Cherangani Hills Forest is located in Western Kenya on the scenic landscapes of Cherangani Hills – on the western ridge of the East African Rift. The forested area covers approximately 1,200 sq. km, 956 sq. km of which is a collection of thirteen forest reserve blocks. These forest reserves create the upper catchments of the Turkwel, Kerio and Nzoia rivers.

Kapkanyar, Kapolet and Kiptaberr blocks are larger and consolidate to make up approximately 20% of the Cherangani Hills Forest. The rest of the forests are mostly patchy, cut by bushlands, grasslands, and croplands.

Cherangani HillsForest looms behind a monoculture of cypress trees
Cherangani Forest looms behind a monoculture of cypress trees | Photo By Sophie Mbugua for Mongabay

The forests themselves completely vary in composition. To the east are Juniperus–Nuxia–Podocarpus falcatus forest, specifically on the south-facing slopes. On the eastern slopes, these are interspersed with Podocarpus falcatus forest, much disturbed by human activities.

To the west, the lower elevations are Aningeria-Strombosia-Drypetes forest, grading into mixed Podocarpus latifolius forest on the higher elevations. Sizeable remnants of Juniperus–Maytenus undata–Rapanea–Hagenia forest can be found in the high valleys. In some of the stream valleys, you can spot small patches of the bamboo Arundinaria alipina and tree ferns such as Cyathea manniana.