Ruma National Park | Kenya | Wild Safari Guide

Nestled in the vast Lambwe Valley of Kenya and dubbed the “Last Retreat of the Roan Antelope,” Ruma National Park promises a treasure trove of undiscovered wildlife. The National Park is a haven, far from the maddening crowds of the more popular parks in the country, and provides an unadulterated experience in the wild. Totally undeveloped, safari-goers to Ruma National Park should be self-sufficient in their adventures across the roads less travelled by man.

Defined by the lush Lambwe River Valley and 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 a kaleidoscope of landscapes. Additionally, the National Park is a protected area and the last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope in Kenya. Kisumu Airport is approximately 76 kilometres to the park, making it a convenient safari destination.

Q What is the appeal of Ruma National Park?

Ruma National Park is home to the rare roan antelope and sightings of the globally threatened blue swallow.

Q Can I drive to Ruma National Park?

Yes, visitors to Ruma National Park need to be totally self-sufficient with a fully-equipped 4WD vehicle. The park is located 425 kilometres west of Nairobi.

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Ruma National Park was established to protect the last remaining population of the endangered roan antelope in Kenya—making it a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Aside from the beautiful roan antelope, Ruma offers safari-goers the opportunity to see various wildlife species, including the localized Rothschild’s giraffe, serval cat, impala, vervet monkey, buffalo, Jackson’s hartebeest, and on occasion, the shy spotted hyena and African leopard. Recently, both black and white rhino have been reintroduced into the park, adding to the exceptional wildlife experience on offer.

Furthermore, Ruma National Park has an impressive snake population and species that are commonly found include the African spitting cobra, the python, the eastern green mamba, the black-mouthed mamba, and the puff adder. For the bird watchers, Ruma is a realm of rare bird species. The park is the only protected area to record regular sightings of the globally threatened blue swallow—a scarce intra-African migrant.

Ruma National Park is generally a year-round destination. However, wildlife viewing is best during the dry season—from June to October and January to February. Safari-goers visiting during the wet season should expect a bit of a challenge as the roads are not in great condition. 4WD vehicles are required at any time of year.

Ruma National Park is an undiscovered and undeveloped gem for nature enthusiasts. Although this National Park doesn’t teem with wildlife, the tranquil atmosphere and mosaic landscapes make up for it. Known as the last remaining sanctuary for the handsome roam antelope, Ruma National Park offers a sight rarely seen in other parks. Game viewing and bird watching are the most popular safari experiences on offer in the park. Safari-goers can enjoy a self-drive experience as they explore the vast landscape. For a rare sighting of the globally threatened blue swallow, which depends on the moist grasslands for feeding and roosting, bird watchers should bring along their binoculars and visit the park between April and September.

Accommodation within Ruma National Park is limited. There is a self-catering cottage that sleeps six guests, as well as a rustic campsite at the foot of the Kanyamwa Hills. The campsite does not feature any facilities, so safari-goers should be totally self-sufficient.

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