African Retreat Tours & Travels Ltd
Windsor House, 5th Flr
Muindi Mbingu St, CBD
P.O. Box 7362-00100, Nairobi - Kenya
Kakamega Forest is a tropical rainforest situated in the Western Province, of Kenya, North West of the capital Nairobi, and near to the border with 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.
Just to the north is the Kisere Forest Reserve. Throughout the forest are a series of grassy glades, ranging in size from about 1 to 50 ha, with a few larger clearings. The origins of the glades are uncertain. Some are certainly recent clearings, but others predate recent records. These may have originated from past human activity such as cattle grazing or may be the result of herbivory and movements by large mammals such as buffalo and elephants (both now extirpated from the region). The glades vary a great deal in structure, some being open grass and others having a considerable number of trees or shrubs. A number of streams and small creeks run through the reserve.
The Forest is famous for its birds, 367 bird species have been recorded in the forest such as the west African Great Blue Turaco and Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill. At least 9 birds are not found anywhere else.
Wildlife that occur in the park include Bush Pig, Duikers, Bushbuck, African Clawless Otter, Mongoose, Giant African Water Shrew, Squirrels, Tree Pangolin, Porcupine, Bats and a variety of primates including the blue monkey, redtail monkey, De Brazza's monkey, baboon, potto and the occasional vervet monkey. Leopards have been occasionally reported, but the last official sighting was in 1991 .
Insects are abundant and some are quite spectacular, such as Goliath beetles, pink and green Flower Mantis, and numerous colorful butterflies (489 species). Particularly well represented groups are ants (Formicidae), Lepidopterans, Orthopterans, and beetles. Gastropods, millipedes and spiders are also common.
The Flora and Fauna of Kakamega Forest has not been extensively studied.
The Southern part of Kakamega forest, Isecheno Forest station run by the Kenya Forest Service is most the most accessible in Tourism. There is the well known Mama Mtere tree, a historic tree and the most photographed tree in Kakamega forest, there are also strangler fig trees.
There are hiking trails in the forest that allow for Forest Walking, Camping, Hiking, Primate Watching, Bird and Butterfly Watching, Game watching and village walks. The Kakamega Rainforest Tour Guides (KRFTG) will arrange the tour to visit weeping stone (Crying stone) at Ilesi, one of Kakamega tourists attraction or Kisere forest to see the De-brazes monkey in the North of Kakamega forest. Also Bird watching, morning 6:30am- 8:30am is fantastic walk or Evening 4:30pm- 6:30pm. The guides will take care of your interest in Kakamega rainforest even Educational groups, Family groups or individual visiting the forest to enjoy the Biodiversity of the rainforest. Visitors who like to see Bull fighting, Guides will also arrange in Shibuye or Khayega as per the community arrangements of the bull fighting teem. Evening, the community can entertain the tourists, plying the traditional dance(Isukuti Dance) as per Luyhia culture and Tel you stories (Story Telling) about the forest, animals, initially life how people use to stay with Nature and the history.