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Kisumu Impala Conservation Boat Race launch

Date Published: 11 Nov, 2011
Kisumu Impala Conservation Boat Race launch

Kenya Wildlife Service in conjunction with stakeholders has launched the inaugural Kisumu Impala Conservation Boat Race to be held in two weeks in Lake Victoria.

 Kenya Wildlife Service in conjunction with stakeholders has launched the inaugural Kisumu Impala Conservation Boat Race to be held in two weeks in Lake Victoria.
The race to be held on November 26, 2011 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 on the theme “Save the Sitatunga” 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.
The aim of the event is to bring together members of the local communities and corporate organizations in the Lake Victoria region for sport, fun and fundraising.
So far, key sponsors of the event include Equator Bottlers, Homa Lime and the Ministry of Tourism.
Stakeholders interested in showcasing their activities during the event 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.
  •  Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is located within Kisumu City and lies close to Hippo point. The Sanctuary is a holding and rehabilitation area for wild animals which require special protection located in the densely populated Kisumu area. The Sanctuary features 3km of nature trails and a selection of picnic sites and features a small herd of Impala. The animal orphanage also located here contains a collection of caged big carnivores and herbivores and provides important open grazing areas for the threatened Sitatunga antelope and the resident hippo population found in the nearby swamp. The Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is serene and ideal relaxation area away from Kisumu’s busy town centre.  



 The Kisumu Impala Conservation Boat Race is organized by the Kenya Wildlife Service.

 The event will help raise much needed funds for the construction of a perimeter fence around the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary (Impala B) and promote conservation of the rare Sitatunga antelope species by facilitating conservation awareness and education programs to members of the local communities through fishing clubs and schools in the area.

The theme for the event is “Save the Sitatunga”. 

PDF Click here for details.



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