By now everyone had caught up with #TeamKBP #SettingThePace lol! Our departure from Eldoret was welcomed by a busy highway, but its expected given that this road connects Kenya to Uganda Rwanda and Congo. Our turn off from A104 to kakamega was welcomed by different kind of traffic trucks full of sugarcane one of the cash crop in the area. Kakamegas Major economic activity is agriculture and Livestock farming. For those wishing to explore agri-tourism they can consider this county. Its home to sugar millers like Mumias, they also produce maize,bananas, beans, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits. They also do poultry rearing which the luhyas are famously known for Ingoho and Obusama in their Mother tongue..
Kakamega County has a range of tourism products and
activities and our first stop-o was at Kakamega forest game reserve, the only equatorial rain forest of westafrica, a very unique ecosystem and the only one remaining in Kenya and we can only hope that KWS will continue to do a great job in protecting and conserving it.
Upon arrival the warden welcomed us and gave us a brief about the reserve, we also went through the animals found in the reserve at the resource center this included various wildlife .eg bush pigs, duikers, bushbucks, clawless otters, mongoose, water shrew etc. included also is 300 species of birds, 450 butterflies species, 27 species of snakes yees snakes, The reserve also hosts a very unique primate Debrazza Monkey amongst others.
We had a short walk in this forest guided by community guides our walk took us through this terrain of hardwood forest, swamps and rivers. The sheer size and grandeur of these immense trees some over a hundred years is impressive with open areas of grassy glades that have small trees. This region is normally dominated by Central African lowland species but due to its elevation and proximity to Nandi forests it also contains highland elements making it a very unique forest. Kakamega reserve is dominated by indigenous trees, just about 160 tree and shrub species and a number of endemic species mostly ferns and orchids. Hikers, Botanists would really enjoy this reserve. We also had a walk to Isiukhu falls within the park. There are accommodations and camping site within the reserve.
After our walk definitely we were tired and we settled for a simple meal at Kakamega golf club a site visit before we departed for Kisumu.
On your way to Kisumu make sure you stop by at the legendary ‘Ikhongo Murue [ crying stone of illesi. It’s a huge rock resembling a gowned figure perpetually in tears. The locals believe its of spiritual importance, the luhya communities around here believe that when the stone cry’s it signifies a bumper harvest in the coming season.
The luhyas, I guess they are one of the most vibrant culture in Kenya, their traditional dances are a spectacle, they shake and follow an interesting rhythm, very entertaining and humorous too. They also have annual events like Bull fighting, cock fighting, bodaboda races, but perhaps the most interesting of all their rituals is the circumcision ceremonies where boys are initiated to manhood. This one is quite popular it attracts people from all over the country and beyond. I would say kakamega county offers a quite different and unique tourism product away from the usual. To experience their culture a homestay option would expose you to much much more..
Before continuing our journey to kisumu we had a meal at Golf Hotel Kakamega it’s located in a plush area of Kakamega town next to Golf Course and is just a short distance from Kakamega forest. It takes approximately half an hour drive from Kisumu Airport to the hotel and with an arrangement the Hotel can pick you up at a fee. The hotel is the only star rated in kakamega.
Did you Know the Block buster Movie Ernest Saves Christmas was shot in Kakamega??
Now you know?