Kakamega National Forest Reserve

Kakamega National Forest Reserve, the only Kenya’s tropical rain forest, is located in Kakamega and Kisumu Counties northwest of Nairobi.

Africa’s greatest soft and hardwoods are found here which include; the Elgon teak, red and white stinkwood, croton, aniageria altisima. Over 380 species of plants have been recorded which include; species of ferns, trees, shrubs, flowering plants, and orchids.

This forest reserve is home to many species of birds, a variety of mammals, and abundant insects.

Kakamega National Forest Reserve Attractions

Kakamega National Forest Reserve

Why is Kakamega National Forest Reserve popular? Here are the forests facts.

  • Many species of birds
  • Many species of insects including the over 400 species of butterfly
  • Many species of plants-trees, ferns, shrubs, orchids, and flowering
  • A variety of snakes
  • Offers spectacular views of the Buyangu Hill and the surrounding forest

Kakamega National Forest Reserve Animals/Wildlife

It has a variety of wildlife such as bush pig, monkey, baboon, mongoose, potto, giant forest hedgehog, squirrel, porcupine, tree pangolin, clawless otter, bushbuck, bush pig, duiker among others.

There over 330 species of birds on record among them hornbill, bee-eater, parrot, turners eremomela, and Turaco.

27 species of snakes are also here among them Black lipped and forest cobra, Rhinoceros horned viper, and Gabon viper

Insects are abundant among them flower mantis, Goliath beetle, Millipede, spider, and over 400 species of butterflies.

Things to do

Kakamega National Forest Reserve

You can participate in a number of activities which include:-

  • Bird watching
  • Butterfly watching
  • Primate watching
  • Visiting the weeping stone
  • Camping- Udo Campsite & Biota Campsite
  • Game viewing
  • Hiking-hiking trails
  • Rock climbing
  • Village walks
  • Nature walks-it is very scenic

Kakamega National Forest Reserve Climate & Weather

It is a tropical rain forest meaning it is very wet.

The annual average rainfall is 1450 mm with the highest levels reaching 1700 mm and the lowest levels reaching 1200 mm.

April and May receive the highest rainfall followed by August and September.

January and February are the driest months.

The average annual temperature is 25°C ranging from 20°C-30°C.

When to Visit

The best months to visit are December, January, February, and early March.

What to Carry/Wear on this Trip

  • Insect repellent especially the Mosquito
  • If you are camping please carry camping equipment
  • Also picnic items, drinking water, camera, and guide book
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to avoid the scotching sun

How to get there

By Road-from Nairobi through Nakuru and Kapsabet to Kakamega, a distance of 418 km which is the shortest

By Air-you fly to Kisumu or Eldoret and then take road to Kakamega.

Kakamega National Forest Reserve Entrance Fees/Charges

Reserve entry fees are as follows:

Citizens (KES): Adult 350 Child 200
Residents (KES): Adult 300 Child 350                      
Non-residents (USD): Adult 25 Child 15


You can reach Kenya Wildlife Service through

Telephone: +254 020 2654658 / +254 020 2418419

Email: kakamegaforest@kws.go.ke

Kakamega National Forest Reserve Hotels and Lodges

  • Kakamega Sheywe hotel
  • Golf Hotel Kakamega
  • Siaya Guest House
  • Jamindas Paradise Motel
  • Eagle Haven Hotel Ltd
  • Savona Isle Resort
  • Malava Forest Lodge
  • Mudete Comfort Inn

Happy safari!

See also other Kenya National Parks & Reserve

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