From Baringo the group will continue to move west on one of the most scenic drives Kenya has to offer. The road climbs from Baringo up over the Tugen Hills and into the remote Kerio Valley before climbing again up the Elgeyo Escarpment and on to the Uasin Gishu Plateau. The route passes through an area inhabited by the Kalenjin tribes, where most of Kenya’s distance runners come from, before arriving at the town of Eldoret.

From Eldoret it is a short hop to Kakamega, Kenya’s largest surviving stand of equatorial rainforest, where the group will spend the next two nights at Udo Bandas in the heart of the forest and close by the reserve’s headquarters.

The forest is home to over 300 species of birds, 45 per cent of Kenya’s butterflies, seven species of primate, a number of other mammals, snakes, reptiles and untold numbers of insects. Many are endemic, found nowhere else in Kenya, and the forest  is a prime example of how an isolated environment can survive even when cut off from its larger body.

Kakamega’s unique habitat means that many of the mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants are more commonly found in the rainforests of central Africa and it is often one of the few places in Kenya where it is possible to see species such as de Brazza’s and red-tailed monkeys.

The abiding memories of a trip to Kakamega are the spectacle of acrobatic monkeys moving through the trees, a profusion of brightly coloured butterflies and the constant noise of birds, insects and frogs. Although there are some roads through the forest the reserve is best seen on foot and there are a number of walking trails cut through the dense vegetation.

It is very easy to get lost in the forest and local guides are used to make sure this doesn’t happen. These guides are also extremely knowledgeable about the forest’s flora and fauna and will point out many things that would otherwise be missed.

Accommodation in the reserve is at Udo Bandas and Campsite, set in a clearing, not far from the reserve’s headquarters, the six 2-bed bandas (cottages) share a kitchen area and ablution block with flush toilets and electric showers. Four, brand new, self-contained, double cottages have recently been added to the site which is often visited by baboon troops along with colobus and blue monkeys.

As one would expect from a rainforest Kakamega gets more than its fair share of rainfall and showers are possible at any time of the year although the wettest times tend to be April-June and November. It is quite common for the mornings to be fine before it clouds up in the afternoon to produce an evening shower. This means we normally arrange to go walking first thing in the morning.