When the East African Railway reached Kisumu early in the Last century, the area must have been teeming with plains game. The passage of time saw hunting for the pot, ecosystem loss through human settlement and agriculture reduce numbers vastly. By the early 80s, what could be seen was a pitifully small herd of Impala that roamed the town and neighbouring areas.
The Sanctuary, a 0.4 square km of marsh, grassland and forest was created to provide a home for this herd of Impala. It then developed into a holding point for captured problem animals. Today, it provides grazing for Hippos and habitat for numerous small mammals, and a variety of reptiles and birds. It also hosts two leopards, one spotted hyena, two olive baboons and several velvet monkeys held in captivity. Sightings of the reclusive and acutely threatened Sitatunga have also been made.
The Sanctuary is now earmarked for upgrading to a full-fledged Wildlife Conservation Education Centre. However, although quite popular with town residents, its general infrastructure is still largely underdeveloped and its potential for tourism remains untapped.