Kakamega Forest Reserve is the last remnant in Kenya of the once extended tropical Guineo-Congolian Forest that was spread in Central Africa.The forest hosts about 400 species of birds, a good variety of monkeys as Colobus Monkey, Blue Monkey, De Brazza Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey and pottos and other interesting wildlife as forest hogs, duikers, aardvarks, bushbucks, porcupines, mongoose and also flying squirrels.
The park has two main access: Mgate Gate, in the northern area of the park, and Isecheno Gate in the south-western area of the park.Most of the accommodation is found in the Isecheno area.
To get there i got into a bus from Nakuru to Kisumu and then another one to Kakamega.From Kakamega i had to picked up another vehicle to Shinyalu and then got a motorbike to Isecheno Main Gate.Once there i paid 6 euros per day for the entrance fee.I decided to sleep in the most affordable option, a communal hut with separate rooms but no electricity, that costed me about 5 euros per night.If you want a more comfortable but expensive option i recommend you to go to Rondo Retreat.
I paid for a bird guide that costed me 20 euros.Early morning we went along the main road,where it delivered me some excellent birds.Black-and-white casqued Hornbill was seen perched on trees several times.
We spotted a Grey-headed Negrofinch nesting on a tree early morning.
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater was another beautiful bird worth to see during that morning.
Mackinnon’s Fiscal was a common bird seen around this area.Two species of weavers were seen as well : Baglafecht and Viellot’s Black Weaver.There was a good variety of sunbirds. Olive-bellied, Bronzed and Variable Sunbirds were found during late morning.See the stunning colours of the Olive-bellied Sunbird on the picture below.
Grey-throated Barbet and Yellow-spotted Barbet were another nice additions seen along the road.
Other birds seen in the morning were African-crowned Eagle, White-spotted Flufftail, Speckled Mousebird, African Pied Wagtail, Common Bulbul, Joyful Greenbul, African Thrush, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher and Northern Black Flycatcher.
There was an interesting variety of monkeys as well.Black and white Colobus Monkey,Blue Monkey and Red-tailed Monkeys were spotted jumping and moving among the dense foliage of the trees beside the road.I took a picture of this individual of Blue Monkey.
Next morning i repeated my experience with the same guide.Grey Parrots were seen flying in a flock of four early morning.An Hadada Ibis flew silently above an area of scattered trees.A superb bird seen among the bushes was a Yellow-billed Barbet.I could take a photograph that you can see below.Notice that i captured it while he was eating a worm.
Afterwards, we took a stroll through a small trail that start from the rough road.The guide could spot a bird that, although common in some areas of Central Africa, is quite difficult to observe, a solitaire Blue-headed Bee-eater perched on a little branch just a few meters from us !!! This little and cute bird likes to feed on small insects like bees and butterflies.
Other nice additions see the second day were Red-tailed Bristlebill, Equatorial Akalat, Turner’s Eremomela, Chubb’s Cisticola, African Blue Flycatcher, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Dark-necked Weaver, Red-headed Bluebill, Brimstone Canary and African Citril.
Around 2 o’clock i spent the time walking through a little trail in the nearbies of Rondo Retreat.I spotted and individual of Red-chested Cuckoo.Once i arrived next to a small river a stunning African Pigmy Kingfisher popped up and perched on a wired fence.You can appreciate its conspicuous orange chest and red beak on the photo that i took on the top of this post.
About 3 o’clock i just sat on a bench waiting for the monkeys that usually come at that time to feed in the gardens of Rondo Retreat.Sooner than later, a family of Black and white Colobus appeared among the foliage.
I took many pictures of them while feeding on a tree.I kept a safe distance to avoid disturb them.After spending a couple of hours observing them some individuals ventured downwards and sat on the grass while observing my movements.Blue Monkeys appeared as well in another side of the gardens.They were more adventurous than the Colobus and two individuals started to play on the grass.
I totally recommend this national park if you are into birdwatching.It’s a gem of park with lots of species that can be seen with the proper trained eyes.The guides in the park are very knowledgeable about birds and you should hire them if you want to maximise the amount of species of birds that can be seen in the park.
Next stop Saiwa National Park, in search of the elusive and secretive Sitatunga and with more pictures of amazing birds !!!
See you soon my friends !!!