Ruma national park
Ruma national park – Kenya also referred to as the “dramatic Valley of the roan antelope” is a mosaic of landscapes ranging from riverine woodland and towering cliffs situated in the Nyanza province with Hoima Bay as the nearest city. The park is the only terrestrial park in Nyanza province in the western direction of Nairobi, south west of Homa bay and not far from Lake.
Ruma national park is also dubbed as the “Last Retreat of the Roan Antelope” as it is the last sanctuary for the endangered roan antelopes, the park covers an area of 120 square kilometers lieing on the flat floor of the seasonally watered Lambwe River Valley bordered by the Kanyamwa Escarpment to the South-East.
Ruma national park is also the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant is found. The Blue Swallows depend on the moist grassland for both feeding and roosting and arrive in Kenya from Southern Tanzania which is their breeding grounds around April and they depart in September.
Ruma national park is comprised of a magnificent landscape characterized of savannah towering woodland, acacia thickets, woodland, volcanic plugs and riverine woodland. The park is divided into 4 zones that are closed zone, low use zone, high use zone and influence zone. These zones serve various purposes including being a breeding place for roan antelopes and other wildlife species found in the park.
History of Ruma national park
Ruma national park was established in 1966 as Lambwe game reserve and later it was renamed “Ruma” after one of Kenya’s most powerful the most feared wizard Gor Mahia who resided around the park. Ruma national park was established majorly to protect the indigenous species of rare roan antelopes known as “korongo” in Swahili which lived and still found in the park.
The park’s name was changed to Ruma upon the request of the locals in respect to Gor Mahia, Kenya’s most powerful and feared wizard.
Wildlife in Ruma national park
Ruma national park inhabits a variety of animals and birds of various species,
Wildlife species in Ruma national park include leopards, cape buffaloes, hyenas, honey badgers, Rothschild giraffe, vervet monkeys, roan antelopes, Lelwel hartebeests, Oribi antelopes and many reptiles. Reptiles in the park include python, eastern green mamba, black mouthed mamba, puff adder, forest cobra and African spitting cobra.
Bird species in Ruma national park is recorded to be over 400 species and they include rare blue swallow, kingfishers, sunbirds and African fish eagles, red-necked francolin, crested francolin, speckled pigeon, African green- pigeon among others.
Kenya safari activities to do in Ruma national park
Ruma national park is a very rewarding Kenya safari destination for game viewing safaris, the park is famous known for inhabiting the last population of roan antelopes in Kenya and other beautiful animal species worth viewing. Game viewing in Ruma national park is done on morning and afternoon game drives, while driving on the spectacular landscape of the park you get an opportunity of spotting them rearing in the savannah plains. Some of the animals you will enjoy watching include roan antelopes, hyenas, hartebeests, Rothschild giraffe, leopards, cape buffaloes, hartebeests, honey badgers among others.
Ruma national park is one of the best Kenya birding destinations offering tourists an opportunity to spot the rare blue swallow bird, the park is a home to a recorded population of 400 bird species which will blow your mind while on a birding safari in Ruma national park. Birds to watch in Ruma national park include kingfishers, sunbirds and African fish eagles, red-necked francolin, crested francolin, speckled pigeon, African green- pigeon among others.
Hiking in Ruma national park is done in the Gwassi hills which are seen in the backdrop of Ruma national park, the hill is dominated by natural forests filled with various species of plants bearing beautiful wild forests and many birds which you will enjoy watching during your hiking expedition.
Boat cruises in Ruma national park are done on the calm waters of Lake Victoria, boat cruise is an amazing and captivating experience allowing tourists to explore Lake Victoria , enjoy the cool breeze and spot various species of animals and birds on the shores of the lake.
Fishing experience in Ruma national park is done in the waters of Lake Victoria found in a close distance to the park, Lake Victoria inhabits a variety of fish species such as Nile perch, cat fish, African tetras among others you will enjoy catching during fishing experience.
Ruma national park is one of the perfect Kenya safari destinations for nature walk experience, the park is endowed with magnificent landscape comprising the Lambwe river, riverine woodland and towering cliffs which are magnificent to look encounter. During your walk through the landscape of the park using various trails you will encountering various species of plants and many birds and animals such as the roan antelopes, cape buffaloes among others.
Accommodation in Ruma national park
In Ruma national park there are a variety of accommodation facilities offering comfortable accommodation to tourists on a Kenya wildlife safari in the park, these accommodation facilities range from luxury accommodation, midrange accommodation and budget accommodation. Accommodation in Ruma national park include Mfagano island camp, Rusinga Island lodge, golden rays resort, Ruma river lodge, ACK guest house, Oribi guesthouse, Hotel Twin towers, Oyugis hill breeze hotel and campsites such as Twinga campsite, Nyati special campsite among others.