Kakamega Forest – Kenya Game parks and Reserves
The Kakamega National Reserve is a 36 km2 reserve, situated at the north end of the Kakamega forest, in Western Province, Kenya. The forest is at an elevation of about 1560 m, along the northeastern edge of the Lake Victoria basin.
Along its eastern edge rises the partially forested Nandi Escarpment which runs along the western edge of the Rift Valley. The Kakamega Forest is generally considered the eastern-most remnant of the lowland Congolean rainforest of Central Africa. Faunally and florally, Kakamega is dominated by central African lowland species, but due to its elevation (predominantly between 1500 m and 1600 m) and proximity to the formerly contiguous Nandi Forests it also contains highland elements and is thus unique. The forest boundary (including the reserves) encloses about 238 km2, of which less than half is still indigenous forest.
Throughout the Kakamega forest are a series of grassy glades, ranging in size from about 1 to 50 ha, with a few larger clearings. The origins of the glades are uncertain. Some are certainly recent clearings, but others predate recent records. These may have originated from past human activity such as cattle grazing or may be the result of herbivory and movements by large mammals such as buffalo and elephants (both now extirpated from the region). The glades vary a great deal in structure, some being open grass and others having a considerable number of trees or shrubs. A number of streams and small creeks run through the reserve. The larger creeks are usually bordered by a few to tens of meters of forest on either side which divide the glades, while the smallest creeks flow through open grasslands, often forming small marshy patches.
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