The Kakamega Forest Reserve is mainly comprised of a verdant tropical forest within its protected National boundaries. it is a section of Kenya’s larger Kakamega forest system of Kenya. This system once stretched across Central and East Africa but is now the only ‘Guinea Congolian’ tropical rain forest remaining in the country and for years has remained intact. The park covers an area of nearly two hundred and forty square kilometers along the amazing Lake Victoria basin. Its terrain in addition includes small streams, glades, swamps with reeds and papyrus, and rivers which offer habitat to a very large number of wildlife.
Kakamega Forest Reserve is a place of unique beauty. It is a script different from the Kenya safaris brochure. It is one of Kenya’s hidden gems and is said to carry an intimacy that is far removed from the drama of the big five. In an enchanted visitor’s words, “The silence was beyond the forest was broken by the cacophony of noise from the forest denizens, birds, frogs and the arguing of monkeys’.
Kakamega Forest Reserve Attractions
Bird watching: Kakamega is a sight-field for different bird and butterfly species. The forest reserve is blessed with over 400 butterflies and 304 bird species, Visitors can appreciate these mostly during nature walks. Some of the commonly species include: the Blue taraco, the kingfisher as well as the martial eagle. Most of the birds can be seen close to the Ishuki waterfall. We can combine Kakamega Forest Reserve in any of your longer Birding safari in Kenya if you are interested in bird watching in Kenya.
Primate tracking: during the guided nature walks in the forest, you will get a chance to see the many primates types found here. it has been recorded that more than seven different types of primates live within this reserve among which are: the black & white colobus, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys and the deBrazza monkeys locally referred to as the ‘karasingi’.
Game Viewing: in addition there are various larger mammals living within this reserve such as the buffaloes, jackson’s hartebeest, bush backs roan antelope, bush pigs, sunni, giraffes, pangolin, porcupine, water squirrels, clawless otters, pangolin, potto and dik-dik among others.
Walking trips: these have been made easier in this forest because it has a network of hiking trails. It enables visitors have a good view of the unique attractions.
Visitors should expect to see other captivating elements like spectacular waterfalls and giant trees. There is a big tree that is said to be over 700 years old in the forest.
Other activities to do here include:
- Fishing on the river
- Nature walks
Human Impact on Kakamega Forest Reserve
Kakamega forest reserve is said to be one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Even though it covers 230 square km, it is said that only half of that is indigenous forestry. The local people keep utilizing the forest resources causing a negative impact on the environment. The Kenya Wildlife Services and the Kenya forest services work alongside some organizations to protect this area. However this task is tedious as a very large number of the local people are heavily relying on the forest resources.
Best time to Visit Kakamega Forest Reserve
the most recommended time to go to Kakamega is in the months of April, May, June and July when it is raining, and the forest vegetation is thriving and beautiful. Also in mid-November and December, this area receives the short rains. This makes the perfect time for game viewing.
How to get to | Accessibility to Kakamega forest reserve
This forest reserve is situated approximately 418 kilometers from the capital city of Kenya – Nairobi. It can be accessed by road along the Nakuru highway driving through Kapsabet town as well as Nakuru town.
There are also charter flights that drop at Kisumu airport which is just 50 kilometers from the park.
Where to stay | Accommodation in Kakamega Forest Reserve,
When it comes to accommodation there is a spread of options from which visitors can choose. Options include lodges, rustic campsites or self catering chalets. No matter which option a visitor takes, they will enjoy their experience. Beyond the gates of this forest reserve to areas like Kisumu town, are a number of nice hotels you can opt for on this Kenya Safari holiday in Kakamega.