Kakamega is a town in western Kenya lying about 30 km north of the Equator. It is the headquarters of kakamega county. The town has a population of 73,607 (1999 census). Kakamega is 52 km north of Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya and a port city on Lake Victoria.
Kakamega county is Kenya's second most populous county after Nairobi
. The county has 9 constituencies in total namely Butere
, Matungu, Khwisero, Shinyalu, Lurambi, ikolomani, Lugari and malava.
Kakamega area receives a very high amount of annual precipitation and contains Kakamega Forest, a preserve which is a remnant of a rainforest that stretched west through Uganda
As a rainforest, the canopy of the trees has grown into a thin mesh of interlocking top branches that block most sunlight from reaching the ground below, resulting in less vegetation at the ground level. With few bushes along the darkened forest floor, the main obstacle is ancient fallen tree trunks blocking the paths between the standing trees. The German funded project BIOTA East is working in the forest since 2001, whereby firstly forest inventories for all sorts of life forms were performed and the aim is to find strategies for a sustainable use of the forest.
More than 400 species of birds have been found in the Kakamega rainforest. The many song birds fill the air with various birdcalls.
Kakamega is also home to Africa's largest and most aggressive cobra, the Kakamega forest cobra. Reputed by locals to spend a lot of time in the trees, stories abound of fearsome attacks on unsuspecting passers-by. Other snakes in the area include the forest adder, black mamba, and the green mamba.