Karura Forest Nature Trail

Karura Forest
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Karura Forest is about an hour’s drive from Nairobi‘s city centre. It is the perfect place to spend a Saturday with your family and friends.

A Day Out For Backpackers, Groups and Families

Karura Forest is magical! Located about 5km from the city centre, this reserve is the best place to unwind without leaving the city. It borders upmarket estates like Muthaiga, Runda and Gigiri, which is the ambassadorial section of the county. Public and private vehicles can get you there in less than 30 minutes from the central business district.

From the forest’s gate, a dirt road leads to the nature trail. This attraction is sufficiently labeled using sign posts so do not worry about getting lost. For example, there is a sign leading to the Mau Mau caves.  It is an excellent photo opportunity, to carry a piece of Kenya’s history. These caves served as a religious shrine and later, as a hideout for freedom fighters before Kenya’s independence.

Further on, you get to the 50ft waterfalls. The water drops into Karura River and meanders to the forest.  Proceed with the nature walk to see hundreds of species of plants and animals.  The mammals to see include syke’s monkeys, ground squirrels, porcupines, hares and bushbucks.  Reptiles in this forest are the likes of pythons and monitor lizards while about 200 species of birds also reside there. Indigenous trees and shrubs also make up the 50km of nature trail you will explore. In addition to hiking, you can jog, ride a bike, or run through the forest.

Other attractions in Karura Forest are an incinerator used to destroy decommissioned bank notes, an archaeological site, a quarry, marshland, and a bamboo forest. Tributaries of Nairobi River such as Ruaka, Karura, Gitathuru, Thigiri and Mathare River meander through this attraction thereby sustaining its biodiversity.

Land grabbing has nipped the reserve over the years, and it is now smaller than the original size. The late Wangari Maathai, whose conservation efforts earned a Nobel Prize, fought relentlessly to protect Karura Forest.

Map of Karura Forest Nature Trail

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