By Maina Kiarie
Kisumu is a port city in western Kenya. It is the third largest city in Kenya and the principal city of western Kenya. The port was founded in 1901 as the main inland terminal of the Uganda Railway and named Port Florence. The city hosts a number of sights among them Kisumu museum under the jurisdiction of the National Museums of Kenya.
The plan to set up a museum in Kisumu was set in motion in 1975, and five years later, on April 7, 1980 Kisumu museum was opened to the public. It is located in Kisumu town along the Kisumu-Kericho highway.
The museum stores and disseminates information on cultural and scientific issues with emphasis on western Kenya. The exhibition halls showcase diverse collection of flora and fauna, with notable animals being reptiles and amphibians collected from Nyanza and neighbouring provinces. On the grounds is a traditional Luo homestead and Luo artefacts which represent the cultural history of the Luo community.
The museum has a series of outdoor pavilions some of which contain live animals such as numerous aquaria with a wide variety of fish from Lake Victoria, a terrarium containing venomous Kenyan snakes, a snake pit, a crocodile container, a pavilion showcasing weaponry, jewellery, farm tools and other artefacts by the various people of Nyanza Province.