Kakamega forest photo courtesy of KWS
The major tourist attraction in Kakamega, is the Kakamega forest reserve in Shinyalu division in Kakamega county. This is a forest that is well known to be an equatorial rainforest. It is the home to many species of bird and insects; this makes the forest one of its kinds in Kenya. It is full of indigenous trees as well as different animal species. If you want to feel how the Amazon looks like then visit the Kakamega forest. The forest covers 240 kilometers. The climate here is wet and the annual recording of rainfall from about 200 to 700 milliliters. The famous Mysopsis Eminee that is well known for its medicinal qualities is also found in this place. The tree has become an endangered species in the recent times due to these reasons. The major attractions to the forest are the over 300 bird species, 400 butterflies, over 350 species of trees which most of the vegetation are indigenous. The forest is also the home to debrazza monkey and other primates. The otter, giant water shrew, tree pangolin, porcupine, mongoose, crawlers, bush pig, bush buck, duikers and squirrels forms the section of wide wildlife in Kakamega forest. The numerous activities that are undertaken in the forest include among others; safe guided nature walk, primate watching, forest walking, camping, hiking, birds and butterfly watching, game watching
The region has also invested in some residential places where the tourist can spend their nights and as they enjoy the natural endowment of the forest. This ranges from Golf hotel, various campsites located in the park, Isukuti Guest House, Kenya Wildlife Service self catering accommodation, Udo Bandas among others.
Another center of attraction is the cry stones of Ilesi located along the Kisumu-Kakamega road Highway. This weeping stone of Maragoli is connected to many legends and myths. One of these myths is that it is an indication of good harvest. It is a huge rock in which a stream of water flows from. The rock is attractive and unique in the sense that it is designed as per the body structure of a human being with water coming out of the eyes of the rock hence the name the weeping stone.
Bull fighting is also another tourist’s attraction. Bull fighting is part of the culture and customs of the luhya community which either takes place during specific seasons or during given markets days.
In conclusion, tourism in Kakamega town is supported by the natural endowment of the town as well as the people’s culture and custom. With the welcoming nature of the residence creates the atmosphere for tourism to thrive.