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Kisumu impala conservation boat race 2011

Date Published: 14 Oct, 2011
 Kisumu impala conservation boat race 2011

The Kisumu conservation boat race seeks to raise funds to conserve the rare sitatunga antelope found in Kisumu Impala Sanctuary by the shores of the lake

Kenya Wildlife Service in conjunction with stakeholders is organising the inaugural Kisumu Impala Conservation Boat Race to be held next month in Lake Victoria.  The race seeks to raise funds to conserve the rare sitatunga antelope found in Kisumu Impala  Sanctuary by the shores of the lake by constructing a 3-km perimeter wall fence at a cost of Sh28 million. The race will also give the participating stakeholders a chance to showcase their products and activities as well as highlight the potential of Kisumu and Siaya counties as tourism investment and attraction destinations.
Stakeholders interested in showcasing their activities will hold a consultative meeting to plan for the race on October 21, 2011 in Kisumu Town. These include the Ministry of Tourism, Kenya Investment Authority, the Fisheries Department, tour operators, non governmental organisations, Kenya Association of Manufacturers’ (KAM), Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA), Integritours and boat operators among others. The profiling of the two counties’ tourism potentials  and promotion of less visited wildlife areas like Kisumu Impala sanctuary; in line with Vision 2030 development blueprint that seeks to make tourism a leading sector, making it among the best tourist destination in the world offering a high-end, diverse, exclusive and distinctive visitor experience.  


  • Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is located in Kisumu City along the eastern shores of Lake  Victoria – on the way to Hippo Point. 
  • The 0.4 km sq facility was set up in the early 1970’s by the Kisumu Municipal Council and the Provincial Administration to take care of the impalas that used to roam about in town. 
  • It was gazetted as a National Sanctuary in 1992. The facility is divided into two parts namely, Impala “A” ---- 0.34sq km (40ha) and Impala “B”---- 0.06sq km (10.3ha) respectively. 
  • The sanctuary is also a refuge to other free ranging animals like monitor lizards, zebra, variety of birdlife, and hippo that graze during the night. In the enclosures are lions, leopard, jackal, bush buck, hartebeest, buffalos, Ostrich, hyena, cheetah, tortoises, guinea fowls and parrots in the aviary. 
  • The vegetation in Impala “A” is predominantly grassland, indigenous bush land/forest and wetland. Impala “B” harbours the wetland that is a home to the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga antelope. Impala “B” has no infrastructural development but is protected. Plans are underway to construct a perimeter wall fence to reinforce the protection of the endangered Sitatunga antelope. 
  • Kenya Wildlife Service branded the sanctuary in 2010 as “Lakeshore Walk with the Impalas” under a national programme aimed at giving a facelift to parks and reserves as important conservation areas and world class tourist destinations. 
  • As part of the branding exercise, the sanctuary got a new gate, offices, ablution blocks, walk ways and animal enclosures. More animals were brought in to diversify tourist products and enhance visitor experience. 
  • The sanctuary’s revenue and visitor numbers have increased partly from the branding, among other initiatives.  For instance, the sanctuary’s revenue has steadily risen from a low of Sh1.7 million in 2005; Sh3.8 in 2006; Sh5.15 in 2007; Sh5.2 million in 2008; Sh7.25 million in 2009 and Sh8.6 million in 2010. By September 2011, the sanctuary has collected Sh11 million. This represents a six-fold rise over five years.
  • For visitor numbers, the sanctuary has seen a rise from 94,000 in 2005; 84,000 in 2006; 68,000 in 2007; 81,000 in 2008; 108,000 in 2009; 196,000 in 2010. By September 2011, 99,000 visitors had visited the sanctuary. 
  • The sanctuary is expensive to run as it uses a minimum of Sh700, 000 per month to feed the animals, which comes to an estimated Sh8.4 million per year over and above cage maintenance, animal treatment and campsite and picnic site maintenance costs. The facility requires Sh28 million for the construction of a 3km perimeter wall/fence in both Impala A and Impala B. 



Revenue trends from 2005 to 2011

A 24-bed capacity eco-lodge under construction at Impala A is expected to be ready for occupation in December 2011 and this will bring the non-residents – a target group that has been elusive to the sanctuary. Plans are underway to develop Impala “B” especially a conference centre and visitor information centre/interpretation centre at an estimated cost of Sh90 million. 
Kisumu Impala Annual Boat Race
A committee comprising about 15 local stakeholders has been formed to spearhead the planning for the event that is scheduled to be held on November 26, 2011at  Impala “A”. The boat race covers Kisumu and Siaya counties. The first boat race preliminaries took place on October 1, 2011 at Hippo Point; the other hits will be held at Luanda K’otieno and Usenge beaches on October 21 and 24, 2011 respectively. The top three winners for both men and women teams will qualify for the final boat race on October 26, 2011 at Impala A. 

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