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Lake Kanyaboli to become game park to boost tourism

Eric Juma @PeopleDailyKe

Lake Kanyaboli in Siaya, the largest ox-bow lake in Africa, is set to become a national game reserve to form part of the Western Kenya tourist circuit. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has finalised research showing that the lake and the surrounding Yala swamp have the highest number of the rare Sitatunga type of antelopes.

A senior director at KWS Zipora Madara, who carried out the research, said the area was unique and has the potential for tourism. She said Lake Kanyaboli has potential for sport fishing.

“Siaya has been recognised internationally and we are looking for means of ensuring that tourists coming to the area are not disappointed,” she said. Addressing the media last Friday, Madara said KWS and the County government were committed to working together with the local community to conserve the environment and use the Yala Swamp diversity to better the living standards of the residents.

Research on the lake further revealed that Lake Kanyaboli is of great conservation interest with population of cichlids that have severely been reduced or are almost extinct in Lake Victoria.

The lake further contains many species of swamp birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates that could turn it into a tourist hotspot. Madara said KWS was concerned that Nyanza was lagging behind in tourism because it lacked space for wildlife conservation.

She said the region only has Ruma in Suba, Ndeda Island in Bondo and Impala in Kisumu, all covering a paltry 124 square kilometres, which have been preserved for wildlife conservancy. “We are looking forward to promote tourism in a region endowed with diverse ecosystems such as savannahs, wetlands, forests and other natural resources,” she said.

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