Kakamega Forest was established to protect Kenyas only mid-altitude tropical rainforest as the forest contains many species found nowhere else in the country. The forest lies in the Lake Victoria catchment, north of Kisumu and west of the Nandi Escarpment. It was first gazetted as a trust forest in 1933 and two small reserves, Yala and lsecheno were established within the forest in 1967. In 1985, nearly 4,400 hectares of the forest together with the adjacent Kisere Forest were gazetted as Kakamega Forest National Reserve. The forest is an important water catchment area with two rivers flowing through it.