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Kakamega Forest National Reserve is a protected area covering a tropical forest reserve that has remained intact through the years; it can be otherwise called a unique eco-system of Guinea-Congolese rain forests.

The forest covers a total area of close to 240km² on the Lake Victoria basin thus inclusive the hard wood forest reserve, savannah, papyrus and reed swamps, rivers and small streams, glades and abundant wildlife. Some of trees and plants have been here for several years!

How to get there

Kakamega forest national park

is about 418km from Nairobi on Nakuru Highway via Kapsabet and Nakuru towns. By charter flight, the reserve is accessed by Kisumu Airport and is some 50km away from Kisumu


This Kenya forest reserve has more than 380 species of plants and trees include hard and soft woods such as orchid, Elgon teak, white stink wood, croton varities, Aniageria Altisima and the red stink wood.  If you are a nature lover, Kakamega forest reserve is the best place to be. Ranger Guides will take you on excursions in the forest trails leading to Buyango hill enjoying the fresh forest breeze, colorful plants, scents of wood and so much more

There are more than 7 different species of primates in this forest reserve, namely; vervet monkeys, black and white colobus, blue monkey, de Brazza monkeys (called Karasinga in the local Swahili dialect for it white beard), olive baboons, red tailed monkeys . Some of the other wildlife living here includes bush pig, duiker, porcupine, potto, dik-dik, clawless otter, giraffes, jackson’s hartebeest, raon antelope, sunni, leopard, serval, buffalo, mongoose, giant water squirrels, tree pangolin, bats, bush back and many others

More than 300 birds reside in the forest canopy and beyond the papyrus swamps. Some of the regular birds seen here include kingfisher, martial eagles, Blue turacos and many others. Many of these are sighted near Ishuki Falls. Butterflies and snakes also live harmoniously in this diverse eco-habitat.

Travel tips

The best time to visit the forests and park is during the rainy season of April to July when the forest comes to life with blooming plants. The short rains come around November and December a good period for game viewing. There are a number of things to do on Kenya safaris to Kakamega forest National reserve such as fishing in the river, hiking, bird watching, self guided and ranger guided nature walks, camping and primate tracking.

There is accommodation within the park by the guesthouse, two campsites for outdoor camping and self catering bandas. Rondo retreat is a private guesthouse outside the reserve you can opt for overnight and dinner. There are some hotels beyond the forest gates like in Kisumu town

Remember to carry sufficient drinking water, a pair of binoculars, a good camera, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes and anything you many need on a typical Kenya wildlife safari

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