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Explore Western Kenya
Western Kenya
Western Kenya is an area of great geographic, cultural and natural diversity, offering tourists just as much, if not more, than many of Kenya’s better known tourist areas. 

Most travelers dream of finding a new and unknown destination, somewhere far from the beaten tourist path, where the thrill of real discovery and exploration reward the visitor with new and unexpected experiences, sights and sounds. 

Kenya’s western region offers this and more.

Kakamega Forest Reserve

The equatorial rainforest of Kakamega is a living museum of unique and rare species. This wonderful place is a treasure trove where the massive trees and thick wet undergrowth are the habitat of a world of diverse wildlife.  

The sheer abundance of birdlife here is overwhelming. The forest has resident populations of primates, including the rare red tailed monkey, butterflies, chameleons and stunning birdlife, such as the giant Blue Turaco

At night the forest is a different world, the air filled with bats and ringing with the sounds of frogs, night birds and the booming call of the giant forest squirrel. 

Despite its easy accessibility, Kakamega is a quiet haven for nature lovers, the perfect place to relax for a few days. 

The forest has many walking trails, and there are plenty of very good guides available ready to enlighten on the great ecological significance of the reserve.

Kit Mikaye

Set among a field of boulders, Kit Mikaye is a large upright stone, bolstered by smaller supporting boulders. Myths and legends regarding the stone abound among the local Luo community. 

It was once believed to be a living entity that roamed this area at night, visiting nearby Lake Victoria to drink. Sacrifices were made to the stone in return for divine favour and blessings. 

Even today, some believe that a visit to Kit Mikaye bestows good fortune upon the visitor.

Rusinga Island

Rusinga Island is an excellent base for exploring the Lake Victoria, the great heart and lifeblood of the west, by boat. A real highlight of any exploration of Lake Victoria is a trip to Mbasa and Mholo Islands, not far from Mbita Point. 

These two islands form a very important breeding colony for several species of waterfowl. Visiting these islands at the end of the day is an incredible experience. 

Thousands of birds fill the air, literally carpeting both islands in life as they descend to roost among the rocks and trees. With the last rays of the sun turning the waters of the Lake to gold, this is one of Kenya’s greatest natural spectacles.

Ruma National Park

Ruma National Park comprises 120 square kms of savannah and gently rolling hills. 

This is the last refuge of the Roan antelope, with the world’s last remaining wild population found within the boundaries of the park. The Roan are easy to see on the wide open grasslands, grazing freely among stands of whistling thorn acacia. 

Ruma is also home to several other rare species, chiefly the Rothschild Giraffe, Jackson’s Hartebeest and the tiny Oribi antelope.

Western Highlands - Kisii

Tabaka near Kisii is home to Kenya’s finest stone carvers. The Kisii / Gusii community are renowned for their artistic skill with the local soapstone. 

They have a long tradition of carving ornate decorative art and jewelry, together with functional items such as plates and bowls. Soapstone is found in a series of large open quarries throughout the Gucha area, which have also proved equally rich in uncovered fossil evidence and prehistoric artifacts. 

Cooperative workshops have been formed to produce work for the international market.

Just recently, Twentieth Century Fox designated the Tabaka soapstone carvings as official Simpson’s merchandise. The Tabaka Classic Carvers were licensed to produce 12 models of the show's characters bound for sale in the US, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Kisii stone is sold worldwide, and several works by Tabaka artists have found a place in major international art collections. Tabaka soapstone graces the UN HQ in New York, and the UNESCO HQ in Paris, in the form of a massive 7- tonne “bird of peace” or Enyamuchera. 

The success of this industry shows in the town of Tabaka, where every household seems to be busily engaged in carving, polishing, washing and packaging stoneware. 

This very success has meant the preservation of a very important cultural tradition. 

A visit here is an excellent opportunity to experience this rich culture and to purchase some beautiful handcrafted works of art.

Kericho – World’s finest quality teas

This small town was brought to life by the Kenyan tea industry. The lush green carpet of tea bushes that cover these high cool hills are quite literally fields of gold. 

This region produces one of the world’s finest quality teas. Agri-tourism is becoming increasingly popular, and the small hill town of Kericho is the perfect base to visit the local plantations, producing both tea and fresh cut flowers. 

Tea plantations also play an important role in local ecology, and are used as a buffer zone to protect tracts of indigenous forest.

World’s finest Athletes

Kenya’s Western Highlands are the home to some of the world’s finest sportsmen. 

The secret of this success lies in these highlands. The average altitude in this area is well over 2000m, and these rarified conditions are ideal training conditions for runners. 

Two local schools, St. Patrick’s at Iten and Sing’ore Girls near Eldoret have produced most of Kenya’s Olympic Superstars. Altitude training can assist with development of both endurance levels and technique.

Five separate highly specialized training camps for athletes have been established in the Iten and Kabarnet area, for both local and International athletes. These are ideal for athletes looking to gain a high altitude advantage.

Kerio Valley

The highlands and escarpment of the North Rift Valley provide some of the country's most awe-inspiring views, across the broad and beautiful Kerio Valley. 

The scenic vistas around the Elgeyo escarpment are truly stunning, especially from the 'World's End' viewpoint at Nyaru. Waterfalls flow down the face of these escarpments, and at Chebloch, on the valley floor water runs through a deep and narrow gorge with sheer rock walls towards the plains of little explored Rimoi reserve, an important area for elephant migration.

Tugen Hills at Kipsaraman is home to one of Kenya’s first community museums. The museum houses exhibits on biodiversity and conservation, as well as important local human fossil finds and a fascinating exhibit on the possible prehistoric origins of a local mythological creature, the Chemosit, or Nandi Bear. 

Even more impressive than the museum itself is its location. Perched on a the edge of a precipitous drop, the view from Kipsaraman is an incredible panoramic vista of the Rift valley and distant Lake Baringo that quite literally takes the breath away.

Kenya invites you to come and experience the wild, wonderful and welcoming West…

 
 

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Explore Western Kenya
Explore Western Kenya Western Kenya is an area of great geographic, cultural and natural diversity