Rusinga Island Lodge Kenya – Nyanza’s hidden getaway

Rusinga Island is a small rural Island on the shores of Lake Victoria. It offers great relaxation and tranquillity away from the busy life on the mainland of Kenya. With great views of the Lake, you cannot miss an incredible sunset or sunrise as you listen to the birds sing their melody.

This is the best place to wind up your rigorous safari. Experience the other side of Kenya that is less talked about or advertised. The Island can be accessed through the Mbita causeway ferry which takes about 45 minutes. To get to Mbita from Nairobi, you can travel to Kisumu by road (8-hour’s drive) or take a 45 minutes flight from Nairobi.

Rusinga Island Lodge, Kenya is one of the best places to stay if you want to enjoy this quiet Island to the maximum. Though there are other budget-friendly places in Mbita on the shores of Lake Victoria, it is all worth saving for this particular lodge.


Overview of the Lodge

The lodge is located on this remote Island and has very green manicured lawns with exotic trees providing a haven for many bird species. Located on the shores of Lake Victoria, it offers great views from its terrace. One can spend most of the time here just gazing and inhaling all the beauty.

Accommodation is provided in thatched hut cottages overlooking the lake. They are furnished with locally available materials, and well air-conditioned with an en suite bathroom. Each cottage has a sitting area, dining and a terrace/veranda for great views.

The lodge also has a Spa offering massage treatments for guests on request. It is also children-friendly with a swimming pool and large lawns. Children can play while searching for small animals like squirrels and mongooses found on the Island.

Some of the Activities while on the Island include:

Bird Watching

The Island and its environment have over 350 local and migratory bird species not found in other parts of Kenya. Right from the terrace of your room, you get to observe different birds singing away.

The bird island, accessible through a short boat ride from Rusinga is a breeding site for most of the water birds on the Lake. Some of the magnificent birds include Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, double-toothed barbets, sunbirds, cormorants, etc. The fish eagle can be seen soaring overhead and swooping low on the Lake while trying to catch fish and offers great photography moments.


Lake Victoria’s main activity is fishing. There is a large volume of Nile Perch and tilapia that are found here. Hence, fish is the main food consumed by communities around the Lake.

The lodge has fishing boats and offers a chance for their guest to go catch their own food. The adventure of it is trying to catch a Nile Perch for dinner which grows to the large size of put to 300lbs. Such an adventure, catching your own dinner or lunch.

Hiking and Bike Riding

Mountain bikes are available for adventure lovers to take a stroll on the small Island and interact with the local community. Learn more about the tribe that inhabits this Island, their history, and everyday life.

The nearby Mfangano Island is home to ancient rock art that remains untouched for many years. This is a great place for any hiker to explore the caves and ancient curved art with the help of an experienced guide.

Excursion at the Paleontology Site

Primate fossils were discovered by two Palaeontologists Louis and Mark Leakey in 1948. This led to the recent reopening of the fossil sites by The American Museum of Natural History. They visit the site every year and continue to work on discovering more fossils.

An excursion with a well-knowledgeable guide will give you a brief history of the paleontologist’s work and their findings so far. When the American team is on the ground, they are more than willing to answer all the questions one may have.


A brief Safari At Ruma National Park

Ruma National park is the remotest park in Kenya and has a unique and striking beauty making it stand out from the rest. This is home to the last remaining Roan Antelope found in Kenya. It is easily visible to visiting guests. Other animals to see in the park include; Jackson’s Hartebeest, Rothschild Giraffe, oribi, bohor reedbuck, impala, topi, waterbuck, buffalo, and with luck the leopard can be sighted.

Rusinga Island Kenya
Roan Antelope

Family Activities

Some more activities can be done while still at the lodge. These include swimming by the pool and spa treatments which include massage, manicure, and pedicure. There are also various game boards you can enjoy as a family. A treasure hunt can be arranged for the children upon request.

One can also choose to walk by the lake shores. Interact with the ever-friendly local community as they engage in their everyday activities. Visit their villages and get involved in community-based projects.

There is also the Rusinga Island Festival that happens the last weekend before Christmas. This is normally organized to celebrate the great traditions of the community living in this area.

(Video courtesy of Wendy Wata Vlog)

Things to consider when visiting the Island

  • This is a malaria-prone area so make sure you have the anti-malaria tabs.
  • Carry an insect repellent as there are so many harmless insects that will want to rest on your body.
  • Carry sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses as the sun is always blazing in this region.
  • You can include a light to medium jacket for the windy evenings.
  • Remember to carry a swimming costume or hiking shoes if you intend to do either.
  • Get a good camera as some moments on this Island are worth keeping.

Click the Image for more about the lodge

You can check out more things to include in your Safari Bag here or Check out Tips on How To Pack For A Safari.

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24 Responses

  1. FrugalTravelsNepal says:

    I just stumbled upon your website here, but I found myself wanting to go to Kenya to see your amazing Victoria Falls. Your place, the location and everything about it looks perfect.

    Bird-watching is one of my favorite things to do. We have falcons and when one flies by I often find myself lost in flight with him. And you have eagles!

    Step one: Make a plan…

    • Anita says:

      Thank you for taking your time to go through my site. Please consider visiting Kenya. Point of correction, we have Lake Victoria in Kenya, Victoria Falls is in Zambia/Zimbabwe. 

      Yes we have very many birds species here and the African Eagle too. Make a point of planning for that trip.

  2. Barbara says:

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful this all I am going to say. I have always wanted to do a safari it has been my dream for a long time and this year we were planning to finally organize one with the whole family. Your post came at the perfect time I will definitely have a look at the place it looks beautiful and fascinating. Thank you for sharing this great info

    • Anita says:

      Hello Barbara, Glad you found good information here as you plan your safari this year. Just take your time, check out recent reviews of all the places you have in mind and if using a travel agent make sure they are genuine and approved. You can also ask for referrals from people who have done safaris recently.

  3. Holly says:

    This looks amazing, thank you for writing this up! This looks like a great trip to take with kids because it is the experience of a lifetime to be able to go to Kenya, but it’s not too “busy” of a trip, if that makes sense. It seems as if you just spend a lot of time enjoying and appreciating your surroundings–taking in new sights and experiences. We all need a little of that some times!

  4. geebehn says:

    I haven’t taken a tour before to Africa, but I have decided to go on a tour before the end of next month and I planned on visiting South Africa, But coming across this article I think I will have to change my plans, and visit Kenya instead.. If actually Kenya is definitely like this as described in this article, I will visit Kenya and I hope is gonna be a fun-filled experience..

    • Anita says:

      Hey, you can divide your days and visit both countries. South Africa too has beautiful places just like Kenya, you can pop in for a day or two in your way to SA.

  5. Gracen says:

    Hi Anita, reading through your post, made me feel like I am already in the Rusinga Island. The way you vividly described the scenario, makes it look so real for me that you have just awaken the desire to travel to such a tranquil vicinity. Your narrative from the overview of the lodge down to fishing, hiking and bike riding is quite interesting. I love the notion of family activities which includes swimming by the pool among others. You did great writing this article. Keep up the good work.

  6. julienne murekatete says:

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article on Rusinga Island Lodge Kenya.By reading this article anyone can want to visit this place so can I am planning to visit Kenya soon as I have a friend who is going to get married and I hope I will get enough time to visit this amazing place.

  7. Ola says:

    What a great job! The ease of navigating through your site is GREAT!Thanks for the effort and time you incurred in creating this excellent and lovely article

    I am just getting to know about rusinga island for the first time; thanks for listing out the things to consider before visiting the island. I hope to visit the island on my next visit to kenya

  8. Ennymatics says:

    Brilliant article! Its amazing for Africa to finally get some attention in the good way. African isn’t just about poverty, diseases and all. There are more brilliant places like this in Kenya and other parts of Africa examples being found in Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia and other first rate African nations.

    • Anita says:

      Well, it is upon the people who know these places well to talk about them and let the world know and see what they have to offer. We have the platform and so it is upon us to act.

  9. faftop says:

    I stumbled on an article about rusinga island last year, and immediately I added it to my list. I loved every description about the island, and you’ve successfully made me love it more with this well detailed article. I will be getting married this year, and rusinga island will definitely be one of the location to consider for the honey moon. Thanks

    • Anita says:

      I wish you a great honeymoon. I hope my article has confirmed anything details you needed about traveling here, now make the move and bring your loved one over.

  10. Michel says:

    Rusinga Island Lodge in Kenya looks awesome, and you have made me want to pack my bags and go on another Safari after reading this article.

    I went on a Safari in the Ockawonga a few years ago and it was such a wonderful holiday. Now reading this article it has brought back good memories.

    This lodge seems quite sophisticated in comparison to the tents we stayed in the last time with air-conditioned rooms, which you need in the African Heat, and even spa treatments. This place looks like heaven on earth.

    Thanks for wetting my appetite for another adventure.

  11. Aweda Olakunle says:

    Hello your article is amazing and it makes me want to pack my bags and travel to kenya immediately but no funds. I am a geologist so it will be absolutely amazing to visit the paleontology site. I also love you putting precautions in your article it shows you are honest about what you are writing. Dont worry, Im used to having malaria and the sun is a very close friend where i am. Rusinga island is definately one of the places i visit in the future, qq, are you from the island, Anita?

  12. Mira says:


    I just fell in love to Kenya! That place looks like a heaven!

    I had never heard Rusinga Island before, but it is definitely worth travel for (I’ll put in my list). That Ruma National park sounded the place I would definitely want to see! How much does it cost to visit Ruma? 

    I’m from Finland and here the snow reaching to my thighs and I would prefer to be there! 😀 Thank you for this informative post! 

    • Anita says:

      Hey Mira, 

      You will definitely love it here, the weather is always cool, no snow here. You should put Rusinga Island in Kenya in your bucket list. You can check the entrance fee to the park on this list.

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