Kisumu Museum

Ber Gi Dala – the museum buildings are set to look like a Luo homestead, replicating the culture of the area with the museums main gallery facing the entrance just like a typical Luo homestead.

kisumu museum

The main attractions here are: a conserved lion, cultural implements showing evolution of culture from weapons, hunting tools, utensils, etc. stuffed snakes and birds, aquarium, Snake Park and tortoises.

When taking their vacations many people overlook the local museums in the destinations they visit, but that would be a massive mistake when you’re in Kisumu.

Outside of the museum you’ll even find a traditional Luo homestead so that you can see how the people of the region used to live; a thatched mud hut for the husband in the middle, and separate houses surrounding it for wives numbers one, two, and three to all live in.

Exhibits include cultural history, and also provides educational services to schools in its neighborhood.

This includes traditional clothing and adornment, basketry, fishing gear, agricultural tools and hunting weaponry. Also on display are several dioramas, including a lion, De Brazza monkey, and the largest Nile Perch ever caught in Kenya.

Kisumu Museum was opened to the public in 1980.

The museum stores and disseminates information on cultural and scientific issues with emphasis on Western Kenya.

The museum contains numerous pavilions with some of the pavilions containing:
  • Live animals
  • Numerous aquaria with a wide variety of fish from lake Victoria, along with explanatory posters
  • Terrarium containing mambas, spitting cobras, puff adders and other venomous Kenyan snakes.
  • Additionally, outdoors, the museum has a few additional exhibits, including a snake pit and a crocodile container.
  • Other pavilions show weaponry, jewelry, farm tools and other artifacts made by various people from Nyanza province. Additionally, there are exhibits of stuffed animals, birds and fish.
  • One pavilion houses the prehistoric TARA rock art, which was moved for its own protection to the museum after it was defaced by graffiti in its original location.
  • Beyond the exhibit gallery and Snake Park is a life-size replica of a traditional Luo homestead. This is the museum’s most important and largest exhibition is the UNESCO-sponsored Ber-Gi-Dala. This is a full-scale recreation of a traditional Luo homestead. Clubbing

It’s a great spot to learn about the culture and history of the communities living around the Lake. The collection ranges from live animals to tools and weaponry. There are taped programs on the migration and settling of the Luo and an exhibition of a traditional Luo homestead as well.


  • A visit to the museum is insightful, instructive and fun.
  • Research activities also feature prominently. In recent years, the Kisumu museum has participated in multinational investigation on limnology (a scientific characteristic of freshwater lakes) of Lake Victoria conducted from the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) at Mbita in Kisumu.
  • The Kisumu museum is an interesting and informative place to visit, giving you a real insight into the local culture and packed full of interesting artefacts and everyday items used by the people of the region.
  • If your interests lie less in local culture and more in local wildlife then you’ll also find crocodile and turtle enclosures within the museum where you can see these beautiful creatures up close.
  • Kisumu museum is also a gravity point for seminars and workshops both international and local. Attached to Kisumu museum are a number of sites and monuments of historical significance including Fort Tenan, Songhor, Thimlich Ohinga and Rusinga Islands.