Kakamega Forest Reserve

 


Kakamega Forest National Reserve is located in Western Kenya: 15km from Kakamega town along the Kakamega-Eldoret Highway. The Forest covers an area of about 240km2 and was established to protect the only mid altitude tropical rainforest in Kenya, a remnant and eastern limit of rainforests of Zaire and West Africa affinities are unique in Kenya and the forest contains many species found nowhere else in the country.

 With its unique flora and fauna that are highly adapted to the forest ecosystem while you time away, tour guided or self guided nature walks, night walks, bird, butterfly and primate watching, camping and picnicking will keep you glued to this beautiful haven. For bird and butterfly watchers, this is the place of choice for you. Being such a food rich reserve habitat, the park supports over 300 bird species, over 350 species of trees, 27 species of snakes... our snakes are friendly given the wet nature of the forest throughout the year... no history of snake bites since the park started 20 years ago. The forest is also home to over 400 species of butterflies (about 45% of all recorded butterflies in Kenya), reptiles, mollusks and 7 primate species.

With that sort of biodiversity you surely cannot be bored once in the forest. The endangered Turner's eremomela, Charpins flycatcher and the voice mimicking African grey parrot are also found here. The forest is also home to the endangered DeBrazza monkey found at the isolated Kisere Forest Reserve, which is part of the larger Kakamega Forest National Reserve. The majestic black and white colobus monkey alongside flying squirrels, blue monkey and potto (the world's slowest mammal on earth), are among the attractions. Forest bucks, duikers and dik diks are found in this equatorial rain forest.

Being the only remnant in Kenya of the unique Guineo-Congolian forest ecosystem, the park offers unique wildlife and scenic beauty. The falls along the River Isiukhu and the riverine atmosphere along the Isiukhu river trail make you feel relaxed on the trail. Buyangu viewpoint gives a quick bird eye-view of the forest canopy. At the picnic site you can sit back and relax under the grass-thatched rest house while watching water birds at the waterpoint... binoculars are a must carry here

Annual rainfall is over 2000mm. Most of this rain falls between April and November with a short dry season from December to March. Rain falls mostly in the afternoon or early evening and is often accompanied by heavy thunderstorms. Average temperatures remain similar throughout - between 15oC and 28oC.

As a result of the Kenya Wildlife Service's conservation efforts, the forest holds mostly indigenous vegetation. Here you will find the precious Elgon teak, much prized for its hard wood, the stranglers (ficus thoningii) which grow from other trees and eventually strangle the hosts to death, and mkombero, a popular affrodiasc. Large age-old trees are in plenty and found particularly in Kisere forest as a result of early efforts in conservation.

 

KATO    Ecotourism Kenya