Ruma National Park

Ruma National Park is the only terrestrial park in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Dubbed the “Last Retreat of the Roan Antelope”, the park protects the only indigenous population of rare roan antelopes within Kenya. At present, the population is on the verge of extinction with individual populations numbering approximately 40. The park was established in 1966 as Lambwe Valley Game Reserve. It was later renamed “Ruma” after one of Kenya’s most powerful wizard, the much feared Gor Mahia who lived around the park (affiliated to Gor Mahia F.C.). The park is located in the vast Lambwe Valley.

A mosaic of landscapes, ranging from riverine woodland and rolling savannah to magnificent escarpments and towering cliffs, Ruma National Park promises undiscovered wildlife treasures and undisturbed peace.  It is also Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope. Ruma lies 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’s birdlife is exceptional. The park is also the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is regularly 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.

Game species range from African leopards (Panthera pardus pardus), roan antelopes (Hippotragus equinus), eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli), Rothschild’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), oribis (Ourebia ourebi), cape buffalosLelwel hartebeests (Alcelaphus buselaphus lelwel), olive baboonsBohor reedbucks (Redunca redunca), hyenasservals (Leptailurus serval), topis (Damaliscus korrigum), honey badgers (Mellivora capensis), bushpigs (Potamochoerus larvatus) and vervet monkeys among others.

Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park, making it an Important Bird Area. The rare intra-African migrant, the blue swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea) is one such avian species.

Park entry and charges

The park is accessible from two gates, the Main Gate (Kamato Gate) and Nyatoto Gate. Payment is cashless 

Key features

Ruma National Park lies in Western Kenya, close to the shores of Lake Victoria. An island of wilderness in a sea of intense cultivation, the Park is situated in one of the most productive and populous regions in Kenya, and is one of the country’s more rewarding but less well known Parks.

A mosaic of landscapes, ranging from riverine woodland and rolling savannah to magnificent escarpments and towering cliffs, Ruma National Park promises undiscovered wildlife treasures and undisturbed peace.  It is also Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope.

A vivid and Varied Landscape

Ruma lies 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, the Park is a long, narrow corridor of land contained on a fist-shaped peninsular extending into Lake Victoria. The terrain is mainly rolling grassland, with tracts of open woodland thickets. The soils are largely “black cotton” clay (Oxisols).

How to get there

  • The main gate is 42km from Homa Bay. From Homa Bay take the main C20 tarmac road in 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 Migori

Attractions

The Last Refuge of the Roan Antelope

One of Africas’ rarest antelopes and the third largest of Kenya’s antelopes, the roan (or Korongo as it is known in Swahili) is a large, grey to rufous antelope with a distinctive black and white face, not unlike a tribal mask. Roans live in herds of upto 20 members, led by a bull.

The Oribi Antelope

The small and graceful oribi antelope (known as Taya in Swahili) has a conspicuous bare black glandular patch below the ears, a short black-tipped tail and black knee tufts. Living in strongly bonded pairs or small groups, oribi inhabit grassland and dense undergrowth.

Realm of rare birds

Ruma’s birdlife is exceptional. The park is also the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is regularly 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.

KWS Self Catering

Oribi Guest House

Campsites

Nyati Campsite

Park Entry Fee

Ruma National ParkCitizenResidentNon-Resident
AdultsKSHChildKSHAdultKSHChildKSHAdultUSDChildUSD
3001253001252213

* Kindly refer to the document KWS Conservation Fees document below for other services and charges 

* Modes of Payment; MPESA, VISA Card, Direct Deposits to KWS Bank Accounts at any gate

Landline: 02035291129 

Mobile: 0717176709

Email: rumastn@kws.go.ke

Postal Address:

The Warden,

P.O. Box 420,

Homa Bay

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