This little-known forest is one of Kenya’s best kept secrets. The pocket of virgin tropical rainforest is one of the remnants of the vast forest that once stretched across the girth of Africa from the Congo Basin.
Kakamega Forest is home to a huge variety of animals, birds and reptiles. You’ll find black and white colobus monkeys, looking like country and western singers with their tasselled limbs, redtailed monkeys, pottos (large nocturnal sloth-like creatures), bushbabies, tree pangolins and leopards. Some 367 bird species have been recorded in the forest.
The canopy of the rainforest is dense and closed, so very little sunlight penetrates to the forest floor. As a result there’s very little ground-level foliage – just the trunks of massive trees. The greatest obstacles to navigation are the trunks of fallen behemoths lying across the path.
Rudimentary accommodation is available in the clean and comfortable forest rest house, which is run by the Forest Department. The resthouse is on stilts and only has four double rooms with bathroom and toilet. You will need to take your own food and sleeping gear. Very few safaris go to Kakamega Forest, but you could make your own way to Kakamega town and arrange with the Golf Hotel to take you into the forest or use local matatus (taxi van).