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Kakamega Forest National Reserve's insider take:

Most people give the place a pass—or a pass-by en route to gorilla tracking in Uganda—but Kakamega Forest is one of Kenya's must-see spots. Buried deep within the country's remote western reaches, the reserve protects the last rain forest ecosystem in Kenya. It's a marvel of biodiversity: Monkeys chatter in the trees, snakes slither along the footpaths, and colorful birds and butterflies flit about the canopy. Take the lovely, meandering route along the banks of the Isiukhu River, or hike to the top of Buyango Hill to see the forest sprawl beneath you—the perfect African snapshot. It may lack the big-name spectacles of the "Big Five," but the reserve's subtle pleasures—think orchid blossoms and bird song—make it a welcome respite from the regular safari trail. Accommodation in the area ranges from the very basic to the very-very basic, so embrace the idea of roughing it. The nearby Golf Hotel offers simple, clean rooms and arranges daily tours of the forest (Kakamega; 254-56-30150-51;

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