There’s much to see and do in Western Kenya Kakamega . One is bull fighting. Bull fighting in Western Kenya takes place among the Idakho people, which is a sub tribe of the larger Luhya community. It involves two bulls taking on each other, with thousands of spectators cheering on, and blowing traditional horns.

The bulls are prepared adequately for the occasion, having been fed adequately and prevented from mating heifers. Before the D-day, they are fed with traditional beer, and mixtures of other ingredients and substances, to provoke them. The owners also keep them under tight watch to avoid rivals from “casting evil spells”.

They are then led to the field to counter each other. The battle lasts from 4 to 30 minutes and the losing one flees. This poses danger to the on looking spectators as the run-away bull can heavily injure someone as it flees. The owner of the winning bull receives a cash price. Later on, celebrations are done with locals enjoying the local traditional brew.

Other spectacles to enjoy around Western Kenya include the Kakamega Forest Reserve, which is host to various species of butterflies, birds, monkeys, snakes and other reptiles.

There are also the crying Stones which were used by the community for religious ceremonies. The Lwanda Magere stone in Western Kenya is found along the Chemelil-Nandi Road. It is believed that the body of the legendary Luo warrior Lwanda Magere turned into a rock when a spear pierced his shadow during battle.

Such would be nice places to visit while on a family safari in Kenya. It would also give you some pleasure to enjoy a balloon ride in Kenya, probably to the Masai Mara, where you could watch lots of wildlife from a bird’s eye view, and even the spectacular Wildebeest migration.

Has the idea of food tourism ever came to mind? Well, Kenya is the place to be. Kenyan dishes are among the best you will ever devour. Ask any Kenyan who lives away and they will tell you how much they miss Kenyan cuisine. Kenya is a country with 42 tribes and almost every community has its own unique dish. The culinary scene varies throughout the country. The fact is you will never taste all of them but make sure you try the following dishes before leaving Kenya so you can judge Kenya’s cuisine.

1. Ugali (Cornmeal)

Ugali (Cornmeal)
Ugali (Brown)

Ugali is undoubtedly the national food in Kenya. It resembles polenta (Italian raw cornmeal) and is on every Kenyan menu. Coming to Kenya and not eating ugali would be like visiting Paris for the first time and not taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower.

While on an official visit to Kenya as the President of the U.S, Barack Obama talked fondly of how he used to eat ugali with his sister.

Ugali is made by constantly mixing maize flour or cornmeal with hot water over heat until it reaches a dough-like consistency. Maize flour is the most often used, but you can also use millet flour, cassava flour, or sorghum.

In Kenyan villages, people prefer a heavier flour made by grinding maize in a mill without removing any nutrients. The denser the ugali, the more filling and nutritious, in my opinion.

2. Samaki (Fish)

Fish is samaki’ in Swahili. Tilapia and Nile perch’ from freshwater lakes in Kenya (Lake Victoria and Lake Naivasha) are popular meals in Kenya. They can either be served dry fried or wet fried.

Samaki is popular with specific communities in Kenya, especially the Luo and Luhya in the west, but anyone can enjoy it.

3. Omena (Silver Fish)

The proper name Silver Cyprinid is unknown by most Kenyans. The majority know it as omena, a beloved delicacy that graces tables across the country. Walk through any food market and you won’t fail to miss the baskets filled with omena ready for sale to eager customers. Omena is rich in calcium, an essential element in forming healthy bones and teeth. It is very popular among the Luo community.

Ingoho is a Kenyan poultry dish consisting of a chicken cooked Luhya-style by the Luhya people of Western Kenya. The dish is served only to important visitors. A whole chicken is typically roasted to give it a nice brown color, and it is then consumed. For a modern twist on the traditional ingoho, the chicken can additionally be braised with onions, spices, and tomatoes. When served, it is recommended to garnish the meat with fresh coriander. At Logmma Guest House we will prepare you the best Ingoko meal

List of Luhya sub tribes

The Luhya (also known as Abaluyia or Luyia) are a group of 19 distinct Bantu tribes in Kenya that lack a common origin and were politically united in the mid 20th century. They number 6,823,842 people according to the 2019 census, being about 14.35% of Kenya’s total population of 47.6 million, and are the second-largest ethnic group in Kenya. Luhya refers to both the 19 Luhya tribes and their respective languages collectively called Luhya languages and the current King is Peter Nantinda Mumia. There are 19 (and by other accounts, 20, when the Suba are included) tribes that make up the Luhya. Each has a distinct dialect. The word Luhya or Luyia in some of the dialects means “the north”, and Abaluhya (Abaluyia) thus means “people from the north”. Other translations are “those of the same hearth.”Location of Western Province in Kenya. Luhya sub tribes. The seventeen tribes are the Bukusu (Aba-Bukusu), Idakho (Av-Idakho), Isukha (Av-Isukha), Kabras (Aba-Kabras), Khayo (Aba-Khayo), Kisa (Aba-Kisa), Marachi (Aba-Marachi), Maragoli (Aba-Logoli), Marama (Aba-Marama), Nyala (Aba-Nyala), Nyole (Aba-Nyole), Samia (Aba-Samia), Tachoni (Aba-Tachoni), Tiriki (Aba-Tiriki), Tsotso (Abatsotso), Wanga (Aba-Wanga), and Batura (Abatura). They are closely related to the Masaba (or Gisu), whose language is mutually intelligible with Luhya. The Bukusu and the Maragoli are the two largest Luhya tribes. The Luhya community has about 750 clans, yes, that is a huge number of clans, perhaps it is the reason why their political stand matters so much to the leadership of the Nation. Some sub tribes of Luhya are so different from each other that they can’t understand each other’s language. As a nation, we have Kiswahili as the national language to help ease conversations between people of different tribes, in Luhya, there is no unifying language. Though most of the subtribes share certain words and can communicate; there is no ‘universal’ Luhya language that allows for flawless communication between people from different Luhya sub tribes in Kenya. The principal traditional settlement area of the Luhya is in what was formerly the Western province of Kenya. A substantial number of them permanently settled in the Kitale and Kapsabet areas of the former Rift Valley province. Western Kenya is one of the most densely populated parts of Kenya. Migration to their present Luhyaland (a term of endearment referring to the Luhya’s primary place of settlement in Kenya after the Bantu expansion) dates back to as early as the 1450s. Immigrants into present-day Luhyaland trace their ancestry with several Bantu groups and Cushitic groups, as well as peoples like the Kalenjin, Luo, and Maasai. By 1850, migration into Luhyaland was largely complete, and only minor internal movements occurred after that due to disease, droughts, domestic conflicts and the effects of British colonialism.

This is a List of Luhya sub tribes ,Tribes and clans

1. The Bukusu

The Bukusu speak Lubukusu and occupy Bungoma and Mount Elgon districts. The clans of the Bukusu include the Bamutilu, Babuya, Batura, Bamalaba, Bamwale, Bakikayi, Basirikwa, Baechale, Baechalo, Bakibeti, Bakhisa, Bamwayi Bamwaya, Bang’oma, Basakali, Bakiabi, Baliuli, Bamuki, Bakhona, Bakoi, Bameme, Basombi, Bakwangwa, Babutu (descendants of Mubutu also found in Congo), Bakhoone, Baengele (originally Banyala), Balonja, Batukwika, Baboya, Baala, Balako, Basaba, Babuya, Barefu, Bamusomi, Batecho, Baafu, Babichachi, Bamula, Balunda, Babulo, Bafumo, Bayemba, Baemba, Bayaya, Baleyi, Baembo, Bamukongi, Babeti, Baunga, Bakuta, Balisa, Balukulu, Balwonja, Bamalicha, Bamukoya, Bamuna, Bamutiru, Bayonga, Bamang’ali, Basefu, Basekese, Basenya, Basime, Basimisi, Basibanjo, Basonge, Batakhwe, Batecho, Bachemayi, Bachemwile, Bauma, Baumbu, Bakhoma, Bakhonjo, Bakhwami, Bakhulaluwa, Baundo, Bachemuluku, Bafisi, Bakobolo, Bamatiri, Bamakhuli, Bameywa, Bahongo, Basamo, Basang’alo, Basianaga, Basioya, Bachambayi, Bangachi, Babiya, Baande, Bakhone, Bakimwei, Batilu, Bakhurarwa, Bakamukong’i, Baluleti, Babasaba, Bakikai, Bhakitang’a, Bhatemlani, Bhasakha, Bhatasama, Bhakiyabi, Banywaka, Banyangali, etc. For a complete list of Bukusu clans see Shadrack Amakoye Bulimo’s new book Luyia Nation: Origins, Clans and Taboos ISBN 978-1-4669-7837-9 2. The Samia The Samia speak Lusamia and occupy Southern Region of Busia District (Busia county), Kenya. The clans of the Samia of include the Abatabona, Abadongo, Abakhino, Abakhulo, Abakangala, Abasonga, Ababukaki, Ababuri, Abalala, Abanyiremi, Abakweri, Abajabi, Abakhoba, Abakhwi, Abadulu,

3. The Khayo

The Khayo speak Lukhayo and occupy Nambale District and Matayos Division of Busia County, Kenya. Khayo clans include the Abaguuri, Abasota, Abakhabi.

4. The Marachi

The Marachi speak Lumarachi and occupy Butula District in Busia county. Marachi clans include Ababere, Abafofoyo, Abamuchama, Abatula, Abamurono, Abang’ayo, Ababule, Abamulembo, Abatelia, Abapwati, Abasumia, Abarano, Abasimalwa, Abakwera, Abamutu, Abamalele, Abakolwe, Ababonwe, Abamucheka, Abaliba, Ababirang’u, Abakolwe, Abade. Abasubo. The name Marachi is derived from Ng’ono Mwami’s father who was called Marachi son of Musebe, the son of Sirikwa.So all the Marachi clans owed their allegiance to Ng’ono Mwami from whose lineage of Ababere clan they were founded. The name Marachi was given further impetus by the war-like lifestyle of the descendants of Ng’ono who ruthlessly fought off the Luo expansion of the Jok Omollo a Nilotic group that sought to control the Nzoia and Sio Rivers in the area and the fishing grounds around the gulf of Erukala and Ebusijo-modern Port Victoria and Sio Port respectively.

5. The Nyala

The Nyala speak Lunyala and occupy Busia District. Other Nyala (Abanyala ba Kakamega) occupy the north western part of Kakamega District. The Banyala of Kakamega are said to have migrated from Busia with a leader known as Mukhamba. They speak the same dialect as the Banyala of Busia, save for minor differences in pronunciation. The Abanyala ba Kakamega are also known as Abanyala ba Ndombi. They reside in Navakholo Division North of Kakamega forest. Their one-time powerful colonial chief was Ndombi wa Namusia. Chief Ndombi was succeeded by his son, Andrea. Andrea was succeeded by Paulo Udoto, Mukopi, Wanjala, Barasa Ongeti, Matayo Oyalo and Muterwa in that order. The clans of the Banyala include Abahafu, Ababenge, Abachimba, Abadavani, Abaengere, Abakangala, Abakhubichi, Abakoye, Abakwangwachi, Abalanda, Abalecha, Abalindo, Abamani, Abalindavyoki, Abamisoho, Abamuchuu, Abamugi, Abamulembo, Abamwaya, Abanyekera, Abaokho, Abasaacha, Abasakwa, Abasaya, Abasenya, Abasia, Abasiloli, Abasonge (also found among Kabras), Abasumba, Abasuu, Abatecho (also found among Bukusu), Abaucha, Abauma, Abaumwo, Abacharia, Abayaya, Abayirifuma (also found among Tachoni), Abayisa, Abayundo and Abasiondo, Abachende. List of Luhya sub tribes The Banyala do not intermarry with someone from the same clan.

6. The Kabras

The Kabras speak Lukabarasi and occupy the northern part of Kakamega district. The Kabras were originally Banyala. They reside principally in Malava, in Kabras Division of Kakamega district. The Kabras (or Kabarasi, Kavalasi and Kabalasi) are sandwiched by the Isukha, Banyala and the Tachoni. The name “Kabras” comes from Avalasi which means ‘Warriors’ or ‘Mighty Hunters.’ They were fierce warriors who fought with the neighbouring Nandi for cattle and were known to be fearless. This explains why they are generally fewer in number compared to other Luhya tribes such as the Maragoli and Bukusu. They claim to be descendants of Nangwiro associated with the Biblical Nimrod. The Kabras dialect sounds like the Tachoni dialect. Kabras clans include the Abamutama, Basonje, Abakhusia, Bamachina, Abashu, Abamutsembi, Baluu, Batobo, Bachetsi and Bamakangala. They were named after the heads of the families. List of Luhya sub tribes The Kabras were under the rulership of Nabongo Mumia of the Wanga and were represented by an elder in his Council of Elders. The last known elder was Soita Libukana Samaramarami of Lwichi village, Central Kabras, near Chegulo market. When the Quaker missionaries spread to Kabras they established the Friends Church (Quakers) through a missionary by the name of Arthur Chilson, who had started the church in Kaimosi, in Tiriki. He earned a local name, Shikanga, and his children learned to speak Kabras as they lived and interacted with the local children.

7. The Tsotso

The Tsotso speak Olutsotso and occupy the western part of Kakamega district. Tsotso clans include the Abangonya, Abashisiru, Abamweche, Abashibo,

8. The Idakho

The Idakho speak Lwidakho and occupy the southern part of Kakamega district. Their clans include the Abashimuli, Abashikulu, Abamasaba, Abashiangala, Abamusali, Abangolori, Abamahani, Abamuhali.

9. The Isukha

The Isukha speak Lwisukha and occupy the eastern part of Kakamega district. Isukha clans include the Abarimbuli, Abasaka- Ia, Abamakhaya, Abitsende, Abamironje, Abayokho, Abakusi, Abamahalia, Abimalia, Abasuiwa, Abatsunga, Abichina, Abashilukha, Bakhumbwa, Baruli, Abatura, Abashimutu, Abashitaho, Abakhulunya, Abasiritsa, Abakhaywa, Abasaiwa, Abakhonyi, Abatecheri, Abayonga, Abakondi, Abaterema, and Abasikhobu.

10. The Maragoli

The Maragoli speak Lulogooli and occupy Vihiga district. Maragoli clans include Avamumbaya, Avamuzuzu, Avasaali, Avakizungu, Avavurugi, Avakirima, Avamaabi, Avanoondi, Avalogovo, Avagonda, Avamutembe, Avasweta, Avamageza, Avagizenbwa, Avaliero, Avasaniaga, Avakebembe, Avayonga, Avagamuguywa, Avasaki, Avamasingira, Avamaseero, Avasanga, Avagitsunda.

11. The Nyole

The Nyole speak Olunyole and occupy Bunyore in Vihiga district. Nyole clans include Abakanga, Abayangu, Abasiekwe, Abatongoi, Abasikhale, Aberranyi, Abasakami, Abamuli, Abasubi (Abasyubi), Abasiralo, Abalonga, Abasiratsi. Abamang’ali, Abanangwe, Abasiloli, Ab’bayi, Abakhaya, Abamukunzi and Abamutete.

12. The Tiriki

The Tiriki speak Ludiliji and occupy Tiriki in Vihiga district. Tiriki clans include Balukhoba, Bajisinde, Baumbo, Bashisungu, Bamabi, Bamiluha, Balukhombe, Badura, Bamuli, Barimuli, Baguga, Basianiga and Basuba.

13. The Wanga

The Wanga speak Oluwanga and occupy Mumias and Matungu Districts. The 22 Wanga clans are Abashitsetse, Abakolwe, Abaleka, Abachero, Abashikawa, Abamurono, Abashieni, Abamwima, Abamuniafu, Abambatsa, Abashibe, Ababere, Abamwende, Abakhami, Abakulubi, Abang’ale, Ababonwe, Abatsoye, Abalibo, Abang’ayo, Ababule and Abamulembwa.

14. The Marama

The Marama speak Lumarama and occupy Butere district. Marama clans include Abamukhula, Abatere, Abashirotsa, Abatsotse, Aberecheya, Abamumbia, Abakhuli, Abakokho, Abakara, Abamatundu, Abamani, Abashieni, Abanyukhu, Abashikalie, Abashitsaha, Abacheya, etc. ADVERTISEMENT

15. The Kisa

The Kisa speak Olushisa and occupy Khwisero district. Kisa clans include Ababoli, Abakambuli, Abachero, abalakayi, Abakhobole, Abakwabi, Abamurono, Abamanyulia, Abaruli, Abashirandu, Abamatundu, Abashirotsa, Abalukulu etc.

16. The Tachoni

The Tachoni speak Lutachoni and occupy Lugari, Bungoma and Malava districts. Tachoni clans include Abachambai, Abamarakalu, Abasang’alo, Abangachi, Abasioya, Abaviya, Abatecho, Abaengele. The Saniaga clan found among the Maragoli in Kenya and the Saniak in Tanzania are said to have originally been Tachoni. Other clans said to have been Tachoni are the Bangachi found among Bagisu of Uganda, and Balugulu, also found in Uganda and the Bailifuma, found among the Banyala.

Luhya Population Details

Luhya tribe Population 2020 Luhya variety
Luhya 6,823,842  
Bukusu 1,188,968 Lubukusu
Idakho 54,661 Lwidakho
Isukha 101,789 Lwisukha
Kabras 136,546 Lukabarasi
Khayo 68,703 Olukhayo
Kisa 45,135 Olushisa
Maragoli 334,926 Lulogooli
Marachi 65,633 Olumarachi/Bumarachi
Marama 43,075 Olumarama
Nyala 227,165 Lunyala (east),
Lunyala (west)
Nyole   Lonyole (Uganda),
Olunyore (Kenya)
Samia 84,828 Lusamia
Tachoni 85,597 Lutachoni
Tiriki 93,393 Lutirichi
Tsotso 92,687 Olutsotso
Wanga 94,190 Oluwanga
List of Luhya sub tribes


Kakamega Forest is a mid-altitude tropical rainforest, the easternmost outlier of the Congo Basin forests. Its West African affinities are unique in Kenya, and the forest contains many species found nowhere else in the country. The forest lies in the Lake Victoria catchment, about 40 km north of Kisumu, and just east of the Nandi Escarpment that forms the edge of the central highlands. Kakamega forest was first gazetted as Trust Forest in 1933, and two small Nature Reserves, Yala and Isecheno (totaling about 700 ha), were established within the Forest Reserve in 1967. In 1986, nearly 4,000 hectares of the northern portion of the forest, along with the adjacent 457 hectares Kisere Forest, were gazetted as a National Park, Kakamega Forest is an important catchment; the Isiukhu and Yala Rivers flow through the forest and gather tributaries from it. The terrain is undulating, with often steep-sided river valleys. The soils are well-drained, deep, heavily leached clay-loams and clays, of generally low fertility. Rainfall is approximately 2,001mm per year, decreasing from south to north, and apparently declining due to deforestation.

Wildlife in the area

The forest holds large populations of Black-and-white Colobus (Colobus guereza) and Red-tailed Monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti), and small number of de brazza Monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus). Several West African forest mammals occur, such as Potto (Perodicticus potto), Giant Otter Shrew (Potamogale velox) and Lord Derby's Anomalure (Anomalurus derbianus). The small mammal community is also very rich and shows strong affinities to the Zaire basin. At least 28 snake species are recorded, including the rare Gold's Cobra (Pseudohaje goldii) and other West African species such as the Barred Green Snake (Philothamnus heterodermus carinatus), Black-lined Green Snake (Hapsidophrys lineata), Jameson's Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni kaimosae), Green Bush-viper (Atheris squamiger squamiger), Prickly Bush-viper (Atheris hispida) and Rhinoceros-horned Viper (Bitis nasicornis) (Spawls 1978). Two notable and probably endangered forest amphibians, Leptopelis modestus and Hyperolius lateralis, are recorded (Duff-MacKay 1980). The forest's butterfly fauna is very diverse and important, both regionally and continentally; around 350 species are thought to occur, including at least one endemic species, Metisella kakamega, and a near-endemic, Euphaedra rex (Larsen 1991). Kakamega's avifauna is unique not nationally, but continentally. Several species have isolated, relict populations here, including Ansorge's (Greenbul, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Chapin's Flycatcher and Turner's Eremomela, which are absent from all or nearly all of the superficially similar mid-elevation forests in Uganda. Chapin's Flycatcher is a restricted-range species characterizes the Kakamega and Nandi Forests Secondary Area, and is also present in the Albertine Rift Mountains Endemic Bird Area. The presence of the eremomela indicates biogeographic links to the Eastern Zaire Lowlands Endemic Bird Area. Kakamega itself has few endemic taxa; among birds, there is an endemic sub-species (kavirondensis) of Ansorge's Greenbul. At least 16 bird species occur in Kakamega but nowhere else in Kenya, and another 30 (such as the Grey Parrot) are probably now confined to this site. The grassy glades have their own distinctive avifauna, with many moist-grassland species that are now rare elsewhere in western Kenya. Kakamega has a rich diversity of trees, with common genera including Croton, Celtis, Trema, Antiaris, Bequaertiodendron and Zanthoxylum (Beentje 1990). Endemism is low, however, the only woody endemic being the liana Tiliacora kenyensis.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

(vii), (ix) and (x): Kakamega forest has a unique presentation of avifauna with 16 species of bird found only here in Kenya; it is an important and significant natural habitat for conservation of avifauna as it currently provides a habitat for the highest number of forest-dependant bird species in Kenya. The undulating terrain with steep sided river valleys gives the forest its exceptional natural beauty and acts as/and is an important catchment for Isiukhu and Yala Rivers, its one of Kenya's top bird-watching destinations.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

Kakamega forest was first gazetted as a Trust Forest in 1933, later on in 1986 a total of 4,000ha of the northern portion of the forest, along with the adjacent 457 ha of Kisere Forest, were amalgamated and gazetted as Kakamega National Park.

Conservation issues

Kakamega is a complex and fragmented forest, and one that has been under attack, from inside and out, for many years. Logging for commercially valuable timber, and clear-felling of indigenous forest to make way for plantations, was extensive under the colonial Forest Service and continued until the late 1980s. This began the process of isolating the northern and southern blocks. Excisions for settlement, schools and tea plantations (the 'Nyayo Tea Zones') have claimed additional chunks of the forest. Kakamega District is one of the most densely populated in Kenya, and human pressure on the forest is extremely intense. Local people are estimated to derive products worth 100 million Kenya Shillings (approximately US$ 1.7 million) from the forest each year (Emerton 1994). To reduce the level of poaching for forest products in the forest KWS has developed a participatory forest management approach that incorporates the community in conservation initiatives.

Comparison with other similar properties

Kakamega forest can be compared to Kibale and Mabira forests in Uganda, as they have the same species diversity and are an important bird area. We propose for the serial listing of Kakamega forest with similar forests in Uganda like Kibale, Mathira forests that as they have similar characteristics in terms of species diversity and signify the end of Congo basin forests. The Kakamega Forest is very unique to Kenya and has attracted a lot of international researchers into the area.