‘If i step on a snake i swear ill come back to Nairobi and smack you senseless!’ Yet another loving conversation between Lucy Mwangi (my business partner) and i as we planned our shoot schedule for our TV show “Travel diaries” I have the most insane phobia for snakes, i literally feel faint just looking at pictures of them! Why do i have to now stay 2 nights in a forest filled with them!!! The end is near….
Kakamega is a busy and lively town in Western Kenya 52km north of Kisumu city; and as we found, filled with lots of charm and attractions. We settled into the KWS bandas in the Kakamega Forest National Reserve, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kakamega – the perfect location for an unforgettable nature walk….and snake infested i feared!
There’s no doubt in my mind, this is one of the most beautiful forests Kenya has to offer and I was blown away with how rich, green and diverse the foliage is. People refer to it as a living museum of unique and rare species, a wonderful treasure trove where the massive trees and thick wet undergrowth are the habitat of a world of diverse wildlife…and snakes!!! Eeeeek!!!!
The Kakamega area receives a very high amount of annual precipitation and the forest is the only remnant in Kenya of the unique guinea-congolian forest eco system. It once stretched across central Africa to east Africa. It offers unique wildlife and scenic beauty and for bird and butterfly watchers this is the place to visit…..hmmmm still no signs of snakes…. *scratches head*
I started off with a short nature walk to discover the gushing waterfall and streams combined to create an area of great scenic beauty in the forest
As a rainforest, the canopy of the trees has grown into a thin mesh of interlocking top branches that block sunlight from reaching the ground level. The forest is home to over 400 species of butterflies, 300 bird species and supports 7 primate species including the shy black and white colobus monkey
We also discovered the mysterious liana climbers which we promptly tried to climb up as high as physically possible, and needless to say I only got halfway! At this point, i think i should point out i was actually upset we hadn’t seen any snakes as yet! I guess its reverse psychology! What the snakes don’t like me enough to come out and scare me???? *sulks*
At night the forest is transforms into a whole new world, filled with bats and ringing with the sounds of frogs, night birds and the call of the giant forest squirrel.
Despite its easy accessibility, Kakamega is a quiet haven for nature lovers, the perfect place to relax for a few days and get in touch with nature. Conveniently, they have various campsites located in the forest as well as bandas and the isukuti guest house all self catering and affordable.
And if you have a fear of creepy crawly snakes, i found out in those 2 days, they’re much more afraid of us than we realize! 🙂
Pictures courtesy of The Kenya Wildlife Service