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Kakamega Rainforest Project


From March, 4th to August, 26th 2023

Western Kenya

Education / Environment

Mid or Long-term volunteering


Kakamega Forest is a tropical rainforest situated in the Kakamega and Kisumu Counties of Kenya, northwest of the capital Nairobi, and near to the border with Uganda. It is Kenya's only tropical rainforest and is said to be Kenya's last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest that once spanned the continent.

The forest including reserves encloses about 238 square kilometres, a little less than half of which currently remains as indigenous forest. The forest is elevated at predominantly between 1500 m and 1600m above sea level.


In the north of the forest is the 4,468 hectares (45 km2; 17 sq mi) Kakamega National
Reserve, given national forest reserve status in 1985. Just to the north is the Kisere Forest Reserve.


Throughout the forest are a series of grassy glades, ranging in size from about 1 to 50, with a few larger clearings. 

The flora in the forest is really rich with 380 recorded species of plants.

The forest is also famous for its birds and at least 9 birds are not found anywhere else.

Wildlife that occur in the park include bush pig, duikers, bushbuck, African clawless otter, mongoose, giant African water shrew, squirrels, tree pangolin, porcupine, bats and a variety of primates including the blue monkey, retail monkey.


Volunteers will be involved in the following activities:

  • Making tree nursery beds and maintaining the tree nursery facilities.

  • Plant care to maintain the habitat of the butterflies, cleaning the facility, cultivating butterflies in the butterfly farms.

  • Building the traditional houses known as ''Simba'' with the local community.

  • Accumulating, preparing and process the necessary natural materials for maintaining the forest.

  • Isukuti dance and sports competition between the locals and the volunteers.

  • Physical education & Fitness, Playing the drums, Singing

  • Watering and watching after the trees, clearing of weeds, Digging holes, fencing of the tree nursery

  • Logging and cutting trees, preparing the site, assemble the scaffold, prepare the wall material, filling the scaffold, fetching water from the river.

  • Teaching and playing with the kids through school visits in the local schools.






Volunteers will stay with local hosts. Accommodations are very simple, there is running water, and meals will be prepared by volunteers and sometimes the hosts will cook. Beds and Mattresses will be provided.
Volunteers need to carry; mosquito nets, sleeping bag, a pillow and water purifying tablets.

Orientation will begin in the morning of the 3rd March 2023 at KVSO offices or hostels. Volunteers will be picked up from accommodation and taken to the orientation which will be conducted by our local staff in Nairobi.


It will cover everything they need to know about the project placement. They will receive an introduction to the project, to Kenya and Luhya land, Kenya and Luhya customs, language training (Kiswahili and Kiluhya), as well as expectations, safety and travel opportunities in Kenya.


The orientation will also give them a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing. 

The Southern part of Kakamega forest, Isecheno Forest station run by the Kenya Forest Service, is the most accessible in Tourism. There is the well-known Mama Mtere tree, a historic tree and the most photographed tree in Kakamega forest. There are also strangler fig trees.


There are hiking trails in the forest that allow for forest walking, camping, hiking, primate watching, bird and butterfly watching, game watching and village walks.


The Kakamega Rainforest Tour Guides (KRFTG) can arrange tours to visit the weeping stone (Crying stone) at Ilesi, located along the Kakamega-Kisumu road, or Kisere Forest to see the De-brazes monkey in the north of Kakamega. Also bird watching, morning 6:30 am – 8:30 am, is fantastic walk or evening 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.

380€ (monthly) which include project work, housing, all meals, transport from the airport and to the project site, and 24 hours on side staff support.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

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