Are you one of those nature friendly people and would like to tour indigenous forest in Nairobi, then this tour is designed for you. 20 minutes’ drive from the CBD along limuru road, takes you to Karura forest.
Karura Forest Reserve is located in the northern part of Nairobi city. At 1,041 hectares, it is one of the largest urban gazetted forests in the world. The forest contains nearly all the 605 species of wildlife found in Nairobi including three types of antelope. It is managed by Kenya Forest Service (KFS).
Grimm’s Duiker, Bushbucks, Bush pigs, Genet Cats, Civets, Bush babies, Porcupines, Syke’s Monkeys, Ground Squirrel, Hares and the Epauletted-bat.
Reptiles: Include pythons, green snakes and monitor lizards.
Birds: The forest hosts around 200 species of birds including Ayres Hawk-eagle, the African Crowned Eagle, the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, the Hartlaub’s Turaco, the Narina Trogon, Owls, Crested Cranes, Sparrows, Doves, Weavers and Vultures.
Butterflies: Include the African Queen and Desmond’s Green Banded Swallowtail.
Plantations: Cover 632 hectares. Species found include Araucaria cunning hamii, Eucalyptus saligna, E. globula, Grevillea robusta, Cupressus torulosa and Cupressus lusitanica.
Shrubs: Include Strychnos henningsii (Muteta), Erythrococca bongensis (Muharangware), Vangueria madagascariensis (Mubiro), Rhamnus prinoides (Mukarakinga), Caesalpinia volkensii (Mubuthi), Solanum incanum (Mutongu), Elaeodendron buchananii (Mutanga) and Rhus natalensis (Muthigio).
Other areas of special interest Karura Forest
- Other important attractions that visitors to Karura Forest enjoy are:
Mau Mau caves
• Scenic waterfalls and rivers
• Picnic sites
• Marked walking trails
• Small wetlands that are habitats for birds
• The incinerator formerly used by Central Bank of Kenya to burn old currency notes
• The area about which the late Professor Wangari Maathai carried out a campaign against illegal acquisition of forest land.
In Karura Forest, one can undertake the following activities:
You can enjoy the following activities at Karura forest
- Forest walks
• Forest drives
• Bird watching
• Butterfly watching
Important things to remember when visiting Karura forest:
• Enjoy yourself; in addition to seeing, pause and listen regularly.
• Stop to allow wildlife to move off the tracks before you pass.
• Do not feed wild animals.
• Do not start fires in the forest.
• Do not take away animals, animal products, plants or plant parts.
• Do not mark or deface tree stems, stones and other features.
• Avoid unnecessary noise as it disturbs both wildlife and other visitors. Do not exceed 40kph when driving in the forest.
• Take all the litter that you brought away with you.
• Keep to the designated tracks and paths when walking and always be sure of where you are headed to or coming from as orientation in forests can be difficult.