November 7, 2018

Rusinga Island Lodge

A private retreat in one of Africa's most remote and historical corners, Rusinga Island Lodge nestles on Rusinga Island, in the legendary Lake Victoria - the world's second largest freshwater lake and destination of many intrepid 19th century explorers - in Western Kenya. Rusinga is 80 miles due west of the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Image may contain people sitting tree sky cloud plant outdoor and natureRusinga Island Lodge exudes an atmosphere of serene tranquility. The manicured velvet lawns stretch to the water’s edge and the grounds, with its exotic trees are a haven for a myriad of bird species – many of which are unique to this area of Kenya.
Image result for Birding at rusinga islandThe Lodge’s renowned hospitality, delicious home-grown, home cooked food and indulgent accommodation combine to offer an ideal home from which to explore other areas of East Africa. Rusinga Island Lodge with its luxurious accommodation is a great place to relax before, during or at the end of a rigorous and exciting East African Safari.
With their high thatched roofs, spacious patios looking out over the lush gardens and the sparkling Lake Victoria beyond, Rusinga Island Lodge’s accommodation consists of 6 individual cottages and 1 family cottage comprising a twin room and double room with interconnecting door. Each cottage is en suite and has its own verandah overlooking the lake. Bedrooms are either twin (with 2 queen size beds) or double (with 1 king size bed). Bathrooms are spacious with double sink and ‘soup plate’ showers.
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Combining intimate charm and privacy with the highest levels of personal comfort, the cottages are made from stone, wood and grass thatching and decorated with elegant fabrics.
(Electricity is provided by both generator and inverter power offering an electrical supply 24-hours a day.)
Mealtimes are flexible at Rusinga and, wherever possible, ingredients are home-grown - an extensive vegetable garden provides fresh, organically grown vegetables and the grounds are dotted with fruit trees.
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Breakfast is usually served on the lawns - fresh tropical fruits, homemade mueseli, home-made pastries and eggs cooked to order accompanied by bacon, sausages and tomato.
Lunch is also served al fresco - chilled soups, a selection of salads and delicious Nile perch cooked in a variety of ways to Rusinga's secret recipes and accompanied by mouth-watering home-made breads.
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Dinner can be served in the Mess, candlelit on the jetty (wind permitting!), at the gazebo in the grounds or BBQ-style around the floodlit pool.
Although all meals are table d'hote, should a guest have particular preferences or dietary requirements, these will be accommodated wherever possible and with prior notice.
From stately fish eagles (which nest within the grounds) and elusive double-toothed barbets to tiny iridescent sunbirds and arrow-fast kingfishers, Rusinga truly is a bird-lover's paradise.
Rusinga's grounds are home to more than 369 species of local and migratory birds, many not found elsewhere in Kenya.
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Nearby Bird Islands - a short boat ride from the lodge - are one of the most important breeding sites for water birds on Lake Victoria. Vast flocks of cormorants can be seen - wings outspanned to catch the sun's rays in the early morning, or keenly watching the water for fish during the day. Magnificent fish eagles soar overhead and swoop low giving excellent photographic opportunities.
Ruma National Park

Ruma National Park is one of Kenya's most unusual and beautiful national parks. The last surviving group of roan antelope in Kenya can be seen here - a large antelope with magnificent black and white facial markings and swept-back horns. Other special animals include the Jackson's Hartebeest and Rothschild giraffe. Also seen in abundance are oribi, bohor reedbuck, impala, topi, waterbuck and buffalo. Leopards may also be sighted. Due to the remoteness of the park, it is unlikely that guests from Rusinga Island Lodge will see another visitor. A bush breakfast in Ruma is something very special.

Image result for Ruma National ParkGuests wishing to visit Ruma leave the lodge by speedboat at 6.30am. After a 40-minute boat ride on the lake (early mornings are usually calm on the lake), a Rusinga 4x4 will meet you at the lakeshore for the short 30-minute drive to the park. En route you'll see typical Luo homesteads. After exploring the park and its inhabitants enjoy a hearty bush breakfast before heading back to the lakeshore for the return boat ride to the lodge, arriving around lunchtime.

Troll for enormous Nile perch along the shores and in the shallow waters of Lake Victoria, or cast for tilapia at sunset from the jetty. Both fish make delicious eating and the kitchen is always on standby to cook your catch of the day!
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Rusinga Island lodge's record for Nile perch - which can weigh up to 300lbs - is 203lbs caught by a lady well below that weight!
There are 6 well-equipped fishing boats crewed by experienced and good-humoured Boat Captains to give you the best chance of catching 'the big one.'
Bikes & Hikes
For the active, Rusinga offers some exhilarating diversions.
As well as a variety of watersports - waterskiing, donutting, knee-boarding - there are also mountain bikes. A circumnavigation around Rusinga Island by mountain bike not only affords welcome exercise, but also an opportunity to meet the local community and watch life go by on this small island.
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Nearby Mfangano Island is home to ancient rock art, untouched for centuries. A short boat ride across to the island is followed by a hike up to the caves housing the rock art where guides expand on the lives of the early cave-dwelling artists.

A gentler stroll can be taken to visit the archaeological sites close to Rusinga Island Lodge.
For those keen on jogging, as the island has no dangerous animals, it's possible to take a jog on the airstrip or further afield.
Relax & Revitalize
Rusinga's Wellness Spa offers a nurturing retreat in which to unwind and relax, blending peace, personal indulgence and relaxation.
The Spa's treatments include aroma massages, Indian head massage, Spa manicures & pedicures.
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Rusinga's lawns are dotted with 'lounging'' furniture under gracious trees - relax with a good book or simply recline and listen to the abundant birdlife.
Local Communities
The friendly Luo community fish along the shores of the lake in their colourful canoes and sailing dhows.
Guests are welcomed with open arms at their villages where the night's catch is set out to dry in the sun and larger fish are smoked. You can visit the villages by a short walk or whilst exploring the lake by boat.
It is also possible to visit local schools and community projects whilst staying at Rusinga.
Family Activities
There are lots of fun family activities at Rusinga.
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Rusinga's swimming pool is designed with both children and adults in mind - the shallow end slopes gently towards the deeper end offering safe waters for young children to play.
There is a variety of board games, croquet, adults & children's mountain bikes and, with a little notice, treasure hunts can be arranged as well as family BBQs around the pool.
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On the lake, watersports provide great entertainment for children and adults alike and on land children are free to explore the lodge grounds in safety, searching for giant monitor lizards and mongoose.
Touch Therapies
With an abundance of exotic scents and herbs with well-reputed healing properties, Kenyas organic fruits and shrubs provide the ultimate panacea for natural beauty, relaxation and rejuvenation.
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Nurture your body & soul with these indulgent treatments.