Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Kakamega Forest was established to protect Kenya’s only mid-altitude tropical rainforest – as the forest contains
many species found nowhere else in the country. The forest lies in the
Lake Victoria catchment, north of Kisumu and west of the Nandi
It was first gazetted as a trust forest in 1933 and two
small reserves, Yala and lsecheno were established within the forest in
1967. In 1985, nearly 4,400 hectares of the forest together with the
adjacent Kisere Forest were gazetted as Kakamega Forest National
Reserve. The forest is an important water catchment area with two
rivers flowing through it.
Climatic conditions -
Annual rainfall is over 2,000 mm. Most of it 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 –
Major Attractions -
Over 300 bird species, over 350 varieties of trees, 27 species of
snakes, over 400 species of butterflies. Game watching. The forest is
mostly indigenous vegetation.
The majestic black and white colobus monkey alongside flying squirrels, blue monkey and potto (world’s slowest
mammal) are among the attractions. Forest buck, duikers and dik-diks
are also found as are the endangered Turner’s eremomela, Charpin’s
flycatcher and the voice mimicking African grey parrot. The forest is
home to the endangered DeBrazza’s monkey found at the isolated Kisere
By Road: Access is through the Buyangu gate, 600 metres from main road.
On public transport, visitors alight at Kambiri junction. Local ‘boda
boda’ cyclists operate from the junction to park. Watch for signpost
after 15 km from Kakamega.
The forest reserve offers a serene atmosphere for both campers and banda accommodation.
KWS self-service accommodation: Udo Bandas.
Best time to visit -
All year round
Game viewing, bird and butterfly watching, camping, self guided nature walks, night walks, picnicking.