Roads, Railroads, and Ports

Kisumu is strategically located at an intersection of major roads, waterways, ports, and, until recently, railroads, connecting it to major markets, towns, cities, and countries in the Great Lakes region. In fact, the emergence of Kisumu as a hub of important social, economic, and political activities was in no small measure due to the construction of the Kenya-Uganda Railway, which reached the shore of Lake Victoria in Nyanza Province in 1901. Almost overnight after the construction of the railroad, Kisumu (then called Port Florence) became the nerve center of major social, economic, and political connections spanning present-day Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. With the construction and expansion of more roads and the recent opening of an international airport, Kisumu has grown in huge leaps and bounds, evolving from a small entrepot into a busy international city.

The Kisumu Port

On December 20, 1901, Florence Preston, the wife of the engineer building the Kenya-Uganda Railway, drove the last nail in the last sleeper (crosstie) of the railway by the shores of Lake Victoria. Port Florence thus came into being. However, the…

The Kenya-Uganda Railway

The calm, quiet haze of the early morning day settles on a town. The people there have seen thousands of days like this, and for what reason should there be any surprise? It is midafternoon when a group of investors roll on through, talking about…

The Mega City Mall in Kisumu

Located along the Kisumu-Busia Road (Nairobi Highway) on Kisumu's east side, Mega City Kisumu is a modern shopping mall anchored by the largest outlet of Nairobi-based retail giant Nakumatt. Mega City is more than a market for goods, however. It…