Dunga Bay’s unforgettable fish meal, sundowner and wildlife

By: ANITA CHEPKOECH

Just past Kisumu’s leafy Milimani Estate, a dusty bumpy road leads to Dunga Bay on the southern shores of Lake Victoria.

As you go past Impala Park, Hippo Point and then Kiboko Bay, you encounter a historical gem in the form of some white pre-colonial houses hidden inside tall bougainvillea and other untamed flowers.

The cool breeze caressing your face would make you momentarily forget that you are in Kisumu — known for its sweltering heat.

Dunga Bay — popularly known by locals as Dunga Beach — is one of the leisure destinations in Kisumu County, with perfect sites for camping, picnic or just a lazy afternoon with friends.

It is famed for its fresh fish meal. All you have to do is point out your selection, often still alive, to the cook and explain how you want it prepared. Half an hour later and, before you have had enough of bird-watching, the fish would be ready.

The eateries, raised several inches above the water level, are always a beehive of activity from dawn to dusk.

Dunga’s pristine environment brings together nature’s creations in a unique, peaceful way. For instance, white herons, normally wary of humans, would be seen weaving their way in and out of the large crowd of fishmongers, scaling the day’s catch on the shores of Africa’s largest fresh water body.

Occasionally, hippopotamuses come out to graze to their fill among cows and goats before diving back into Lake Victoria.

“In one of those beautiful, calm weather days at the bay, we witness rare scenes of alligators fighting pythons in the hyacinth,” Mr Nelson Otieno, a tour guide at the Bay, narrates.

For sports lovers, the introduction of kayaking has added another sweet ingredient to the entertainment package that Dunga Bay offers.

For the fainthearted, boat rides are a better option.

Sunset at Dunga Bay has always been a phenomenon many look forward to catching. Watching the sun dip at the far end of the lake, casting its soft, golden rays over the still lake waters is an image that ensures those who witness it always come back for more.