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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 gazette 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 Kiere Forest, were gazette as a National Park, Kakamega Forest is an important catchment; the Isiukhu and Yala Rivers flow through the forest and gather tributaries from it.