Mesmerizing scenic views, rare fauna and flora, from bush babies to tree pangolins makes the walk through Kakamega Park an unforgettable adventure. The sole remnant of the tropical rainforest, the Guineo-Congolian forest, the Kakamega forest, Kenya is home to 400 butterfly species and over 300 bird species .
With an incredible biological diversity, the park boasts an ancient interconnected ecosystem. I don’t promise you’ll see all or many of these species, though even a glimpse of a Debrazza monkey from the primate watching home is a great experience.
If you want to explore the exquisite beauty of the Kakamega park, Kenya and stand the best chance of seeing more creatures, opting for a professional tour guide is highly advisable. I suggest taking a safari with BookallSafaris.
Animals to See on a Walk Through Kakamega Park, kenya
1. Black-and-white Colobus
The black-and-white colobus is a small monkey species that gets its name from the Greek word, which means mutilated. These monkeys lack thumbs and have a contrasting white and black physical appearance. The white whiskers, beard, bushy tail, and long mantle stands out amidst the black fur. One of the most distinctive features is the U-shaped white hair cape that runs from the shoulders and reaches the lower back.
These arboreal monkeys use branches to leap from one tree to another in search of food. They are herbivores and mainly consume fruits, leaves, twigs, and flowers. Their natural habitat is the wooded grasslands, secondary, primary, and riverine forests. The rare monkeys live in troops that contain a dominant male, multiple females and infants. They don’t have any specific breeding season.
2. Elephant Shrew
Despite common misconceptions, the Elephant shrew is not a shrew at all. They are tiny, furry mammals that are more closely associated with the mammals’ group that includes sea cows and elephants. These mini mammals are native to Africa and have a unique appearance: long legs, scaly long tails, pointed long heads, trunk-like noses, along hunchbacked postures.
Diurnal creatures, Elephant Shrews are insectivores and excessively active. While the Elephant Shrew has a wide range of predators, it is well-adapted to protect itself in its leafy habitat. Elephant shrews mate for life and are highly territorial. One of the most unusual characteristics of the shrew is females display menstrual cycles, similar to human females.
3. Aders’s Duiker
Native to Zanzibar and Kenya, the Aders’s Duiker is a critically endangered antelope species. Their bodies consist of silky, soft hair, along with brownish-red rumps and backs, with bright white undersides. Aders’s Duikers have reddish legs with irregular white dots, with bright red hair tufts, on their foreheads. Both males and females have pointed but short horns and generally prefer solitary lives.
These beautiful antelopes prefer thickets, coastal forests, and woodlands and are diurnal creatures, where they hunt till midday. They consume fallen fruits and leaves and often follow monkeys or birds to retrieve dropped food items. These animals are particularly shy and are gifted with an excellent sense of hearing. However, not much is known about their reproductive habitats. They may exhibit territorial behavior.
4. Banded Mongoose
Belonging to the Herpestidae, the mongoose is a small mammal that is often seen on the Kakamega Park. These terrestrial creatures have a distinctive appearance with long bodies and faces. They also have short legs, long tails, and small ears. Some are brindled, while others have marked coats. Their natural mutation offers them protection against snake venom.
Mongoose is a carnivore and feeds on rodents, insects, eggs, lizards, carrion, etc. These animals prefer the grass plains and open forests. The small size and bold temperament aid them in dealing with large and dangerous habitats. The reproduction of the mongoose is mainly dependent on the species and their social structure. They can breed in large colonies with a dominant leader or meet up at certain intervals for reproduction.
5. Genet Cat
With a cat-like appearance, the Genet Cat is a long, slender animal that varies based on habitat and appearance. There are 14 recognized species, with all of them having retractable claws for catching prey and climbing. Genet cats are omnivores, consuming a varied array of food, from insects to fruit . They are located on a wide range of leafy and forest habitats though commonly avoid open habitats.
Genet Cats are arboreal and are known to be stealthy, nocturnal hunters. The genet cat prefers a solitary existence but seek out mates during courtship months. These animals are extremely territorial, release secretions to mark territory, and to convey social and sexual behavior. The male leaves the female after copulation; the females raise the young (ranging from one to five babies).
6. Bush Baby
Also known as galagos, lesser bush babies or nagapies, bush babies reside in Africa. These are nocturnal creatures and rarely reach the ground. One of the most notable features of the bush baby is the big, saucer-like eyes. These are brown or rust-colored and have black pupils, which make it easier for them to hunt at night. They also have large ears, along with brown or grey wooly fur coats and thick tails with hairs.
These bush babies are both solitary and social creatures. They reside in sub-Saharan Africa and do not migrate. Bush babies are omnivores and feed on tree gum, insects, and small animals. There are two breeding seasons where the males fight for the females, and after winning, mark the territory and mate with urine.
7. De Brazza’s Monkey
Named after the famed Italian explorer, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, De Brazza’s Monkey is mainly found in the tropical forests of Africa. These arboreal primates have a distinctive white beard and orange diadem. Of the guenon species, De Brazza’s exhibit sexual dimorphism, and both sexes have distinct appearances. Also known as the Ayatollah Monkey, they have a white beard and muzzle, grey agouti fur, white rump, and orange crescent on the forehead.
De Brazza’s monkeys prefer dense vegetation and forest and are arboreal creatures. They feed on insects, plants, fruits, and seeds. Their cryptic nature makes it difficult to make observations in their natural habitats. Most of De Brazza’s Monkeys live in large groups that contain multiple females and a single male. They are known to be aggressive towards other species.
8. African Civet
There are various species of civet found across the globe. The one that you can observe in Africa is the African Civet which are larger than their European cousins. Even though these animals have a strong resemblance to cats, they are more closely associated with carnivores like the mongoose. The most distinctive feature that stands out in these animals is the white and black markings on the fur. The grey face and black band surrounding the eyes lead to a raccoon-based appearance.
African civets are found in tropical forests with dense vegetation. These nocturnal animals are solitary creatures and tend to hunt alone but are seen in groups during the breeding seasons. They are extremely territorial and often mark their territories with scent. These animals consume plant and animal matter.
9. Tree Pangolin
Tree Pangolins are mammals that are also known as Scaly anteaters. They have a unique appearance with a scaled tail, skinny nose, body scales overlapping, and soft hairs on the belly and face. The scales are light, thin, and have sharp edges, with yellowish-brown, dark brown, or dark olive-brown coloration. These mammals have no teeth and prefer the forest-savanna and lowland moist tropical forests.
These solitary animals are nocturnal and are excellent climbers and swimmers. Pangolins are insectivores and consume soft-bodied invertebrates, ants, and termites. Tree pangolins are believed to be polygynous, and the pair last only till the mating takes place. They can mate throughout the year, but not much information is present on their mating system owing to their elusive natures.
Pottos are primates that are found in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Guinea, and north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These slow-moving creatures prefer the rain forests and have slender, long bodies, along with round and small ears. The grayish-brown wooly fur, along with 4-6 low growths in the neck, make them distinctive. These have strong limbs and big scent glands that aid them in marking their territories.
These arboreal creatures are nocturnal and move slowly. Pottos are quiet and use cryptic movements to avoid predators. Potto primates are extremely territorial and defend their territories from same-sex opponents. They are herbivores in general, but show omnivore characteristics by feeding on insects, small birds, bats, and tree gum. However, not much information is available on their mating habits. They may be polygynous or polygynandrous.
Found in Southern and eastern Africa, the bushpigs belong to the pig family. These animals live in woodland, reedbeds, forests, and riverine vegetation. They have muscular, blunt snouts, along with pointed ears, small eyes, buckled toes, and light-colored manes. The males are larger than the females.
Bushpigs are scavenging omnivores and feed on crops, roots, insects, and carrion. They are social creatures and are generally found in sounders containing a maximum of 12 members. These groups have a dominant male and female accompanied by juveniles and other females. They are territorial and nocturnal creatures and become aggressive while defending their young.
Bushpigs are observed to follow a polygynous mating system where one male breeds multiple females.
12. Giant Forest Hogs
Giant forest hogs, generally found in central and west Africa, are the largest members of the pig family. These animals have excess hairs on their body, which gradually decrease with age. They also have pointy and large ears along with long tusks. These animals generally prefer the subalpine mosaics, wooded savanna, and forest grasslands.
These animals scavenge but are primarily herbivores. They live in sounders where there can be a maximum of 20 animals consisting of an old male, females, and juveniles. The giant forest hogs are mainly nocturnal creatures but can be seen during the day during the cold season or in areas protected from humans. Not much information is available on the mating system but the members of the herd defend the piglets aggressively.
13. African Clawless Otter
Also known as the Cape Clawless Otter, the African clawless otter is a freshwater species seen in Africa. These animals have silky luxurious hair and are well-adapted to the aquatic environment. They have short but dense fur, along with webbed back feet, long whiskers, and a strong tail. Though these playful and curious animals live in water, they can also be found on land.
These animals are solitary creatures though groups can be seen at times. They are the most active at dusk and dawn in search of food. The African clawless otters are carnivores and consume crabs, grogs, insects, and fish. The males and females do not stay together after mating, and the females raise the young alone.
14. Forest Cobra
Native to Africa, the forest cobra is a large-sized snake with five recognized subspecies. These are mainly found in warm regions such as the grassland and savanna. They are poikilothermic, which means that these snakes can re-adjust body temperature as per the environment. Limbless, these, reptiles have small heads, hoods, short tails, scaly but glossy black exoskeletons, along with white scales on the chin and underbelly.
These antisocial creatures are poisonous, deadly, and extremely aggressive. Forest cobras are the largest true cobras in the wild and can move quite fast. Forest Cobras have a varied diet consisting of reptiles, mammals, frogs, and other small-sized vertebrates. Forest cobras are oviparous and have a courtship dance during the mating, where they can get extremely aggressive.
These are some of the animals you can see on a walk through Kakamega Park. Apart from fantastic and rare mammals, you can also spot a wide variety of snakes such as Jameson’s Mamba, Rhinoceros-horned Viper, Black-lipped Cobra, Bush Viper, and more.
There are approximately 350 bird species observed in the national park, which include Blue-Headed Bee-Eaters, Blue Turacos, Crested Guinea Fowls, Vieillot’s Black Weavers, Yellow-Crested Woodpeckers, Crowned Eagles, Red-breasted Owlets, etc. A trip to the exotic Kakamega Park will satisfy the wildlife lover in you. I suggest you book a tour with BookallSafaris
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