to the Nyatoto Gate. This route is also on a murram road.

By Air: To reach Ruma National Park by air, you can take a flight from Nairobi to Homa Bay. There are scheduled flights from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Homa Bay. The flight takes approximately 1.5 hours. Upon arrival at Homa Bay, you will need to arrange ground transportation to cover the remaining distance to the park, which is about 42 kilometers from Homa Bay. From there, you can follow the directions to either the Kamato Main Gate or the Nyatoto Gate to enter the park​ 

What wildlife can be viewed in Ruma National Park?

Ruma National Park hosts a diverse range of mammals, making it a sanctuary for many species. Among the large mammals, visitors can see African elephants, eastern black rhinos, roan antelopes, Cape buffaloes, Lelwel hartebeests, Rothschild’s giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeests, Bohor reedbucks, impalas, leopards, topis, and honey badgers.

The park is particularly significant for its endangered species, including the roan antelope, which is Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for this species, and the Rothschild’s giraffe. Other mammals in the park include oribis, serval cats, hyenas, bushpigs, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, and bush pigs.

The birdlife in the park is exceptional, with over 400 species recorded, making it an Important Bird Area. One of the park’s highlights is the rare intra-African migrant, the blue swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea), which is regularly recorded only in this protected area in Kenya.

Blue swallows depend on moist grasslands for feeding and roosting and migrate to Kenya from Southern Tanzania around April and depart again in September. Other notable birds include ostriches, sunbirds, kingfishers, African fish eagles, and pelicans, making the park a haven for bird watchers.

What Activities can be done in Ruma National Park?

Game Drives: Wildlife viewing is one of the most exciting experiences in Ruma National Park. This activity is a chance to enjoy the marvelous landscapes and the exceptional wildlife species such as eastern black rhinos, roan antelopes, Rothschild’s giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, and bush pigs. The best time to enjoy game drives is during the dry season.

Nature Walks: Nature walks are a 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 the sights of the wildlife.

Bird watching: As previously mentioned, 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 bird-watching time is during the rainy season because there is a higher chance of spotting migrant species.

Camping: 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.

Hiking: Hiking here is done in the Gwassi hills which are seen in the backdrop of Ruma National Park, the hill is dominated by natural forests filled with various species of plants bearing beautiful wildflowers and many birds which you will enjoy watching during your hiking expedition.

What are the accommodation facilities in Ruma National Park?

In Ruma National Park, the primary accommodation option available is the Oribi Guest House. It is a unique self-catering guesthouse built on the Kanyamwa Escarpment which Gor Mahia used to frequent.

For those who want to have an overnight stay and appreciate the Park’s unique attributes of tranquility, wilderness, scenic beauty, and watching the sunset. It has 3 bedrooms accommodating a maximum of 6 people with a fully equipped kitchen. Oribi is solar and DSTV available.

If you prefer accommodations outside the park, here are some nearby options:

Ruma River Lodge: Ruma River Lodge is adjacent to the park in Homa Bay, providing visitors with a serene and scenic environment. This lodge offers a range of accommodations, including executive cottages and tents, all with bed and breakfast options. The lodge is designed to offer comfort and convenience while allowing guests to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, with well-appointed rooms, modern amenities, and attentive service.

Karibuni Eco-Cottages: Karibuni Eco-Cottages, located approximately 13.72 km from Ruma National Park, offers a unique and sustainable lodging experience. Operated by a UK charity, these eco-cottages focus on sustainable tourism and environmental conservation.

Are there any other attractions close to Ruma National Park?

Yes, there are several attractions close to Ruma National Park. A famous attraction is Rusinga Island, located about 30 kilometers away from Ruma National Park, which is renowned for its rich archaeological heritage and natural beauty.

Visitors can explore the island’s historical sites, such as those discovered by Mary and Louis Leakey, and the Tom Mboya Mausoleum. The island offers stunning landscapes with rolling hills, lush vegetation, and scenic beaches, perfect for bird watching, fishing, and experiencing Luo culture. Safaris to Rusinga Island can be enjoyed while staying at the famous Rusinga Island Lodge.

View some of our safari experiences below:
3 Days 2 Nights Rusinga Island Lodge Fly-in Holiday | Click Here
4 Days 3 Nights Rusinga Island Lodge Fly-in Safari | Click Here
Kisumu Day Tour Rusinga Island Lodge Day Trip | Click Here

Ruma National Park

Ruma National Park Wildlife | Animals & Birds

Ruma National Park is home to a diverse array of animals and birds. Spanning 120 square kilometers, it features a rich mosaic of habitats, including shady woodlands, grassland savannahs, towering cliffs, robust acacia thickets, volcanic plugs, and riverine forests.

Despite its modest size, the park offers enchanting views of wildlife such as African leopards, roan antelopes, eastern black rhinoceroses, Rothschild’s giraffes, oribis, cape buffalo, Lelwel hartebeests, olive baboons, Bohor reedbucks, hyenas, servals, topis, honey badgers, bushpigs, and vervet monkeys. Over 400 bird species have also been recorded, making it an Important Bird Area. Among these is the rare blue swallow, an intra-African migrant.

The Rothschild’s giraffes, notable for their distinctive white socks, are a key attraction, often seen roaming the park. The park also boasts a variety of other mammals, including African elephants, gazelles, impalas, serval cats, Jackson’s hartebeests, leopards, mountain reedbucks, and many more. Bird enthusiasts will find Ruma National Park a paradise with its 400+ species, including the blue swallows, ostriches, sunbirds, kingfishers, African fish eagles, and pelicans.

Ruma National Park Activities | Things To Do

Game Drives

Wildlife viewing is one of the most exciting experiences in Ruma National Park. This activity is a chance to enjoy the marvelous landscapes and the exceptional wildlife species such as eastern black rhinos, roan antelopes, Rothschild’s giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, and bush pigs. The best time to enjoy game drives is during the dry season.

Korlang’o picnic site which is a historical site as Korlango was used as an escape route by the Kalenjin during the colonial time when they were brought to Lambwe Valley to die during the resistance, as the place was inhabited due to tsetse fly and malaria.


Nature Walks

Nature walks are a 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 the 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 bird-watching time is during the rainy season because there is a higher chance of spotting migrant species.


Camping

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.


Hiking

Hiking here is done in the Gwassi hills which are seen in the backdrop of Ruma National Park, the hill is dominated by natural forests filled with various species of plants bearing beautiful wildflowers and many birds which you will enjoy watching during your hiking expedition.


Boat cruises on Lake Victoria

Boat rides allow tourists to explore some of the wildlife on the shores of Lake Victoria such as Hippos and Crocodiles as well as aquatic bird species such as kingfishers, African fish eagles, and Pelicans. However, you can also enjoy a sun-downer boat cruise on Lake Victoria as you watch the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine or juice and can also have a barbeque on request.


Find our safari experiences at Ruma National Park below:

1-Day Ruma National Park from Kisumu | Click Here
2-Day Ruma National Park from Kisumu | Click Here

Ruma National Park Entrance Fees

Seasons East Africa Citizen/ Resident
(Kenya Shillings)
Rest of Africa
(US Dollars)
International Visitors (US Dollars)
Dates From Dates To Adult Child/ Student Adult Child/ Student Adult Child/ Student
1st Jan 2024 31st Mar 2024 300
Kenya Shillings
250
Kenya Shillings
20
US Dollars
15
US Dollars
25
US Dollars
15
US Dollars
1st Jan 2024 31st Mar 2024 250
Kenya Shillings
200
Kenya Shillings
15
US Dollars
10
US Dollars
20
US Dollars
15
US Dollars
1st Jan 2024 31st Mar 2024 300
Kenya Shillings
250
Kenya Shillings
20
US Dollars
15
US Dollars
25
US Dollars
15
US Dollars

Notes;

* KENYAN (KE) CITIZEN– refers to Kenyan nationals by birth and registration, with valid Identification Card
* REST OF AFRICA  – refers to nationals of African countries other than East African countries with a valid passport
* RESIDENT – refers to persons of other nationalities residing in Kenya with valid documentation from the Kenyan government
* DAILY FEE is a single entry fee valid for 24 hours of continuous uninterrupted stay inside a KWS national park/ reserve/ sanctuary
* INTERNATIONAL (INTL) VISITORS – refers to visitors other than EAST AFRICAN CITIZEN and rest of Africa with a valid passport
* SENIOR CITIZEN – refers to Kenyan Citizens aged 75 years and above. Senior citizens shall access all KWS parks, reserves and sanctuaries for free
* CHILDREN – refers to persons from the age of five (5) years to seventeen years (17) years. Children below the age of five (5) years shall access all KWS parks, reserves and sanctuaries for free
* CONSERVATION FEES – refers to fees charged in national parks, reserves and sanctuaries for the purpose of conserving and protecting natural resources, such as wildlife, habitats and ecosystems
* EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY (EAC) CITIZEN – refers to nationals of East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a valid passport
* STUDENT– refers to an individual from a recognized secondary, government or private college or university aged up to twenty-three (23) years old visiting the parks for purposes of learning about conservation through a documented and organized arrangement with that institution. It excludes students on personally arranged holidays. KWS will require a minimum of one (1) week notice to issue a written authorization for the student rates
* PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PWD) – refers to Kenyan Citizens who have a physical, sensory, mental or other impairment, including any visual, hearing, learning or physical incapability, which impacts adversely on social, economic or environmental participation. PWD access all KWS parks, reserves and sanctuaries for free upon presentation of valid documentation from the National Council for Persons with Disabilities

Ruma National Park Accommodation & Camping | Where To Stay

Oribi Guest House

It is a unique self-catering guesthouse built on the Kanyamwa Escarpment which Gor Mahia used to frequent. For those who want to have an overnight stay and appreciate the Park’s unique attributes of tranquility, wilderness, scenic beauty, and watching the sunset. It has 3 bedrooms accommodating a maximum of 6 people with a fully equipped kitchen. Oribi is solar powered and DSTV is available.

Fig Tree Campsite: This campsite provides basic camping facilities and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the wilderness of Ruma National Park. It is an excellent spot for those who want to enjoy the natural surroundings and the sounds of wildlife at night.

Nyati Campsite: Similar to Fig Tree, Nyati Campsite offers essential camping amenities and is another option for visitors seeking a more rustic and adventurous stay within the park

Booking & Reservations Ruma National Park Contact

Mobile: + 254-721-242-711
WhatsApp: +254-721-242-711
Reservations: +254 718-179-967
Email: info@africanspicesafaris.com
Website: https://africanspicesafaris.com

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