travel guide Masai Mara

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M a s a i M a r a & W e s t e r n K e n ya l a K E V I c T o R I a M a s a i M a r a & W e s t e r n K e n ya g E T T I N g a R o U N D M a s a i M a r a & W e s t e r n K e n ya H o M a B a y BOAT Despite the reduced hyacinth in the Winam gulf, ferry services to Tanzania and Uganda haven't resumed. That said, there are always plans in the works, so ask around. BUS & MATATU Buses, matatus and Peugeots (shared taxis) to numerous destinations within Kenya battle it out at the large bus and matatu station just north of the main market. Peugeots cost about 25% more than matatus. Easy Coach (; Jomo Kenyatta Hwy) offers the smartest buses out of town. Its booking office and departure point are in the car park just behind (and accessed through) Tusky's shopping centre. It has daily buses to Nairobi (Ksh1400, seven hours, every couple of hours), Nakuru (Ksh800, 4½ hours, every couple of hours) and Kampala (Ksh1500, seven hours, 1.30pm and 10pm). TRAIN Despite having a beautiful old train station, Kisumu's station hasn't seen a locomotive pull in for years. There's constant talk of rekindling the service, but don't hold your breath. 8 Getting Around BODA-BODA & TUK-TUK Both boda-bodas and tuk-tuks (motorised mi- nitaxis) have proliferated and they are a great way to get around Kisumu. a trip to Hippo Point should be no more than Ksh50/150 for a boda- boda/tuk-tuk. MATATU Matatus 7 and 9, which travel along oginga odinga Rd and Jomo Kenyatta Hwy, are handy to reach the main matatu station, main market and Kibuye Market – just wave and hop on anywhere you see one. TAXI a taxi around town costs between Ksh100 and Ksh200, while trips to Dunga range from Ksh250 to Ksh400, with heavy bargaining. Homa Bay P OP 32,174 Homa Bay has a slow, tropical, almost cen- tral African vibe, and the near-total absence of other tourists means it's extraordinarily and genuinely friendly. There is little to do other than trudge up and down the dusty, music-filled streets or wander down to the lake edge to watch the marabou storks pick through the trash as they wait for the fisher- men and their morning catch. Alternatively, the energetic may like to climb some of the cartoon-like hills that sur- round the town. The easiest summit to bag is the unmistakable conical mound of Asego Hill, which is just beyond the town and takes about an hour to clamber up. The town also makes a great base from which to visit Ruma National Park and Thimlich Ohinga. 4 Sleeping & Eating Twin Towers Hotel HoTEl $ (% 0775612195; s/d from Ksh2500/3000) The Twin Towers (slightly unfortunate name, that) is a solid choice if all you require is a comfy bed and a bathroom that doesn't require a biohazard suit to enter. It can suf- fer quite badly from street noise, though. The restaurant here offers decent, if unim- aginative, mains for around KSh300. It's right in the town centre near the banks, mosque and park. MATATUS FROM KISUMU TO FARE DURATION Busia Ksh300-370 2 hr Eldoret Ksh450-500 2½ hr Homa Bay Ksh350-400 3 hr Isebania Ksh700 4 hr Kakamega Ksh200 1¾ hr Kericho Ksh350 2 hr Kisii Ksh350 2 hr Kitale Ksh500 4 hr Nairobi Ksh1000-1200 5½ hr Narok Ksh800 5 hr Nakuru Ksh800 3½ hr 1 2 8

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