About Kakamega Forest National Reserve in Kenya
Kakamega forest National Reserve, fondly referred to as a bird watchers paradise once stretched across the central Africa. It is a mid altitude tropical rain forest. Its relationship to West Africa is unique and the forest contains many species found no where in Kenya. The terrain comprises of steep sided river valleys and gentle slopping and rising landscape.
Wildlife include Black-and-white Colobus, Red-tailed Monkey and small number of de brazza Monkeys. Several West African forest mammals live here Due to its relation to Zaire basin. They include Potto, Giant Otter Shrew and Lord Derby’s Anomalure. You will find the rare Gold Cobra and other west African snake species and about 28 other snake species here. About 350 butterfly species occur in this forest including one endemic, Mitisella Kakamega.
For birders, the sheer abundance of birds is overwhelming. Kakamega forest avifauna is unique. Several birds species are mostly found in this forests and the surrounding areas and not any other parts of Kenya.
Types of tress are also unique. A tree that is endemic to the forest is Tiliacora kenyensis. Other types include Croton, Celtis, Trema, Antiaris, Bequaertiodendron and Zanthoxylum.
Kakamega forest is ideal for nature walks and has many clearly marked walking trails. Trails here vary in length from 1km to 7km. Of the longer walks, Isiukhu Trail, which connects Isecheno to the small Isiukhu Falls, is one of the most popular. It takes a minimum of half a day. The 4km drive or walk to Buyangu Hill allows for uninterrupted views east to the Nandi Escarpment. At night the forest is a different world. The air filled with bats and ringing with the sounds of frogs, birds and booming calls of giant forest squirrel.