Kakamega Forest Reserve is one of the hidden gems of Kenya, far removed from the drama of the Big Five but with an intimacy all of its own.
'The silence was beyond the forest was broken by the cacophony of noise from the forest denizens, birds, frogs and the arguing of monkeys'. This is what many visitors to Kagamega forest experience during their visit. This is not the Kenya of safari brochures, instead it is a place of intimate and unique beauty.
The Kakamega Forest Reserve is a part of the Kakamega forest system of Kenya, and thought to be the only Guinea-Congolian tropical rainforest left in the country, from what once stretched across Central and East Africa.
Kakamega Forest Reserve Attractions
The forest is home to more than 300 bird species and an overwhelming 400 species of butterfly and these can be appreciated on walks and picnics in the reserve. Mammal species in the Kakamega Forest Reserve include Squirrels, Bush bucks, Aardvarks, Porcupines and Giant Forest Hogs. Primates are also plentiful in the forest.
Other attractions include giant trees and spectacular waterfalls. There is a Fig Tree that is thought to be over 700 years old in the forest.
The forest has a network of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy one of Kenya's most unique attractions.
Human Impact on Kakamega Forest Reserve
The area is considered one of the most densely populated in the world and this has a negative impact on the environment, with the local people utilizing the resources in the forest. In all the forest covers an area of 230 sqkm and it is thought that only half of that is still indigenous forest today.
There are a number of organizations aside from the Kenya Wildlife Services and the Kenya Forest Services that are assisting in protecting the area but when local people rely so heavily on the resource the task is multiplied.
There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to accommodation in Kakamega Forest Reserve. Choices range from self-catering chalets and lodges to rustic campsites, but whatever accommodation is chosen the experience is sure to inspire.