Mt Kasigau – ancient indigenous forest

Mt Kasigau is one of Eastern Arc Mountains, belonging to world HOT SPOT areas of biodiversity. Indigenous forest that covers Mt Kasigau is amazing and mysterious remnant of forests that have been almost cleared.

Mt Kasigau is located in Taita, about 45 min drive from Voi.

I have visited Mt Kasigau with plant biology course and later I came back to camp in Mt Kasigau Base Camp for three days. About 1600 meters high Mt Kasigau is easily walkable day-trip with good paths. It takes about 2,5 hours to reach the indigenous forest. It is strenuous hike under African sun with beautiful views. Wide path to follow begins close to Rukanga village and Mt Kasigau Base Camp.

Best time to walk up is in the morning. During the day lower part of the mountain, where is no shade by the forest is extremely hot.

Indigenous forest is incredible mystical and beautiful.

Forest of Mt Kasigau is incredibly diverse with endemic orchids and impatiens flowers.

Views to Mt Kasigau and from Mt Kasigau are strikingly beautiful.

During WW1 German and Brittish troops were fighting in Mt Kasigau. There is memorial place on the mountain close to Jora village.

Memorial stone for soldiers who died in Mt Kasigau during WW1.

Mt Kasigau Base Camp has relaxing timeless atmosphere, and it is great place to stay when exploring Mt Kasigau and surroundings. Jackson, who works in Kasigau Base Camp can arrange everything. There are also climbing routes. I stayed in tent. I appreciate option to just close zipper and leave smaller animals outside.

Main kitchen area of Mt Kasigau base camp. There is no electricity, but it can be arranged from across the road. Skinny, mistreated dog is not from the camp, camp visitors are probably only ones that feed him occasionally.

I was there to look for nocturnal mammals. There was not much to be seen. I have discussed this with experienced researchers and conservationist. What we consider to be most likely reason, is that there was drier period sometime during the Pleistocene. This dry period was too much for some mammalian species, e.g dwarf galagos and tree hyraxes. As these species are poor to colonize new forest, they have not been able to return.

Some greater galagos (Otolemur garnettii) and rock hyrax live in Mt Kasiagau. I also heard that there is still one group of red colobus monkeys, but strikingly beautiful black colobus has been hunted until extinction.

Large, dark, male greater galago in Mt Kasigau February 2019.
Rechard Mwasi, me and Benson Mwakachola walking up from Jora, where path is much steeper in February 2019.
Me and little dog taking a brake during the night February 2019.
Categories:All posts, ForestsTags: , , , , ,

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