Wildlife & Animals – Kakamega Forest NR
By Anthony Ham
Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.
Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.
Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.
Although teeming with small animals, Kakamega Forest is not primarily a wildlife destination. There are seven primate species of which you could easily see black-and-white colobus, red-tailed and blue monkey. The very rare de Brazza's monkey is more difficult to find. Giant forest squirrels share the canopy, while some small antelope like duiker and dik-dik might be seen scurrying off in the undergrowth.
The forest transforms after sundown. Night walks are conducted by spotlight, and are more than worthwhile. Some of the nocturnal creatures you might encounter are bushpig, genet and civet. Hammer-headed fruit bats can be seen in flight. Rare sightings of potto and tree pangolin have been recorded and a real Kakamega special is the giant otter shrew. There are lots of interesting insects as well, including the super-sized goliath beetle.
Best Time for Wildlife Viewing
Kakamega Forest can be visited throughout the year, but heavy rains might interfere with hiking trips. The driest months are from December to February. The heaviest rain is in April and May, so these months are less ideal.