Monday, September 17, 2007

>>Watching the Beautiful Bird life at the Kakamega Forest Reserve

Watching the Beautiful Bird life
at the Kakamega Forest Reserve

Bird Watching in Kenya takes place in the Kakamega Forest Reserve; a beautiful rain forest with myriad varieties of birds, animals and butterflies, Virtually all of the Rift Valley Lakes, Mount Kenya and its surrounding, the Lake Victoria Region and the Masai Mara National Reserve to mention but the least.

Kakamega Forest Reserve is home to the almost extinct De Brazza's monkey, the red tailed monkey, black colobus monkey, white colobus monkey, fruit bats and flying squirrels. However the mother of all attractions is the bird watching excursions in the Kakamega Forest Reserve. This reserve boasts to over 330 of bird species and over 400 species of butterflies. A visit to this reserve will sure treat you to a variety of plant life, unique due to the fact that Kakamega Forest Reserve is a virgin tropical forest especially in the northern side.

The best times to visit the Kakamega Forest Reserve is in June, July, August through to October. During these times thousands of Migratory birds arrive. The Kakamega Forest Reserve is usually in full bloom at this time and is a magnificent site to behold. Its during these times also that circumcision, a practice very important to the local community is performed. On Sundays you will sure be treated to bull fights and cock fights organized by the local communities of Khaemba and Shinyalu within the Kakamega Forest Reserve.

Walking through the Kakamega Forest Reserve is the best way to appreciate its bio-diversity. I would not encourage you to make four wheel drive travel through the forest since the trails and the paths are not meant for vehicles and you could easily scare away the birds and animals that you intended to see. Its advisable to take a trained guide with you at a small fee. This guides have a lot of invaluable information and details that you could make do with, apart from guiding you through the trails.

Although bird watching is the reason visitors come to Kakamega Forest Reserve, one will well be treated to fantastic nature walks along the Yara river, Lugusida river, Isiukhu river and the Ikuywa river. Its interesting to watch the isukhu falls on the Isiukhu River, to climb to the Buyanga Hill lookout in the Northern side of the forest to watch the sunrise and Lirhanda Hill lookout in the south to watch the sunset. You could also see the Crying Stone situated to the south of Kakamega town, half way on your way to shinyalu.

The Kakamega Forest Reserve is not short of places to eat, sleep and while away your evenings. You could stay at the Udo's Bandas and campsite near the Kenya Wildlife offices overlooking the Isiukhu Falls in Buyangu area, The Forest Rest House and Keep Center at Isicheno and The Sarova isle Resort. Be sure also to check out the Rivendell Gardens and the Rondo Retreat.
Lucy Maruhi is a Tour Operator and has been researching and reporting on Travel, Tour and Vacation for years. For more information on Kakamega Forest Reserve, visit her site at Kakamega Forest Reserve
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By: Lucy Maruhi

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