The tale of a date,Wanjala and Kakamega Forest.

My name is Prexidis, I live in Lubao. Lubao is about six Kilometers from Kakamega town. My little town is famed for being the largest auction market for dogs and cats in Eastern and Central Africa. I don’t like talking much about myself but following an experience I recently had, allow me this once to tell you a story.

My Fiancé’s  name is Wanjala. We went to school together at Muhonje Secondary School years back.He was two years ahead of me. He was a sharp guy and soon after finishing his O level education, he was admitted to Kaimosi Teachers Training College.I can’t wait for the day I will be called bibi ya mwalimu.

Last weekend Wanjala was in the village. What I like most about his visits is his love for travel and creativity in finding areas that we can spend time alone as we discuss intricate details of our future together. He is a wanderer. He also likes taking photos with ‘our’ mobile phone. Our Samsung Galaxy Pocket. This phone changed our status in the village. He promised to give me that phone in December when he buys himself a Tecno phone.

Our date was on Saturday. Venue, Kakamega Forest. I have never been to Kakamega Forest.But from what Wanjala told me, it is the only tropical rain forest in Kenya and is said to be Kenya’s last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest that once spanned Africa.To add on it,it is home to about 380 species of trees,330 species of birds, about 27 species of snakes and 7 species of primates,more than 400 species of butterflies and several species of mammals.. Wanjala will make a brilliant teacher!

The map of Kakamega Forest.

I woke up early that Saturday Morning. I was told that it was the best time to see lots of birds. The sun was unusually hot that morning and Matendechere my bodaboda guy took so long. We had agreed to meet up at exactly 8:00 am. Wanjala was not going to be amused.

I decided to just walk to the main road, hoping to catch another rider coming from the south. Arimis and red clay soil don’t go so well, normally I’d wait for Matendechere but on this occasion, it was impossible,I had to get there quick.

Lady luck shone on me and in an hour I was right at the gate of Kakamega Forest National Reserve. Wanjala wasn’t so impressed. But he was happy to see me.

Dearest Wanjala;My heartbeat.

Entrance into Kakamega Forest.

He paid Ksh.600 park entry fee for both of us.

It was unbelievable that I hadn’t visited the forest despite being a local. We were assigned one guide whose expansive knowledge in plant and tree species amazed me. We never saw any birds though, just heard them chirping in the woods.I guess it was too late to bird watch.

Beautiful flora and fauna, cheeky black and white colobus monkeys, fresh air, breathtaking views and a general good feel in the air.

This was the first time Wanjala held my hands in ‘public.’ The feeling was magical.

Staircase to natural beauty.

Our first stop was the Udo’s Bandas. This is where their bandas and campsite were located. The accommodation had traditional huts and modern units.The bandas cost Ksh. 3000 per night while the traditional huts cost Ksh. 1000 per night.There was also another option of coming with your own tent and camp for Ksh. 500.

The next stop was Mukangu trails, along which were tens of labeled trees. We soon approached the oldest tree in the forest. I had never seen such a tall tree before. This was where our great great great grandparents use to pray to their ancestors and offer sacrifices.

Oldest tree in Kakamega Forest.

From there we did a steep hike to the view point of Buyangu Hill! The hike was exhausting but the view at the top was worth every drop of sweat. Wanjala promised to buy me a piece of land at the end of the forest. The furthest end where the horizon met the hills. The future looked so bright. He promised to bring me to Kakamega forest, why would I doubt that he will buy me that piece of land…

We were told that this is also the best location to catch the most breathtaking Sunset!

Wide view from Buyangu hill.

Somewhere beyond the hills,lies my piece of land.

The walk downhill wasn’t as tiresome as the way up. The narrow terrain opened up to the other part of the forest. It was picturesque.

There was a further ten kilometers to be covered to get to the small but lovely Isiukhu fall. I was getting thirsty and tired at this point. But the guide promised that a walk to Isiukhu will be the end of the trip. I couldn’t wait to see the water fall.Luckily,Wanjala had carried water in his backpack. It saved the day.

After about an hour or so, we could hear the sound of water gushing and falling hard on rocks beneath. I kept wondering how the sight was.

Well, I wasn’t disappointed when we got there.

Isiukhu fall.

Isiukhu fall.

Kakamega Forest has so much to offer.

Despite the exhaustion,this was one trip I wish I took earlier. I can’t thank Wanjala enough for making it happen. We spent quality time together, learnt new stuff and looking forward to spending more time together in this lovely County of ours. He even promised to take me to Lake Bogoria. I only read about it in GHC back in Primary school and sincerely I can’t wait.

If you have not been to Kakamega forest before, make a point to go. You will love It!

Till the next blog post…

Love and Itchy feet…

B on safari.

 

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19 Discussion to this post

  1. Duncan Johns says:

    Veey well written. A Very rich and lovely country that is Kenya.

  2. Duncan Johns says:

    Succinct. Beautiful forest

  3. Sly achie says:

    Wonderful and very interesting..would love to visit the place..

  4. Denis says:

    Oh, it feels like de javu! 👌

  5. Phoebe says:

    Fantastic Read… It seems that Wanjala is quite a heartthrob character 🙂

  6. Hayley says:

    I grew up in Kenya but I never visited the Kakamega forest. It sounds like the perfect place for a date. I love that tree where your great great great grandparents used to pray, incredible how old it must be.

  7. Bryan Omoto says:

    Oh I see what you did there, I was at Kakamega Forest last in 2010 when Cameras were a little pricy but it never sounded this intriguing (I didn’t get to Isikhu Falls) but this is awesome.

    For info. Lubao is a little more than 6kms from Kakamega town. 🙂 (My mama is a native of ‘Khandidi village’ somewhere between the two. 😉

  8. Matimu says:

    Wonderful story.

  9. Melissa says:

    What a view at the top of the mountain, and the waterfalls look very inviting. Seems well worth the hike.

  10. Sounds like you two had a wonderful day! The oldest tree in the forest is beautiful, and I’d love to visit Kakamega Forest one day. I’m also just starting to explore a bit more of my own home – funny how we always leave that for last!

  11. Josie says:

    What a lovely story! It is so good to hear about a part of the world that is not so well known. I hope all works out with Prexidis and Wanjala buys her that block of land.

  12. Annette says:

    Lovely story indeed. I hope he keeps his promise to take you to lake Baringo and buy that piece of land.

  13. Pete says:

    I get the feeling that Wanjala and Prexidis may have been holding hands in private! An exciting new stage of the relationship amongst the tall trees and sprawling bandas of this ancient forest.

  14. Sutee says:

    Lovely pictures, the forest and the Isiukhu fall, did you get to swim there? looks like a great place to take a swim, thanks for sharing about this place.

  15. The forests are so mysteriously and hauntingly beautiful. I am both scared and curious to explore them. The accommodation is pretty decent as well. Would love to experience this once

  16. neha says:

    The whole park is so naturally beautiful. Particularly that oldest tree!! And your sweet story blending with it makes the whole narration even more wonderful. What a trip!

  17. Claire says:

    Wow, what a beautiful area! It’s funny how sometimes we don’t see the things closest to us but travel the world to explore! Lovely post 🙂

  18. Only By Land says:

    The only tropical rainforest in Kenya, that’s one for the bucket list! I think I’d have gone for a traditional hut. The walk looks like a good bit of exercise, especially the uphill part!

  19. Moses says:

    Good write! I want a piece of land near the forest too!! 😁😁😁😁

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