Takawiri Island, Lake Victoria,Kenya

White sandy beaches,palm trees, cool breeze and turquoise waters are synonymous with the Kenyan coastline only…Well that is what I thought until recently when I visited one of the islands of Lake Victoria that is on the Kenyan side.

Lake Victoria(commonly known as Nam Lolwe in Dholuo) was named after Queen Victoria by John Hanning Speke in 1858 who was on a mission to find out the source of River Nile;the Longest River in Africa.

The characteristic feature of most of the small islands are narrow brown silt beaches where fishermen dock their boats during the day,narrow foot paths that go up the gentle slopes to the fishermen villages, women washing clothes and utensils on the shores,young girls fetching water for home use,children swimming at the shallow end of the waters and  occasionally separate groups of men and women bathing.

With more than nineteen islands on Lake Victoria that have been well documented, very little information is available on Takawiri Island:the unique island with a white sandy beach and palm trees.

A boat ride from Rusinga island takes about an hour to get to Takawiri Island. During the hour long ride, we spot a few fishermen casting their nets and our guide advises us to greet them. Most of them gladly reciprocate, a few did not. They looked unhappy. It is easy to spot different species of birds as they lazily glide above us.

It was almost impossible to believe our guide who kept assuring us of the island with a white sandy beach ahead of us. Call me a doubting Thomas but with the islands and beaches I had seen in the area,there was no way I could believe a white sandy beach existed on these sides.

Typical beaches in the region.

Typical island forms.

Typical beach. Usually a bit rocky.

Most beaches are characterized by children swimming,women washing and docked boats.

About forty minutes into the boat ride,the guide announced we were approaching Takawiri Island. The doubting Thomases stretched out their necks to catch a glimpse of the ‘promised land.’

At first, I thought my eyes were playing games on me. But as we approached the island all doubts were thrown out into the lake! I was speechless. Were those palm trees, white sand, and blue waters? Hold up, we must have used a different route to get to Indian ocean! but which one? This was too good to be true.

Takawiri from a distance.

Well yes…They were palm trees.

Was that sand as well, like white sand?

The Phelps in me wanted to dive into the lake and swim to the beach but I remembered the boat was faster and calmed down.

On getting to the beach, we all jumped out of the boat in excitement just to have a feel and touch of the beach before it ‘dissapperared’ in case it was just a dream.

The hot crystalline sand between our toes, the cool breeze on our faces, the whistling palm trees, the calm birds and the soothing sound of the gentle waves crashing on the shore. I think whoever said dreams come true had us and Takawiri in mind.

Palm trees sashaying to the rhythm of the cool breeze,turquoise waters and a beautiful shade.


Easy birds.


Other birds chose to glide.

On the other side of the island the view was to die for again!

The other view of the island.

What we did not know was that there was also a resort at the island called Takawiri Island Resort. Please note that on getting to the beach, the hotel charges five hundred shillings per person because it is private property.

The resort has cottages, a restaurant and construction of camping grounds was underway at the time of visit. I will make a point of staying at the hotel the next time I visit Takawiri and share a review.



Everything in Takawiri is refreshing. The location, ambiance, nature and the people. For the first time ever, I felt as if my photos were doing the place injustice.

Takawiri is the master of all fine things. ‘Coastal’ feel at the lakeside, bird watching paradise, photography grounds, beach hotel, perfect place to catch the sunset, fishing grounds and generally a place to just chill, read a book, meditate and see life in its natural,pure form.

Takawiri turns even the most basic of photos to a masterpiece.


The back side of Takawiri from which you can see the sun set.


Best location to just sit and and relax.


Birds everywhere.


Who cares about city life when you have Takawiri?

Finally as I always say, pack your bags already. Visit Takawiri before everyone finds out this hidden gem.

Till next time!

Love and light.



I travel, I write about travel. I take travel photos. Talk to me about destination reviews,cultural trips, and responsible tourism.


  1. Jenni

    11 January

    wow this place looks beautiful why is it not already on my list of places to visit lol

  2. Beautiful pics! I’m a lover of beaches and African travel so this is my type of place. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Julian

    11 January

    Nice! Looks like a perfect, natural surrounding – never expected those kind of beaches in that area. Looks fantastic, thanks a lot for the inspiration.

  4. Mark visited lake Victoria when in Uganda! It’s such a shame swimming is not really permitted, but it is such a vibrant, awesome place to visit!

    Mark and Mim x

  5. Caitlin Stewart

    12 January

    This place looks gorgeous! It’s just so big!

  6. Shirley

    14 January

    How do i get to Rusinga from Kisumu and are there other resort’s at Takawiri..thanknyou for this eye-opener

  7. Jasper

    18 January

    Can we please have the packages available for couples.

  8. Babs

    2 February

    This resort is open for clients. to book contact them via FB https://www.facebook.com/takawiriisland
    check out the vid from Jan 2017

  9. Therie

    22 February

    A hidden gem indeed!


    19 May

    i am visiting soon kindly give hotel charges

  11. Jeptum

    26 May

    Hi stranger 🙂 Good job on the blog!
    The island is stunning, when I went to Kisumu I was told there were islands with white sandy beaches but I didn’t think they were this beautiful. I’ll defo visit next time I’m there. Tc.

  12. Just gorgeous

  13. Adrianna Vogel

    31 August

    Takawiri seems like a perfect place to visit if you wanna just go and relax! I would love to visit that place one day! Lake Victoria looks so beautiful and peaceful! Great post !

  14. RikaConfesses

    30 September

    Looks like the perfect mix of beach and scenery.

  15. Olivia Akumu

    7 November

    I’ve been telling doubting Thomases for years about white beaches on the Lake! Welcome to my home county

  16. Alice O.

    10 November

    What are the charges for a couple?

  17. Felix Abur

    15 August

    Tough to book with Takawir. No contacts online and no response to Facebook messages. Anyone with a direct line to a manager there?

    • Bonita

      15 August

      It has been a while since I was there. let me see if I can get anything then get back to you.


    31 August

    Sounds like ‘a little heaven’ Takawiri here I come.

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