Ruma National Park is comprised of a mixture of landscapes, stretching from riverine woodland and undulating Savannah to superb escarpments and immense cliffs, the park promises undiscovered wildlife resources and uninterrupted peace. It is also Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the rare roan antelope.
The park lies on the flat floor of the seasonally soaked Lambwe River Valley surrounded by the Kanyamwa Escarpment to the South-East, and by the volcanic plugs of the Ruri Hills to the north. Ruma’s bird life is extraordinary. The park is also the only protected area in Kenya where the globally endangered blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is frequently noted. 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.
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 Mirogi
Ruma offers tourists a chance to see various wildlife species including the Rothschild’s giraffe, serval cat, hyena, impala, vervet monkey, roan antelope, Oribi, bohor reedbuck, leopard, buffalo, and Jackson’s hartebeest. Recently introduced and re-introduced species are Black rhino, White rhino, Burch ell’s zebra whose inhabitants have altered quite well. The roan antelope, Oribi and Jackson’s hartebeest are easily dotted in Ruma than anywhere else in Kenya.
Ruma has an exceptional snake population. Easily spotted species include: The African spitting cobra, forest cobra, python, eastern green mamba, black-mouthed mamba and puff adder. The park also abounds in lizard, skink and gecko.
Land of rare birds
Ruma’s bird life is extraordinary. The park is also the only endangered area in Kenya where the worldwide exposed blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is frequently 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.
The Last Sanctuary of the Roan Antelope
One of Africas’ fewest antelopes and the third largest of Kenya’s antelopes, the roan (or Korongo as it is called in Swahili) is a large, grey to change antelope with a characteristic black and white face, not unlike a tribal mask. Roans live in herds of up to 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.