So our host decided to drive us around Homa Bay County and show us his home turf. We went straight to Kendu Bay where the bright sunlight was reminiscent of a previous holiday in the Bahamas. Simply outstanding. Fresh fish, diverse birdlife and a gorgeous Kenyan blue sky, which was guaranteed to sweep away the winter and possibly, COVID blues. We sat in a cafe by the lake shore and drank bitter lemon, mango juice and and beer.
Actually, the birdlife really is amazing. In a few short minutes, I had spotted Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Pied Kingfisher, Hamerkop, Cormorants and others. If that lot doesn’t get your ornithological juices running, nothing will.
In terms of birding, the whole of the Kenya trip was pretty much like that; one awe inspiring sight after another. Leaving Kendu Bay, we travelled a short distance to Simbi Lake where I witnessed a great wash of pink gathered at one end of the shoreline, iridescent in the bright African sunshine. It was my very first flock of Lesser Flamingos, and what a beautiful sight it was too.
Moving on, we eventually arrived at Homa Bay situated at the bottom end of the Winam Gulf, that feeds into Lake Victoria. This time, the birdwatching went up several more notches as the avian world blended seamlessly with the human one.
Two words: Marabou Storks. These large, and to be completely honest, somewhat ugly birds were everywhere. On the roofs of houses, on the shoreline, in the sky above us. In fact, they are so big, it felt like a scene out of Jurassic World when the beleaguered tourists were being dive-bombed by pterodactyls.
I don’t think Homa Bay is really a tourist town, from what I could see anyway. Down near the shoreline, it was just full of fishermen, birds (waiting for titbits from the fishermen no doubt), locals selling fish cooked and uncooked, and families enjoying the breezy sunshine down near the water. The whole place had a busy, but relaxed and laid back feel.
It may well be off the beaten track and not an obvious tourist destination, but I really recommend a visit to this remote part of Western Kenya – you won’t be disappointed!