What you need to know:
The Kisumu Yacht Club, Dunga Road
The Kisumu yacht club is a members sailing club located along Dunga Road. Non-members can purchase temporary membership and enjoy the facilities for Sh750 from Tuesday to Saturday. Sundays are exclusively for members. It isn’t a place you go for a quick bite. It is an afternoon affair. There is a play area so parents can relax with the calming sounds of the lake in the background. The Yacht Club manages its natural environment very well. The lawns are well manicured, and the lakeside Gazebos and main building are clean.
Despite the name, there were no lake rides happening. For that you have to go to Dunga Hill Camp. However, the club does offer a children’s sailing class, but it is reserved for members. Like many country clubs, I felt it was devoid of artistic charm. That was until sunset when the ultimate artist painted the sky red and orange; and the lake waters a deep indigo blue. That was my third visit to the shores of Lake Victoria, and the sunsets never fail to impress.
The menu was extensive - six back-to-back pages of Indian, African, and American cuisine. The prices were very reasonable, with most individual portion menu items under Sh1000. Platters and family size servings were over Sh1000, but still under Sh2000.
Being used to Nairobi prices, I was a little paralysed with the choice I could manage on my budget. I decided to start with a pizza while I thought about what else I would get. I chose the Chinese pizza, which came with chicken, mushroom, and bell pepper toppings. For Sh600, the portion size was great, between a medium and large Domino’s pizza. The taste was okay and an eight-year-old would be happy with it. It was neither bad or praiseworthy, and nothing in the ingredients made it Chinese.
As much as I thought the pizza would be a starter, I didn’t get to order anything else. The service was – to put it nicely – leisurely. It took over an hour for the first round of orders to come. The staff were friendly, but not very efficient. For instance, one of my friends ordered Gin with cucumbers on the side. The waiter made multiple trips – first to confirm the price, second to inform us there weren’t any cucumbers, and third to bring the drink. Given the slow pace of service and distance from the main building, it was a good five minutes wait between those interactions, so more than 15minutes for a simple Gin and Tonic. There was also a difference in pricing between the menu and the bill. The club recently increased its prices, but that wasn’t communicated beforehand. So, an enjoyable afternoon ended on a sour note.