Kakamega National Reserve


The Kakamega National Reserve is 36-km2 in size and situated at the north end of the Kakamega Forest, in Western Province Kenya. Along its eastern edge rises the partially forested Nandi escarpment, which runs along the western edge of the Rift Valley.

Considered as the eastern-most remnant of the lowland Congo rainforest of Central Africa, Kakamega is dominated by central African lowland flora and fauna species. Due to its elevation (predominantly between 1500 m and 1600 m) and proximity to the formerly contiguous Nandi Forests it also contains highland elements and is thus unique. The forest boundary (including the reserves) encloses about 238 km2, of which less than half is still indigenous forest.

Except for the monkeys and squirrels large mammals are not much in evidence. Today only smaller antelope, primarily various duiker and bush pig can be seen. Small carnivores, such as Egyptian mongooses, African civets, servals, genets and palm civets are common; some larger carnivores, including jackals, spotted hyenas and leopards also occur here. Rodents, insectivores, and bats are also present.

Kakamega is also known for its diverse snake fauna, with over 40 species, although they can be difficult to find. Lizards are more in evidence, with various skinks, chameleons, and agamas being the most common. Amphibians are represented by a number of anuran species, the most common being toads and frogs.