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What To See / Experience in Kenya » Kakamega Forest National Reserve

  • Fig Tree in Kakamega Forest National Reserve

  • Blue monkey in Kakamega Forest

Kakamega Forest National Reserve

Kakamega Forest is a tropical rainforest situated in the Western Province of Kenya North West of the capital Nairobi, and near to the border of Uganda. It is Kenya's only tropical rainforest and is said to be Kenya's last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest that once spanned the continent.

The forest including reserves encloses about 238 square kilometers a little less than half of which currently remains as indigenous forest. The forest is elevated at predominantly between 1500 m and 1600 m above sea level. In the north of the forest is the 4,468 hectares (45 km2; 17 sq mi) Kakamega National Reserve which was given as a national forest reserve status in 1985 and just to the north is the Kisere Forest Reserve.

The Kakamega Forest is very wet with an average of 1200 mm – 1700 mm of rain per year. Rainfall is heaviest in April and May ("long rains") with a slightly drier June and a second peak roughly in August to September ("short rains"). January and February are the driest months with temperature fairly constant throughout the year ranging between 20c - 30c.

a) Bird watching: 330 species of which some are found nowhere else in the country. The common one being the Blue turaco. Kenya is ranked among the leading countries with 1090 species of birds. Not surprisingly, more and more Kenyans are becoming keen birders and all over the world bird-watching is a fast-growing hobby. The country is endowed with over 62 bird watching locations that are globally recognized as Important Bird Areas with Kakamega forest national reserve is one of them.

b) Butterfly watching: over 400 species of butterflies.

c) Massive Trees: Over 350 species of trees, the forest holds mostly indigenous vegetation; Elgon teak, red and white stink woods and several varieties of Croton and Aniageria Altisima. Splendid orchids sit amongst the branches of the larger trees.

d) Snakes: 27 species of snakes although visitors need have no concern about meeting them round every corner.

e) Primates watching: 7 primate species including the endangered Debrazza monkey, black and white colobus monkey, vervet monkey, the Blue Monkey, the Olive Baboon and the Red Tailed Monkey.

f) Wildlife: Bush Pig, Duikers, Bushbuck, Clawless Otter, Mongoose, Giant Water Shrew, Squirrels, Tree Pangolin, Porcupine, Bats and occasionally Leopards.

g) Scenic Spots and Waterfalls: 380 species of plants spread in swamps, riverine and hardwood forest areas, glades and the shallow forest around the edge of the reserve.

h) Camping

i) Hiking

j) Self-Guided or escorted nature walks: Escape the constraints of a vehicle and lose yourself in Kenya's stunning wilds. Having worked none-stop for some time, there is nothing as refreshing as a walk in our cool quiet nature trails where the only interruptions are birds singing and trees whistling.




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