Wednesday, February 20th, 2002

Kakamega Rainforest, Kenya

i.e. the "great falls"

After the shortest truck ride in the history of our Kenyan trip to Kakamega Rainforest (further south than Kitale but still above Lake Victoria), and all arriving on time with no delays, we figured the rainforest was going to be the perfect camping site. The site was beautiful, lush and green, full of monkeys, black and white casque hornbills, and turacos….


We walked through the rainforest with the rangers. The rainforest was everything we could have imagined and more. With life beaming from every corner, we couldn’t take enough pictures. It was beautiful! It was so dense, full of many different plants and medicinal trees. I saw some more blue monkeys as well as colobus monkeys and a red tailed monkey all of which were jumping/flying between the trees and branches. It rained on our walk, not as hard or as much as the Mt. Elgon day but still enough that Jenn and I had to close the fly on our tent. It was hailing too, huge pieces!!! They were as big as marbles, no joke!


Every morning we were all up before even the birders to make it to the look out point for the most amazing sunrises. With the rainforest mist rising up and the beams of sunlight streaming through in the most amazing ways. Primates of all sorts were seen in every direction.


We visited the town of Kakamega many times and experienced the culture to the fullest – many close encounters while people tried to “blend in” (ya right!). One of the greatest memories for many of us was dancing under the stars with the locals to their man-made music. That experience can never be explained; dancing in the rainforest with people of all ages and cultures under a full sky of stars.


The washrooms were another story. Initially we were not allowed to dig out own toilets so we had to use the outhouses present on the site, which was find if you had perfect aim. You can imagine what they looked like after four people had used it. We improvised by placing our plastic sears over the “hole” but that just caused more problems of actually getting into the stall and then wading through the puddles of urine. So we finally got our own toilets up but the bees seemed to frequent them more often than we did. What was even better was the second epidemic of the evil gastroenteritis spewed up leaving many running to these wonderful washrooms. We were a little concerned for Marilynn as she seemed to get smaller and paler with each day. But she survived with smiles.



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