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Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya after Nairobi and Mombasa, and the second largest city, after Kampala, Uganda, in the Lake Victoria Basin. In 2006, the UN Habitat designated Kisumu City as the first United Nations Millennium City in the world. It is the largest and principal city of Western Kenya, and the most important inland port in the Lake Victoria circuit. Kisumu is famous for being the home town of Barack Hussein Obama Sr, the father to the 44th president of the United States, Barack H. Obama.

History
It is officially known as Kisumu City (and formerly Port Florence). Kisumu port was founded in 1901 as the main inland terminal of the Uganda Railway named “Port Florence”. Although trade stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s, it is again growing around oil exports.

Kisumu city is believed to be one of the oldest settlements in Kenya. Historical records indicate that Kisumu has been dominated by diverse communities at different times long before Europeans arrived. The people from the Nandi, Kalenjin, Kisii, Maasai, Luo and Luhya communities converged at the tip of Lake Victoria and called the place “sumo” which literally means a place of barter trade.
Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade “sumo”.

Points of interest

Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground
Attractions in the city include Kibuye Market, Oile Market, the Kisumu Museum, an impala sanctuary, a bird sanctuary, Hippo Point,Shopping malls and the nearby Kit Mikaye and Ndere Island National Park. Although Kisumu has modernized over the years, it still maintains that old town feel especially on the outskirts and the culture is still very ingrained.

Town Clock
On the main street of Kisumu city, Oginga Odinga Road, a tall Town Clock stands in the middle of the road. It was unveiled on 19 August 1938 by the then Governor of Kenya Sir Robert Brooke-Popham. The Town Clock was built in memory of Kassim Lakha who arrived in East Africa in 1871 and died in Kampala in 1910. It was erected by his sons Mohamed, Alibhai, Hassan and Rahimtulla Kassim, as the inscription on the Town Clock reads.

Kisumu Museum
Kisumu Museum, established in 1980, has a series of outdoor pavilions laid out in a formation similar to that of a Luo homestead. Some of the pavilions contain live animals. For example, one pavilion contains numerous aquaria with a wide variety of fish from Lake Victoria, along with explanatory posters. Another pavilion contains terrarium containing mambas, spitting cobras, puff adders and other venomous Kenyan snakes. Additionally, out of doors, the museum has a few additional exhibits, including a snake pit and a crocodile container.

The museum’s most important and largest exhibition is the UNESCO-sponsored Ber-gi-dala. This is a full-scale recreation of a traditional Luo homestead. Ber-gi-dala consists of the home, granaries and livestock corrals of an imaginary Luo man as well as the homes of each of his three wives, and his eldest son. Through signs and taped programs in both Luo and English, the exhibition also explains the origins of the Luo people, their migration to western Kenya, traditional healing plants, and the process of establishing a new home.

Dunga Beach and Wetlands
Dunga Beach and Wetland is known for its unique eco-cultural attractions due to its biodiversity and cultural rich and diverse papyrus wetland ecosystem and local community respectively.
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Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Kisumu is the location of the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary. During the British rule, Impala Park now sanctuary was called Connaught Parade. Measuring just 1 square kilometre (0.39 sq mi), the sanctuary is one of Kenya’s smallest wildlife preserves. As its name suggests, it is home to a herd of impala. Some hippos, as well as many reptiles and birds are also present. Over 115 different species of birds live there.

Hippo Point
Hippo Point is a 240 ha (590 acres) viewing area on Lake Victoria. Despite its name, it is better known as a viewing point for its unobstructed sunsets over the lake than for its occasional hippos.

Kit Mikayi
Kit Mikayi, a large rock with three rocks on top, and is located off Kisumu Bondo Road towards Bondo. Kit-mikayi means “Stones of the first wife” or “First Wife Rocks” in Dholuo, the Luo language. It is a weeping rock; it is believed that Mikayi (literally, “the first wife”) went up the hill to the stones when her husband took a second wife, and has been weeping ever since.It has become a popular local pilgrimage site for adherents of the Legio Maria sect who come to the rock to pray and fast for several weeks at a time.

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