Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Kakamega Forest National Reserve
4.5
Áreas de naturaleza y vida silvestre • Bosques
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4.5
78 opiniones
Excelente
43
Muy bueno
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Mala
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Tom
Malmö, Suecia19 aportes
sep. de 2022
This is a wonderful forest and it was great to experience the last rainforest in Kenya. There are a lot of birds, most of which you will hear but may not see. We hired a fantastic knowledgable guide called Solomon, who specialised in birds and had worked there for 32 years, so really knew what he was doing. Guides were 1000 KSH per hour and entry was 3000 KSH per person.

This location does not take cash and the card machine was not working, so make sure you have M-Pesa before arriving. We were lucky enough to be able to ask a local to pay M-Pesa for us after giving him cash.
Escrita el 1 de octubre de 2022
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Aussiefan123
Berna, Suiza22 aportes
sep. de 2022 • Negocios
Beautiful forest, well worth a visit and well worth going with a guide (2000 KSh for three hours) as you can go along the small pathes without getting lost. We saw four different monkey species and a hornbill, along with small and big butterflies and large amounts of ants crossing the path. The only displeasant fact was that KWS currently only takes mpesa for the payment of the entry fee, which we didn‘t have and therefore had to improvise with a third person sending money to our driver who then paid the 6‘400 KSh (=50 Dollars, for two people). This was annoying as it was not stated on the website. Apparently the card machine was broken, but I suspect it might take a while to repair it. For the guide, we could pay by cash KSh, as it‘s paid to the community administration and not to KWS.
Escrita el 18 de septiembre de 2022
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

hem
2 aportes
ago. de 2022
This is a guest house that is located on the edge of the forest offering a good environment to access the forest, the forest itself is just amazing
Escrita el 7 de septiembre de 2022
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

R&R
Salisbury, UK20 aportes
jul. de 2022 • Pareja
Key info I wish I’d known before we went:

Kakamega forest is beautiful - definitely worth a visit, both to the KWS north and KFS south areas.
Kakamega forest is run by 2 different organisations depending on where you go - KWS in the north and KFS in the south. Different prices and entry gates for both. How to get to both is explained below.
If you do visit the KFS area, do NOT use Moses as your guide!! He is an alcoholic and will ruin your trip!

We wanted to go to Kakamega forest to do some bird watching.

The first thing to note is that it is fairly difficult to work out how to get into the forest in the first place. We read the directions on the KWS website, but that only gets you to the general area of Kakamega, it doesn’t tell you where the gate is or how to get to it. I looked at TripAdvisor and people on there spoke about walks from the Kenya Forest station (which is in the south just off the D298). We arrived there and asked to go into the park and for a guide. We were charged 696 ksh entry per resident, and then there is a choice of guided walks - we opted for a long walk of 3-4 hours at 1000 ksh each. I queried why the entry price was different to that we had seen on the KWS Kakamega forest webpage (which was 300 ksh per resident) and this was the first time that I found out that Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) run the south of the forest (pay through the KF Station office), whereas KWS run the north (which is accessed through a gate about 12km north of Kakamega town off the A1).

Anyway, by this stage we were at the south KFS run area and so we were allocated Moses as our guide. He asked us to drive him to the start of the walk at Rhondo Retreat (about 1.75km east of the KF station). He didn’t have a mask to share our car so we gave him one. I heard a water bottle sloshing around in his back pocket when he got in the car but I assumed he was just being sensible and taking water on a 4 hour walk.
Rhondo retreat is a beautiful place which has manicured lawns and lots of birds on the garden. It also has accommodation. Lots of forest walking trails start from there.

We started our 4 hour walk and, very disappointingly, 1 hr 40 mins (only 3miles) later (and 11am), we were back at Rhondo Retreat. Moses (our guide) walked behind us the whole way. He was swigging his bottle of ‘water’ from the start and his speech got progressively worse, was falling over and by the time he finished the bottle (55 mins in to our walk), he could barely string a sentence together. What he could say he did so loudly and repeatedly, asking us if we liked nature and that he wanted us to buy him binoculars.

We stopped at one point and he threw his plastic bottle into the forest, so we told him not to littler and pick it up. He absolutely stunk of alcohol!!! In the following 45 mins the plastic bottle got thrown into the forest a further 2 times, and twice more we got him to pick it up. By the end of the walk, my husband and I were following the path ourselves with Moses about 100-200m behind us swaying and asking us to slow down. An absolutely useless guide and, if you are ever allocated him, you should refuse.

The forest is beautiful though and the walk would have been lovely if the guide hadn’t been a drunk. I assume he cut it short because he could barely stand upright! As it ended up being less than 2 hours, we could have actually paid for the short walk option.

We got to car and a few mins later, Moses got there too. We refused to give him a lift back to the Kenya Forest Station and we told the staff at Rhondo Retreat why. The Rhondo Retreat staff were excellent and offered us another guide but, by this stage, we’d had enough and opted to leave.

General tips for the KFS area: It can be cool in the shade so take a jumper, wear good shoes as it can be slippery in places, take a day-sack for snacks and water. For bird watching purposes, as the trails are low, we didn’t see as many birds as they are high up in the tree canopy so you do hear them. You might be better placed to see birds by staying in one position nearer Rhondo retreat and waiting for the birds to come to you. And finally, DON’T use MOSES as your guide.

In the afternoon we went to the KWS part in the north of the forest instead. Off the tarmaced A1 north of Kakamega, the gate is about 600m on a murram track and well signposted. You can take your car in to the forest if you want but we left our car at the gate and just walked. You can take a guide for an extra cost but, after our bad experience in the south in the morning, we just decided to walk around ourselves. It’s a lovely part of the forest with lots of little tracks you can follow, all stemming from the main road so you can’t get too lost.

Despite the disappointing guide in the morning, I’m glad we visited both the south (KFS) and north (KWS) areas of Kakamega as they are different and beautiful. I would definitely recommend a visit.
Escrita el 14 de julio de 2022
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Lorenzo Marchetti
Milán, Italia19 aportes
ago. de 2021
Sicuramente un posto interessante, alti alberi e una vegetazione ricca e fitta. Non ci sono però animali (fatta eccezione per qualche scimmia) e anche gli uccelli, vera ricchezza della regione, sono molto difficilmente avvistabili in cima agli alberi. Dal punto di vista fotografico un disastro.
Escrita el 4 de junio de 2022
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Guylord Logedi
Nairobi, Kenia6 aportes
nov. de 2021
A rainforest, A good sunrise, a river between, great resort, exotic animals, a hiking destination and a perfect sunset. How can one ever go wrong with that combination. It's a paradise for both researchers, hikers, photographers and people who just wanna connect with nature or simply get away. It is a repeat in the bucket list of all who visit.
Escrita el 26 de enero de 2022
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Peter S
215 aportes
dic. de 2021
woken by 'singing' Colobus monkeys and a host of birds. Staying in the campsite or one of the bungalow within the park is a fabulous exprience
Escrita el 19 de enero de 2022
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Idah M
1 aporte
ago. de 2021 • Amigos
It was pleasure meeting my guide Nancy,who was lovely and knowledgeable,l went for a hike, sunrise and river work, this was very nice.Be happy and learn more through Nancy at kakamega forest.her phone number-0729911386
Escrita el 18 de agosto de 2021
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Marine C
11 aportes
abr. de 2021
Kakamega primary and secondary forests were quite magical to visit. I camped there, went for a sunrise walk and then a long walk with my guide Abraham, whom I truly recommend as he's very knowledgeable about the ecosystem (and just lovely). His number: +2547 26 95 17 64.
Escrita el 2 de agosto de 2021
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Jeff O
3 aportes
mar. de 2021
You can access Kakamega forest from different sides depending on where you are. As for us, we accessed the famous forest from Tindinyo area, near Chepsonoi police station. Tindinyo area is about 18kms from Kapsabet town on the Kapsabet-Chavakali-Kisumu Road.

Before the journey, we read a little about the forest, looking for information about entry fees, accommodation, distance, and meals. Armed with sufficient information, we were now ready for the long awaited family excursion.

We had planned to wake up at 5.00AM on the Sunday of 28th March 2021 and embark on the 9kms journey from Chepsonoi police station to Rondo Retreat Centre inside the forest, the only land-mark that we knew. We had gathered from our online research that the forest offices were about 1km from Rondo Retreat Centre.

But when the day arrived, things did not proceed according to script.

We left our house one hour late at 6:00AM. Nevertheless, the regrettable tardiness did nothing to dampen our spirits. Our three children were especially thrilled.
Hiram, the first-born is 11 years-old. Moriah, the second-born is 8 years-old, and the 6-year old Willy, closes the count.

We were all in our thick, heavy jackets as the early morning cold grazed our faces with ice-like frostiness. However, in only an hour, everyone was in a t-shirt, yet we had covered only about two kilometers. Since it was still a bit dark and dim, some of us tripped, flailed, and foundered in the hazy blackness of the early morning but soon, the day became bright and clear.

After only three kilometers, we were entering the majestic stillness of the forest. Sounds of birds chirping from tree and shrub filled the forest with noisy melody. We spotted many wag-tails and robins, but when we saw what looked like a hornbill we all stopped. Its curved bill was not painted in bright, screaming colors like many hornbills. Instead, they were dull and drab in a life-less grey.

From this side, the forest is thick and impenetrable, and, except for a few a few bushy foot-paths, it is impossible to go inside.

After ascending and descending three of four times across the same number of cold, clear streams, we reached Rondo Retreat Centre.

The children cried with ululation. They thought they had finally arrived. I knew Rondo Retreat Centre was closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic but I just wanted to peer inside and steal a look inside the famous facility, the dream of most western Kenya tourists.

On knocking at the metallic gate, a guard opened and politely told me what I already knew. But we had the chance to peer inside Rondo retreat and admire the neatly mowed grounds, carpeted in a very calming green.

I then placed a call to Nancy, a forest guide whose contacts (0729-911-386) I had gotten from the internet. She told us that we were only one kilometer away, and that we were to continue on the same road.

The road is in good condition. The marram is gravelly and very firm. Though some sections are a tad dustier. When it rains however, you will not experience any dust.
From Rondo, it was a lumbered, labored walk. The children were particularly tired.

However, we soon reached the junction branching on the right to the forest offices. We then walked for some ten minutes, then we slumped down to have some rest and to enjoy some oranges we had carried. We were now well within the precincts of the offices.

We picked ourselves up after that deserved rest and arrived at the forest offices at around 9:30AM. We found two officers at the front who seemed genuinely delighted with our visit. A slim, business-like lady and a rotund gentleman with a very likeable personality.

After the genial pleasantries, we paid the park entry fees, about Ksh.820 in total for the five of us. An adult pays the equivalent of 2 US dollars while a child pays half of that cost.

We were charged Ksh.500 per person as forest guide fees but in typical Kenyan fashion, we bargained, argued, and haggled the price down to Ksh. 700; ---family price!

We paid everything through MPESA mobile money transfer platform and waited for the assigned forest guide. Apparently, Nancy was not available.

I was disappointed when I saw the forest guide. He looked unkempt, lanky, lazy, and ignorant. His hair was almost in knots, evidently as a result of neglect of personal grooming.

But when I started interacting with Copeland, I discovered the truism of the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Copeland is highly intelligent, well-travelled and very conversant with the flora and fauna of Kakamega Forest. His telephone number is 0701-975-315.

The very first animals he introduced to us were the blue monkeys and the beautiful, white-streaked colobus monkeys. We then went to the nursery and learnt the names of many indigenous tree species. There is also a community tree nursery where the community is given some space to maintain tree nursery in group clusters.

But before we could proceed properly with the tour, we wanted to know our sleeping quarters and buy some snacks. There is a basic shop which stocks scones, mandazis, and the like. We bought a few of these and proceeded to check what would be our sleeping quarters.

Isecheno Blue Shouldered Guesthouse is set in a serene home-like environment, which is very easy to fall in love with. The dorm, housing about ten beds is African, antique and traditional. The main house however, has four rooms. Two rooms have the same number of beds and the other two have one bed. There is a well-equipped kitchen and a spacious sitting room. There is also a TV screen inside the sitting room, about 20 inches.

The bedrooms are however basic, and if you are a couple, not very ideal for the marital privilege. They are not a version of Hilton, or even Rondo Retreat, but they afford basic and minimum standards of comfort.

Toilets and bathrooms are outside but very near the house; about 10-15 meters. They are clean and well-kept. There is also warm shower in the bathrooms. Toilets are two types: the ones that you sit on, and the one that you squat on. Mr. Smith, the owner of the guest-house, told us that whites particularly avoid the sit-on toilets.

After evaluating the facility, we sat with Mr. Smith to agree on the pricing. “Ksh. 900 per adult and Ksh. 500 per child above two years”, Mr. Smith said with no shred of finality in his voice and tone. I got the cue and started negotiating. We arrived, with mutual agreement, at Ksh. 2,500 for my family for the night.

In case you would want to book or to enquire about availability of space, Mr. Smith’s telephone number is 0722-886-833.

Copeland, our very patient forest-guide, then led us back to the forest.
Copeland regaled us with the names, history, and uses of many indigenous trees. But the hall-mark was the 800 year-old Elgon Teak which at one point was gifted to Queen Elizabeth II of England. He had showed us houses built using timber from Elgon-teak many decades ago.

I also finally got to see the Cedar tree. However, they were not anywhere near the mythical status that I have read about. In Kakamega forest, they are thin and sad, evidently struggling to bloom and blossom.

To my dismay, I was not able to see the famed local aphrodisiac mkombero. Copeland told us that mkombero is in very high demand and sometimes forest officers hide it to preserve it.

Copeland also demonstrated to us how the fig-tree is beaten by a short-sturdy stick to send an urgent SoS in case someone is lost deep within the forest. The children were excited.

Unlike some visitors, we did not spot any snake but we learnt a lot about snakes from discussions with Copeland. To wit, the most poisonous snake in Africa is the black mamba. He told us how Gaboon Viper is very poisonous yet very friendly and will rarely bite, especially after snacking on a rat or two.

Generally, there are many snakes in the forest but as a rule, they strenuously avoid people.

We finished the tour of the forest at around 3.00PM after-which, we bought some eggs from the shop, cooking oil, tomatoes, onions, and 1-kg maize-flour.
On reaching the guest house, the children took a shower, then to our surprise and shock, sun-bathed while completely naked!

Copeland agreed to get us some vegetables from a farmer nearby. In all, we used about Ksh. 300 for food and paid another Ksh. 300 as fuel charges at the guest-house. It was worth it however. The guest-house charges Ksh.650 per head for food yet that is just about the amount we used for all of us with the added benefit of eating food of sufficient quantity and quality.

We took chairs, set our table at a corner of the quiet, shady compound and thoroughly enjoyed our late lunch.

We then had a quiet rest into the evening. Our plan for an evening walk was rudely disrupted by the clouds which descended in torrential rains.

At night, it occurred to us that we were the only people inside the compound except for a care-taker. My wife was a bit worried about security but I did not see any cause for alarm. We locked the doors, slumped on our beds and slept soundly until the following morning.

It was a worthwhile trip and we made a promise to return repeatedly.

In case you want to have a stay-in with a local family, we can gladly host at affordable rates. Just call Jeff on 0723-505-961.
Escrita el 4 de abril de 2021
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

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