Experience the real Kenya with school and home visits
Immerse yourself in life in Ndhiwa and become part of the community instead of just passing through by taking part in school and home visits.
Karibuni Eco Cottages in partnership with UK charity Team Kenya sponsors students from primary school through to college, helping them to fulfil their potential by completing their education.
Guests are welcome to teach or observe lessons in our partner schools or simply join in with the many fun activities taking place such as sports, drama or dance. Several schools also have scout and guide troupes who love to show visitors their wide-ranging skills.
A home visit allows you to spend time with a Kenyan family and experience first-hand the rich Luo culture as well as gaining an understanding of the daily challenges they face. Guests can be escorted by one of the Karibuni staff and will be fully briefed about local customs and what to expect during their visit.
To find out more about our sponsored students visit www.teamkenya.org.uk
Nature Walks and Bird Watching
Just a short walk from Karibuni cottages takes you into the beautiful countryside surrounding Ndhiwa where you can discover its diverse wildlife. You are welcome to explore the area alone, but local guides are also on hand to help you catch sight of the wide variety of birds in the area including Red-billed firefinch, weaver birds and the wonderfully named bare-faced-go-away-bird.
Just 30 minutes’ drive away is the vast Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest inland lake. A boat trip to Bird Island just off the shores of Rusinga is a must for any keen bird-spotter, and is also home to monitor lizards, otters and hippos.
Take a wildlife Safari in Ruma National Park
One of Africa’s best kept safari secrets, some of the world’s rarest species roam freely across the 120km2 of savannah and rolling hills that make up Ruma National Park.
Just a 40 minute drive from Karibuni Cotages you can catch glimpses of Black Rhino, Roan and Oribi Antelopes, Rothschild Giraffe along with an array of rare birds.
The park is the last remaining refuge of the Roan in the wild and the graceful creatures are easy to spot as they graze freely on the open grasslands.
The park was also launched as a rhino sanctuary in 2011, with 21 Black Rhino introduced in 2012.
Why not combine a visit to the park with a trip to Homa Bay on the shores of Lake Victoria or an overnight stay on Rusinga Island?
Visit the national monument Thimlich Ohinga
This unique stone structure dating back over 500 years is said to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Western Kenya and is within an hour’s drive of Ndhiwa.
Literally meaning “frightening dense forest” in Dholou langauge, a Nilotic group who occupy the region, it was constructed using a dry-stone walling technique and is thought to have had a defensive purpose such as a fort. The site was designated a National Monument in 1981.
Take a boat trip on Lake Victoria at Homa Bay
A 35 minute drive will take you to this bustling fishing town on the shores of Lake Victoria where you can take a boat trip or explore the Homa Hills.
Africa’s largest inland lake is twice the size of Wales and forms a natural boundary between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The Nyanza province is the heartland of the Luo, a tribe known as formidable fishermen. Fishing brings many visitors to the lake, mainly in search of Nile Perce, considered a world-class game fish.
See the soapstone carvers at Kisii/Tabaka
Watch Kenya’s finest stone carvers at work as they create their beautiful crafts from soapstone, only found in the hills of Tabaka, a 45 minute drive from Ndhiwa.
The Kissi/Gusii community are renowned for their exceptional skills in carving ornate decorative art and jewellery, together with functional items such as plates and bowls.
The large town of Kissi, a further 20 minutes, has a large supermarket which also sells western goods.
Relax at Kisindi Lodge and Spa and visit the birthplace of Barack Obama’s father
It has five cottages, swimming pool, spa and restaurant serving gourmet meals. It is around 1hr 30 minutes from Ndhiwa and from here it is possible to visit Kogelo, the birthplace of the father of American president Barack Obama.
The once remote village of 6,000 people now draws a steady stream of visitors and has become a hub for local businesses.
Overlooking the blue expanse of Lake Victoria this hidden gem offers guests complete rest and relaxation. Suitable for a short break or one night stay it can be reached by boat or by road.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve
Widely considered to be Africa’s premier wildlife reserve the Maasai Mara has the greatest concentration of large mammals on earth and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya.
The annual wildebeest migration alone involves over 1.5miliion animals and there have been 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and 400 species of birds recorded.
Visitors rarely miss out on a chance to spot elephants, lions, leopards, rhino and buffalo and other game include hippopotami, cheetahs, Grant’s gazelle, impala, topi and giraffe.
Most Karibuni guests travel back to Nairobi via the Maasai Mara, with a one night stay in a safari lodge or campsite, depending on budget.
Tea and coffee plantations
Home to one of the world’s finest quality teas the small hill town of Kericho in the Rift Valley is literally surrounded by fields of gold.
It is a perfect stopping point on route to and from Ndhiwa and we recommend lunch at the Tea Hotel, overlooking its beautiful gardens.
Agri-tourism is becoming increasingly popular and Kericho is the perfect place from which to explore the local plantations that produce both tea and fresh cut flowers.
A trip to this beautiful fresh water lake can be combined with a visit to Hells Gate National Park. The park is home to an array of game and bird life and was named for its imposing pair of red-tinged cliffs that frame an interior of active geothermal steam vents and bubbling springs.
Giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps, hippos sleep in the shallow water and Colobus monkeys call from the treetops.
It is also ideal for hiking, biking and rock climbing.
The lake is half way between Naoribi and Ndhiwa and an ideal stop off point.
This prehistoric playground on Lake Victoria was a must-see destination for many 19th century intrepid explorers and is one of the richest fossil beds in the world with finds dating back 18 million years. Louis and Mary Leakey were some of the first to discover fossils on the tiny island and when in 1948 they found a complete skull of Proconsul africanus, an ape which lived 23 to 14 million years ago, palaeontologists took a big interest in Rusinga.
We can recommend Rusinga Island Lodge as a perfet place for an overnight stay.