Western Kenya is a wide region famous for hosting many beautiful landscapes, towns and other attractions. The local cultural events such as the famous Bull-fighting ceremonies in Kakamega have hit the local dailies for many decades. This region has so much to offer that anyone who dares to visit returns eager for a second trip.
At the Northern end lies the mighty Mt. Elgon, famous for having one of the widest bases among all free-standing mountains. This mountain also marks a border between Kenya and Uganda, and is an important water tower. Mt. Elgon National Park is a place you need to visit while in the region. The mountain hosts one of the best highland forests, with Giant Podo trees. The wildlife in the park is also amazing and notably calm, with the elusive Bushbuck coming to within feet from your vehicle. There currently still remains one lone Rothschild’s Giraffe, after all its colleagues died. This subspecies of giraffe is endangered on the IUCN RedList and if you are lucky to see this lone-ranging individual, you will like his “white socks”. Many bird species also occur here, such as the Scaly Francolin, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Thick-billed Seedeater, Pale Flycatcher, African Olive Pigeon, Ross’s Turaco, Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbill and Grey Wagtail. To the East of Mt. Elgon lies the gorgeous Saiwa Swamp, home to the rare Sitatunga antelope. This conservation area can be explored on foot, making the experience even more fulfilling. To its North lies the mighty Kongelai Escarpment, that reveals a whole new world of landscapes’ beauty. From here you can see mountains in Uganda. This later paves way for the famous Cherangani Escarpment farther North, another important water tower in Kenya.
The Busia Grasslands are always a birdwatcher’s spectacle and host some of the most beautiful species of birds. These include the Senegal Coucal, Piapiac, Whinchat, African Blue Flycatcher, Eurasian Reed Warbler, African Thrush and Yellow-mantled Widowbird. The rare Finch’s Agama is also a resident lizard here, sharing this home with colleagues like the Nile Monitor Lizard.
Nile Monitor Lizard
The Eastern tip hosts the famous Nabuyole Falls in Webuye, a place best known for the once famous paper milling factory. These falls also known as Brodrick Falls, are a spectacle along River Nzoia that leaves a mark on all visitors. Down along the river, we find the famous town of Mumias, where sugar gets real sweet. The Mumias Sugar Company is familiar to many. Next to the sugar factory is the mighty Nzoia River Bridge, home to some of the cutest birds in the world- the Rock Pratincoles. The bridge also hosts a stable population of Nile Monitor Lizards, who enjoy basking on the scenic bed.
Farther east, the inequitable Kakamega Forest emerges. This forest is the only remnant of the Guineo-Congolian tropical rainforest in Kenya. This magical forest is believed to have over 380 species of plants e.g. the Strangler Fig, 360 species of birds e.g. the Jameson’s Wattle-eye, 7 species of primates e.g. the Red-tailed Monkey, and 400 species of butterflies e.g. the Forest Mother-of-pearl.
Kindly take some time to visit this magical region for it never disappoints.
While going there, please take some binoculars to enjoy the wildlife and a camera to take photographs in this beautiful place.