Ruma National Park Kenya

Ruma National Park Kenya embraces numerous animal species but the most notable is the Roan Antelope and other Flourishing Wildlife, Exceptional Birdlife sites, Myriads of reptiles, Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site in Ruma National Park

Ruma National Park is the only terrestrial Park in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Dubbed the “Last Retreat of the Roan Antelope” (Africa`s rarest and largest antelope). Ruma National Park lies in Suba district, 23km South west of Homa bay, the nearest city, approximately 10km East of Lake Victoria, and 425km west of Nairobi Kenya on the flat floor of the seasonally watered Lambwe River Valley bordered by the Kanyamwa Escarpment to the South-East, and by the volcanic plugs of the Ruri Hills to the North. Ruma national Park is one of Kenya`s more rewarding but less popular Parks.

Ruma National Park kenyaRuma National Park-Kenya protects the only indigenous population of threatened roan antelopes within Kenya. Currently, the number of roan antelopes is facing extinction, approximately 40 roan antelopes have been recorded. Ruma National Park-Kenya is still the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is often recorded. Blue swallows, which depend upon moist grassland for both feeding and roosting, arrive in Kenya from their breeding grounds in Southern Tanzania around April and depart again in September.

At a size of 120km2, Ruma National Park-Kenya was first gazetted in 1966 as Lambwe Valley Game Reserve before it acquired a national park status in 1983. Ruma National Park was renamed after “Ruma” one of Kenya’s most powerful wizard, the much feared Gor Mahia who lived around the park (affiliated to Gor Mahia football club) in Kenya.

Best Time to Visit Ruma National Park-Kenya

Ruma National Park-Kenya can be visited year-round but the dry months of June to October and January to February are most ideal for wildlife viewers. Visits during the peak of the short rains (November), and especially during the long rains (April and May), might be challenging because of the condition of the roads, which aren’t great even in the Dry season. A sturdy 4×4 is required throughout the year.

What to See and Do in Ruma National Park Kenya?

Exceptional Birdlife in Ruma National Park-Kenya

Ruma National Park-Kenya is the only protected area in Kenya where the universally threatened Blue Swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is regularly recorded. Blue Swallows arrive in Kenya from their breeding grounds in southern Tanzania around April and depart in September. They depend on moist grassland for feeding and roosting. Black-backed Cisticola, a species thought to be extinct in Kenya, has also been reported from Ruma National Park. About 400 species of birds have been recorded in the area.

Myriads of reptiles in Ruma National Park-Kenya

Ruma National Park-Kenya is endowed with exceptional snake population. Commonly spotted species include: The African spitting cobra, forest cobra, python, eastern green mamba, black-mouthed mamba and puff adder. The park also abounds in lizard, skink and gecko.

Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site in Ruma National Park-Kenya

Ruma National Park KenyaThimlich Oginga is one of East Africa’s most important archaeological sites located in the South of Ruma National Park-Kenya. It holds the remains of a dry-stone enclosure, 150m in diameter and containing another five smaller enclosures, thought to date back as far as the 15th century. The site`s name translates in Luo as ‘frightening dense forest`.

Flourishing Wildlife in Ruma National Park-Kenya

Ruma National Park in Kenya embraces numerous animal species but the most notable is the Roan Antelope, a rare species in Kenya. Roan move in herds of up to 20 members with a very characteristic social structure. The most dominant female becomes the leader and each herd contains only adult strong bull, when the juvenile males grow to about 3 years, they are being ejected from the group while the female calves remain within the herd. When the herd becomes too big, the herd of the roan divides into smaller groups of cows and their young ones. These groups will form new herds, once again with only one adult bull.

Roan Antelope are very courageous animals. If threatened by predators, including Lion, they will confront them, and many of these big cats have perished, jabbed by the scimitar-shaped horns of Roans. Adults attain a mass of up to 270Kg and can live to about 15 years. Roan Antelopes are mainly grazers.

Other flourishing animals include Oribis, Bohors reedbucks and Rothschild giraffes, African leopards, eastern black rhinoceros, cape buffalos, lelwel hartebeests, olive baboons, hyenas, servals, topis, honey badgers, bush pigs, vervet monkeys etc. The park is also rich in Ostriches, Chimpanzees, and Impala gazelles. So lucky to encounter wildlife species you may never encounter anywhere else!

Wildlife viewing is best in the dry months from June to October and January to February.

Accessibility to Ruma National Park

The main gate is 24km from Homa Bay, the nearest town. From Homa Bay, take the main tarmac road on the direction of Rongo, after 10km branch off to the right at Rodi Kopany and proceed 20km to Mirogi. At Mirogi follow the signs to the park, entering at Kamato Main gate, a distance of 12km on a murram road from Mirogo.

Fly-Sax offers scheduled flights to Homa Bay at Kabunde airstrip

Where to Stay Around

Oribi guest house in Ruma National Park-Kenya

Oribi Guest House offers comfortable self-catering accommodation within the Ruma National Park. The accommodation is provided in a large self-catering house. The house sleeps 10 people and is ideal for groups and large families.

Nyati campsite; which is a special campsite and Fig tree campsite which is a public campsite and a backpacker’s haven.

Korlango Picnic site; Picnic site which is a historical site as Korlango was used as escape route by the Kalenjin during the colonial time when they were brought to Lambwe Valley to die during the resistant, as the place was inhabited due to tsetse fly and malaria

Ruma National Park Kenya embraces numerous animal species but the most notable is the Roan Antelope Flourishing Wildlife, Exceptional Birdlife, Myriads of reptiles, Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site in Ruma National Park

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