Kakamega Forest National Reserve is located at the north end of the Kakamega forest, in Western Province of Kenya, the reserve is a 36km2. In the north of the forest is the 4,468 hectares (45 km2; 17 sq. mi) Kakamega National Reserve, it was given national forest reserve status in 1985. In the north of the reserve there is Kisere Forest Reserve. Kakamega Forest national reserve is the only tropical forest left in Kenya, the forest is a home to a variety of primates, and it is one of the Kenya’s birding hotspots. It marks the eastern most distribution of many sought-after West African species. Even non-birders can appreciate the jungle atmosphere of the forest. Walking with a knowledge guide is the best way to explore the forest.

Climate and Temperature of Kakamega Forest National Reserve.

Kakamega Forest National Forest has a tropical, high-rainfall climate, due to its proximity to the equator, temperatures are constant throughout the year. Average afternoon temperatures are around 280 C/ 820 F. It rains throughout the year, but it peaks in April and May.

Attractions in Kakamega Forest National Reserve.


Kakamega forest national reserve though teemed with small animals, it is not primarily a wildlife destination. The reserve has got the seven primate species of which you can observe in the reserve including the Black and white colobus, red –tailed and blue monkey, bush pig, genet, civet,  the very rare de Brazza’s monkey found be seen though difficult to find. Giant forest squirrels share the canopy, while some small antelope like duiker and dik dik can be seen scurrying off in the undergrowth and among many more. Kakamega Forest reserve is also a home of 400 species of butterflies, reptiles, molluscs and several primate species to thrill while on Kenya wildlife Safaris.

Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Kakamega Forest National Reserve

Bird species.

Kakamega forest national reserve is one of the Africa’s most famous birding forests, it supports 80 species on the eastern limit of their range from central and West Africa, examples of this are the spectacular great blue turaco and the colorful blue-headed bee-eater. In the reserve more than 367 bird species have been recorded, 36 of which are endemic to the forest and can only be found here. Migratory birds come in during November to April.

Snakes species.

During your visit to Kakamega Forest National Reserve there are more than 30 snake species like the black lipped cobra, Rhinoceros Horned Viper, Gabon Viper, Forest Cobra among others which are not common in many forest areas of Kenya but in Kakamega.

Trees species.

The reserve has over 300 species of trees different special tree species like the Prunus Africana, Olea Capensis, Maesopsis Emini and many others of which more are medicinal species to the people of Kenya.

Activities done in Kakamega Forest National Reserve.

Game Viewing.

The reserve offers the best game viewing where you can be able to sight various animal species in the reserve like the genet, civet, black and white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkey and many more. Game viewing in the reserve is best done during the dry months of December to February where there are no rains and animal species can be available in the reserve.

Bird watching.

Kakamega Forest national reserve has got various bird species in that the bird lovers can be exposed to their best during their trip. Some bird species include the African blue flycatcher, African broadbill, African goshawk, Banded prinia, Black billed turaco, Black- billed weaver, Blue- headed bee- eater, Brown illadopsis, Grey parrot, Joyful greenbul, Yellow-spotted barbet, Yellowbill and among more. Many birders find Kakamega Forest a bird-watcher’s paradise that is productive all year, unusual forest species are often permanent inhabitants and can see at any time. Migratory birds swoop into the forest from November to April.

Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Blue- headed bee- eater


There are hiking trails in the forest that allow for forest walking, camping, hiking, primate watching, bird and butterfly watching, game watching and village walks that are all done from the reserve.

Best time to visit Kakamega Forest National Reserve.

The reserve can be visited year-round. There is quite heavy rain throughout the year, but December to February are the driest months. June to August is an excellent time for bird watching, as many birds breed and display after the rains of April and May. August and September are the best months for butterflies. And migrant birds are present from November to April.

Where to stay in Kakamega Forest National Reserve.

There are accommodation facilities to the guest during their visit in the reserve such as the Isukuti Guest House, Udo Guest House, Udo Campsite and many others.

Entrance fees of Kakamega Forest National Reserve.

Category Citizens (KSH) Residents(KSH) Non- Residents ( USD)
Adult 300 300 22
Child 125 125 13

How to get to Kakamega Forest National reserve.

Kakamega Forest Reserve can be accessed in two different ways that is the road and Air means of transport from the Nairobi city to the reserve.

By Road means.

Kakamega Forest is 420 km/260 mi northwest of Nairobi and 45km/27mi north of Kisumu. The drive from Nairobi takes about six hours to reserve. You can organize a pick-up, rent a car, or take a taxi from Kisumu International Airport, which is an hour drive away from Kakamega.

By Flight means.

Charter flights here can be organized for you by the tour operators, there are daily flights from Jomo Kenyatta   International Airport then to Kakamega.  Also there are now scheduled flights to Kakamega and visitors can also fly to Kisumu or Eldoret and travel by road to Kakamega.

Kakamega Forest Reserve is so famous for its birds in the East Africa, in that the reserve has 367 bird species that have been recorded in the forest such as the West African Great blue turaco and black – and-white-casqued hornbill, at least 9 birds are not found anywhere else. Kakamega is known more for being the home of Kakamega forest, few among the last remnants of indigenous rain forests in the world, bull-fighting, cock-fighting and even a dog market- interesting piece of the cultural tourism that Kenya has to offer.

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