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This page was last updated 26 January, 2003

Kenya's west coast - Lake Victoria Safari Village

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A magical safari to Lambwe Forest


As the sun sinks slowly behind the towering hills of Ruri, Gembe, Kaksingri and Gwassi, a thick blanket of clouds speeds across the darkening sky, casting shadows over a vast patchwork of tropical savannah and thick forest. Little birds perched delicately on leafy branches pipe out wonderfully orchestrated evening music, and on the ground, monitor lizards retire lazily after a day of basking on the scattered basalt and granite rocks. 

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The spectacular, un-spoilt wilderness of the Lambwe forest is about 1 hours drive away from Lake Victoria Safari Village, the 3,100-hectare forest is a favorite destination for tourists to the area. One can also get to Lambwe forest by water, a thrilling trip for which private hire boats are available.The hot tropical climate is moderated by gentle breezes from the lake, creating tolerable temperatures on beautiful beaches that are easily accessible from the forest. 

Lambwe forest is surrounded by 16 isolated islands on the nearby Lake Victoria. This magical forest boasts numerous species of trees, including Acacia, Cypress, Pine and Eucalyptus. Wildlife species include huge herds of the long-eared greater and lesser kudu, warthog, zebra, eland, the shy dik dik, reticulated giraffe, the mighty buffalo, waterbuck, leopards, snakes, mongooses and porcupines. 


Lambwe forest falls under the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources. It is under the charge of a forester, who is based there, and a district forest officer at Mbita Point forest station. They also work together with officers of the Kenya Wildlife Service, who man the neighbouring Ruma Game Reserve and the Lambwe Valley Reserve.


There are no charges for nature lovers visiting this unique hideout. But it should be taken into account that a special clearance from the forester in charge is required any time one is visiting. The forest is usually open to the public at 8 am and officially closes at 5 pm on working days. There are many armed guards who provide round-the-clock security and guide visitors throughout since under the Forest Act no visitor is allowed to roam alone in a forest especially if armed. The forest is criss-crossed by several roads, which are a bit rough and become quite muddy during the rainy season. 


The magical safari to this wilderness would not be complete without visitors experiencing a number of activities besides game watching. These include bird watching, forest camping, water rafting on Lake Victoria and fishing.

There is a variety of activities for visitors to the forest, including viewing wildlife, bush walking, fishing and camping. 


The text on this page is based on an article by GODFREY OLALI, a journalist with the NATION newspaper in September 2002


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